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The Cold War: Nukes, Commie sand the Gods.

Okay, as I asked for my old account (Jamusio EMP) to be deleted to wipe the slate clean and only post things I don't mind being sifted through (click here, Just to Clarify). So I have decided to compile all of the updates for my only finished TL and repost them under my new account. Be warned, the earlier ones are not as good or consistent in size, and I didn't know I had to press enter twice on word to have the effect of pressing it once on here, so the earlier posts are a bit wall-of-text ish.

Anyway, enjoy!

A bat flaps its wings, as it coasts through the void. It is alien. And the place it calls home, is space. It is an Alien Space Bat. It spies a blue and green marble hanging in the vast emptiness. Hundreds of versions, different possibilities lay over it in layers, many different on their own, many more bore the marks of its race, but this one it could see had yet to be... meddled in. And so, for the glorious purpose of Shit'N'Giggles, the ASB descended towards the world.

It uses its amazing powers to see into the minds of every being on the world, from the intellectual behemoths of the Dolphins, to the 2-dimensional minds of the Homo-Sapien, and realises two things. The people of this world say the date is 11am 24 May 1962 AD, and that the world is in turmoil. The idea that takes its fancy comes from the depths of mythology, an idea from 2 mostly forgotten and rarely believed pantheons. And then, it aligns both of them with the two opposing forces that control the world.

The steel citadel of Asgard appears next to the mouth of the Indigirka river in Siberia. It is lead by Odin. The major gods, are not invincible, but do posses amazing powers. Odin has amazing strength enough to fell a skyscraper, and is incredible durable, human forces would probably require a whole field army (by which I mean the formation) to be matched in destructive power. Odin can see everything in lands under his control from his throne Hlidskjalf and can travel anywhere in his lands instantaneously via his chariot. The second most powerful in the Norse gods, is Thor. He is stronger than Odin, commands the power of lightning, his weapon Mjolnir, which strength is measured in Mega-Tons, can make soldiers fearless and can give generals masterful, if aggressive, tactical ability. Thors son Magni is even more powerful than Thor. They align themselves with the Warsaw Pact.

Olympus, in the form of a sprawling city with shining walls appears spread across the flattened of top of Mount McKinley. They are led by a trio, Zeus, with control of weather in his area, at its head, Poseidon with the ability to move tectonic plates and control of any water, and finally Hades, who can instil great fear in his enemies and, at great effort, cause recently dead soldiers who were originally on his side to re-animate and continue fighting. They align with NATO.

The ASB makes Odin, Magni and Thor roughly as strong as Poseidon, Zeus and Hades. Both sides also bring along any demi-gods, heroes, mythical warriors, demons and beasts with them. From the outside, it would seem that the Agardians and their communist allies are more powerful, due to greater numbers human wise, and their total unification under Odin in their gods. But just like the Warsaw pacts seemed to be more powerful than NATO due to having more people and tanks and aircraft NATO, but was hiding poverty and weakness, so was the Agardians position precarious. As soon as they appeared next to Indigirka river, their enemies appeared in the north pole, and begun their constant assault. The Frost giants begin to wear away at the Asgardians, and the countdown to Ragnarok continues. And lastly, the numerous opposing sides both posses a deity that controls the weather, as such, mutually assured destruction will not be their to stop a war.


I know that the language Zeus spoke first was modern Greek, but for some (obvious) reason, I can't get ancient greek on the translator. Next, we will have a convoy taking prisoners to a Siberian Gulag encounter Asgard.
Mount Mckinley 11:12am 1962 October 23
3 Mountain climbers scaled the flanks of Mount Mckinley, tired but determined. They looked up towards the peak, but it was obscured in a swirling mass of fog. Soon they entered the wall like mass of fog. They passed through it like it was a portal, one moment hanging in the blue sky, the sun near its zenith in the sky beating down on their back, the next, encased in a hazy half-light where alien shapes flickered on the corners of their vision. Blinded by the fog, they navigated by touch, hesitantly working their up the mountain. Suddenly there groping hands reached empty space, despite being only 3/4 up the mountain. The climbers clambered up, pulling themselves over the edge. As they stood up, they realised that the fog barrier was now behind them. As they gazed around, they saw that where the peak of the mountain had been, there was a huge tabletop plateau, and that beyond the fog barrier they had just climbed through, taking only 2 minutes, the peaks of the surrounding mountains were like thimbles on the infinitely distant ground. Then they looked forward. A huge wall, taller than the highest skyscrapers, gleaming with the brightest gold, and radiating a great strength beneath the gaudy outer covering. The wall stretched out to either horizons with a gentle curve, framing the infinite expanse of the sky. They could see a gate, with two, towering clear marble statues of a Woman on either side. She was holding a shield and a spear, and had an owl perching on her shoulder. Her shield was covered with strange symbols and words in hundreds of different languages, one of which was English, and said Athena.

The three climbers were called Kyle Shrew a 24 year old with dull ginger hair and broad shoulders, Daniel Wallace, a short 23 year old with blond hair and Theo Moor, a very tall 25 year old with jet black hair.

"Does that say Athena? Like, the Greek goddess Athena?" questioned Kyle

"Think so. That there" Theo pointed at a symbol on the shield "might be Mandarin."

"Well you both missed the real mind**** here. This is the second time we have climbed this, and it looks like the peak had been replaced with a mega sized Athens. And the mountains down there are a hell of a lot smaller than they should be. They should not look like thimbles."

"Calm down, the thin oxygen is probably just giving us something like a bad acid trip. Its just like that time when-" The door opened with a resounding groan, revealing a figure wreathed in glowing robes walking regally towards them. It, no, he, was flanked by two men, one with blue waving robes and a trident and dark brown skin, the other had a deathly pale face pulled taut around his skull, wearing a tattered grey robe that seemed to suck up the light light the maw of a black hole. More people came into view, a man in armour with a red gleaming sword, a shining golden man standing next to a woman who seemed to reflect every ray of moonlight from the dawn of the universe. The woman from the statue, another woman was next to her, an old crone with a plain earth stained dress, in sharp contrast to the radiance of the beautiful woman in rainbow robes next to her.

"Γεια σας θνητοί, εμείς είμαστε οι θεοί του Ολύμπου. Εμείς σημαίνει ότι καμία ζημιά." said the lead figure.

"That's Greek to me." said Kyle, without realising the amazingly obvious, world shatteringly face-palm inducing pun he had just crafted.

"Ah, sorry, we expected you to speak a different tongue. Can you understand this?"

"Crystal clear thanks"

"Good. I expect you have many questions, as do we. We are the gods of Olympus, as you have probably guessed."

The crone in brown let out a cackling laugh "Ahh Zeus, you young fool. The wheel of the universe is ever turning, just as the world turns from the sowing of fields to the reaping, and the fates have cut many threads since our last memories. This is not the same world, in fact, I wonder if something greater* than us created our memories of the old world, but truly, the strength of mortals has grown in our absence. I believe that were are lucky these people did not flee over the edge of the mountain at the sight of us, let alone recognise us. We will let you back to your land soon, but first, we must learn of your people, so we can show humanity more of us, and you must learn of us.

As the climbers and the Gods walked back into the bustling city, Zeus muttered under his breath "Dammit Dementer."

Indigirka River mouth. Siberia. USSR. 8pm.

The cold wind howled around the convoy, whisking away the black smoke belched out by the trucks engines. There are two truck in the centre of the convoy, crammed full of high risk political dissenters, flanked by smaller trucks with machine guns trained on the trucks. At the front of the convoy, and the back, are two more trucks, making tiny indentations of visibility in the writhing mass of the blizzard. One second, the storm was a maelstrom of chaotic movement, the next, the wind disappeared, leaving the falling snow to gentle waft to the ground. It was calm, but like the calm of a predator coiled to strike. Then, the blizzard exploded with movement, pieces of snow smashed together with whipcord speed, compressing and melding into golf ball hail stones. They smashed into the wheels of the trucks, piling up and clamping the wheels to the ground. The hail stones in the air pulled back to 5 metres from the convoy, forming into tendrils, circling and probing, but never passing that invisible 5 metre line. The storm wall parted at the front of the convoy, revealing a figure, wearing a sturdy, simple cloak. He held a gnarled wooden staff in his hand. He stood still, for seconds that seemed to stretch on to infinity. The a passenger wearing an officers uniform got out of the lead vehicle got out, holding his rifle and pointing it at the man.

"Hay, you, dumb-ass. What do you think you're doing, you ******* dumb-ass. Get out my way, or I might add you to the truck and put you in the Gulag with them." By now, the guns of the lead truck were trained on him, and 5 soldiers had their guns trained on him.

"I assume you are not a diplomat then. You will take me on your transport to your king. I will not permit you to leave other wise."

The officer burst into laughter, but his soldiers did not. They were looking fearfully at the tendrils of the storm, watching them reaching closer to the convoy, almost in anticipation. "**** Ohh, how I am afraid of incurring the wrath of the one eyed man with the stick. I bet that's how you lost your other eye, trying to catch a bullet with your stick. Come on. Take your best shot. You can harm me, and if you could, you would be killed by my men. If you survive your injuries, then you can spend the rest of your life in the frozen hell of the Gulag."

The old man pointed his stick at an individual hail stone, his eyes fixed unwavering on the officer. Then he swung his staff round with blinding speed, leaving it pointed at the officer. The ice ball swung round, guided by the staff. It slammed into the side of his head, cracking through his skull. His body went limp, held up by the hovering ice ball in his brain. Then the one eyed wanderer slammed his staff into the ground. The ice ball exploded, leaving his decapitated body to drop to the frozen ground.

The man spoke softly, but with a undeniable authority. "I am Odin One Eye of Asgard. You will take me to your king, or I will extract his location from you and leave you unarmed in the prisoner trucks."


Vikings and commies aren't exactly going to meet without at least one person dying.

Washington DC. White house. 4pm October 26 1962

The skies of DC were grey and heavy with rain. The atmosphere outside the white house was electric, full of uncertainty and promise. The President had called a press meeting with only a days notice for the news agencies of the world to scramble their cynical, attentive forces.

The mob of journalists and reporters huddled around the eagle adorned podium. Kennedy stood tall at stand, aware but undisturbed by the presence of the cameras trained on him.

"We, as a nation, and our allies, are in hard times. Uncertain, changing times. Spy planes have recently photographed threatening images on Cuba. But today, I have good news for you, news that can offer more hope in these grim times. It may be hard for people to come to terms, some may even have their views of the universe changed or challenged, but I assure you, with my word as the President, that we are now stronger, than ever before. But actions speak louder than words, so a delegation of our new allies have come to speak to you today.

The grey skies flickered with light, then boomed, thunder and lighting shot out of the storm clouds, carefully avoiding causing harm to the city dwellers below. The clouds split at the top, revealing blue skies and light. From this gap, a glowing gold chariot sped towards the ground. Journalists began to scatter as the object approached, but seeing the calm look on the Presidents face, they stood firm, regaining their composure. In the last hundred metres of its descent, the golden object, no, the chariot, decelerated rapidly, deftly touching down with delicate grace of a hummingbird. A man, wreathed in gold and light, stepped down from the chariot and stood next to Kennedy.

"People of America. I am a Apollo, representative of the Olympian Gods to your nation. We believe, no, we guarantee, that we can offer you amazing gifts and abilities for you in your ongoing conflict with the Soviet Union. But today, this is not the time or place for troop counts and briefing. My people and our city, Olympus, have been transported to your mountain, Mount McKinley, without memory of the event. The ruling council of the city, is Zeus, Posideon, Hera, Apollo, Artemis, Dementer, Aphrodite, Athena, Dionysus, Areas, Hephaestus and Hermes. We are willing to assist you in your wars, join NATO, use are powers over the skies to block any nuclear attack against you, join the UN, in return, we want to have our control over Mount McKinley recognised, and any of our citizens are to be given joint citizen ship and freedom of movement between our nation and yours, and that any crime committed against one of our citizens by one of your people, from the lowly satyrs, nymphs and spirits, to the Olympian gods themselves, and even the abhorrent inhabitants of Hades, shall be given over to us, and treated under our laws." The mob of journalists exploded with questions, and Apollo, with the patience of a god, began to answer.

I know this is not hugely action packed, but neither are press conferences. Even with gods.

Operation Stampede is the plan for the joint American/Olympian invasion of Cuba. The plan for operation Stampede involved two phases. It can only happen with the assistance of our allies the Olympians in the form of destroying anything in the sky fielded against us, and removing the threat of Nuclear retaliation from Russia. They will also provide precision, high power strikes against enemy forces, and Ares and Hercules will be accompanying marines on the ground in human form. Posideon will be providing support from the sea, and will be transporting our soldiers. Apollo, Zeus and Artemis will be providing Ariel support. Our military tacticians and Athena have told us that this will be excessive force, but for political and propaganda purposes, every thing short of nuclear BDZ and war crimes will be used to gain control over Cuba, and smoke out this Red hive near our lands.

Phase 1
First, the navy and Posideon will destroy any ships the Cubans field against us, and then will sail to Havana. There, they will begin obliterating enemy formations in range of the guns outside the city, leaving the city itself intact. Fighter aircraft accompanied by Apollo and Artemis will gain air supremacy, only risking engagement with the enemy when assisted by the Olympian escort. The Olympians have demonstrated that Apollo and Artemis can fire weapons (arrows) from they're chariots, at speeds much faster than missiles with extreme, seemingly infallible accuracy, and power greater than the a navel cannon. This capability, plus the ability of Zeus to 'disintegrate' SAM missiles, will give us a high chance of zero casualties in Ariel engagements. After air supremacy is gained, Air Strikes with the help of Apollo and Artemis will be conducted on troops in the city of Havana.

Phase 2
After half an hour of the bombardment, 10,000 marines will be landed in Havana, headed by Hercules. By this point, Apollo and Artemis will have destroyed most of the soldiers in the city, and air strikes will make reinforcements impossible, by destroying any troops or tanks nearing the city with low power tactical atomic devices Ares will lead a company of 225 Rangers to spearhead the advance.

References for troop counts will also be distributed with this sheet.

27 October. 1962 Havana.
Troop transports and tanks roared across the bridge of solid water between Florida and Havana, courtesy of Posideon. In the skies, various types of soviet MiGs fought American F-3s and F-4s. The Cuban planes were being swatted like flies by Apollo and Artemis, exploding in flairs of golden and silver light respectively. Ares and Hercules both ran at the front of their battle groups across the bridge of water, yelling war cries and waving their swords. In the distance, mushroom clouds could be seen from were reinforcements had been nuked, and columns of fire rose from the city where Zeus was blasting Cuban soldiers. The water bridge ended at the docks, and the soldiers had captured them with extreme speed. A group of Cuban soldiers, roughly 30, had set up a machine gun nest in the rubble on a street corner near the dock, hidden from Zeus by their insignificance. The Rangers were stealthily approaching them, but Ares just ran at the Cubans, waving his red sword above his head and holding his hoplite shield in front of him. Machine guns bullets streaked out to meet him, but they only seemed to inflict paper cuts on him. He jumped when he was 20m from them, sailing through the air in a way that was definitely not natural. He landed on the machine gun, and lunged with a blinding movement, decapitating the gunner. He dropped the sword and grabbed the man’s submachine gun. He arced the gun round, and bullets of explosive energy shot out, slaughtering the men in the nest with a single slow swing of the gun.
As the soldiers and tanks advanced into the city they found for every Cuban they captured or killed, 10 had be struck down by Apollo or Artemis. In the distance, storm clouds, charged with electricity, converged on the radiation spreading mushroom clouds that marked where the Cubans had tried to reinforce the city. All ready the mushroom clouds were being absorbed into the storm clouds Zeus had created, which then shot upwards, depositing the radioactive matter into space.*
Thanks to the assistance of the Olympians, the battle for Havana was over in a record time of 27 minutes, with the whole city surrendering unconditionally except for a few diehards. There were various military bases, and certain towns and villages, that did not surrender, so were subject to the ultimate terror weapon. In the centre of the military bases, which were in most cases frightening the surrounding settlements into siding with them, Hades was called into action. He created portals in them, out of which flowed Hell Hounds. They were not invincible against gunfire, but the shock of the skeletal, flaming night black hounds bounding out of dark swirling mists in huge numbers were enough. Hades simply waited until he could tell (by reading FEAR levels) that the soldiers would surrender, then issued an ultimatum. Unconditional surrender or unconditional death. Cuba had fallen in only 1 and a half hours of fighting.

Just so you know, it will be very different when gods fight gods. Also, *The message there is that you can only escape the consequences of nukes by liberal use of noobish Haxor. Next, we will have a Norse god supported attack in Japan, which will reveal to America that Operation Norse is not just propaganda. Hint, it will be like this, but in reverse, as the Olympians will not be on guard there, though there will be the start of a battle for sea supremacy between Njord and Posideon.
Also, I bet I have made some huge mistake somewhere (the term Base Delta Zero being used in a briefing doesn't count) that will be on the scale of be being wrong about Cuba being real. I know Cuba is real, that is just an example of the scale of wrongness I shall probably reach. (Don't you interpret that!)

In this Update I will explore increasing impact that mythical monsters appearing in places that are fitting for them wreaking havoc. But the main part of this update will be the failed nuclear and then the build up to a ground retaliation in response to the total defeat at Cuba. Next update, I will do that ground attack.

1962 November 1st North 175 26 56 West Over the Pacific.

The Lockheed A-12 with its one man crewglided gracefully through the skies, a blot of darkness against the featureless blue sky, and the cotton ball clouds below. It was flying from a secret air base in America to photograph key Warsaw Pact industrial and military facilities, before returning home, like an extremely well funded Peeping Tom. The pilot who had passed the rigorous training to be aloud to fly the was encased in solitude except for his radio, and consumed entirely by controlling and monitoring the plane, relying on technology and well-rehearsed actions. The radio flickered into life, and a hoarse, tired voice spoke out of it: "Hey Jim, this is command, we have detected a strange incredibly high up storm in your path. It was spotted by a cargo ship. Can you see anything. Over."

"Hang on a sec" he said, turning away from the dials to look out at the empty sky. "Nope. Nothin--- wait, sorry, something just, well, I'm looking out, and its completely black. As black as my blackbird."

The radio operator responded, his transmission suddenly full of crackling interference. "S--rry, co-ld -u- repe-t tha-, -- gett-ng - lot of i-ter-fe-ren-e fro- --u. O-er."

"Ok. My Blackbird is completely covered in clouds, and the altimeter is going haywire. Over."

The voice returned, suddenly free of interference. "Brilliant. We read you, and your interference has disappeared. Are you playing music? I can hear something from your side."

"No, but I can hear something. Its really, hypnotic, actually. I-I think I should land. Right now."

"Pilot, there is only water beneath you, you can't land. Return to base immediately. Check your Oxygen tanks, you are displaying symptoms of oxygen starvation. Are you light headed? Over."

"It sounds like singing... I'm not gonna land, I just want to, to see. And hear. See and Hear. See and Hear."

An edge of panic was in the radio operators voice, a crowd of operators, soldiers, technicians and officers now crowded around him, listening intently. "Jim, turn back now. Right now. Over"

"No. I can see a tiny island in the distance through the clouds. I can land there. Easy. Then I can See and Hear. The Sirens call to me. I must go."

"Come on man, its me, William. Don't do this. I don't know what's wrong with you, but you can't to this. If you try to land there, you will die. The plane wont fit. What about Susan? You just married her. What about your friends? Turn back, and we can all forget this. Please."

"I can see them, three women, with the heads of birds. Its so beautiful. An Eagle, a Vulture and a Raven. I can See and Hear. See and H------"

The radio operator closed his eyes and took of his earphones, shaking his head. The whispering crowd around him fell silent. Jimmy Sullivan would not be the last person to be claimed by unnatural creatures. He was a proud member of a NATO country, so he would go to Tartarus, the Asphodel Fields, or Elysium if he was lucky. If his loyalty had been to a Warsaw Pact nation, he would have gone to Nifhel, Hel or Vahlalla. But the fact remained, the world was now home to creatures that did not belong, and would only cause harm.

Cuba. November 1st 1962.

Cuban intelligence had managed to get various pieces of important information out to their allies, before they were found an killed by Hermes, who was aided by the general truth that 'It takes a spy to find a spy, and a thief God can find spies without trying.' The Soviet leadership was locked in fierce debate over how best to respond to the attack on their allies, but the balance was tipped in favour of retaliation when an incredible opportunity was revealed by (now dead) Cuban spies. Ares and Hercules, two of the key fighters in the Olympian force, were both in Havana. A soviet sub was sent to Cuba, with a deadly payload, and a deadly mission, to destroy Havana, with the aim of killing the soldiers there, but most importantly, killing Ares and Hercules.

A nuclear missile burst out from the water, fired by a Submarine just below the surface. It streaked towards Havana, 10 times faster than a jet fighter. And a hell of a lot slower than a thunderbolt. A storm cloud materialised out of empty sky in the path of the missile, and shot out a streak of blue lighting towards the missile. It exploded in the sky, but the complex system to cause the nuclear fission* was destroyed, an the explosion was only the rocket fuel detonating. With no wish to ignite a full nuclear war that might overwhelm Zeus, the attempt at destruction was ignored, except as an object of ridicule.

Anti Climax. But the following day, an attack was devised by the soviet leadership, an attack that would not be thwarted, and would give a devastating demonstration of the power of their new allies...

*I think.

Lighting lashed down on Tokyo, ships sunk in flames and fires spread from building to building, trapping and killing occupying soldiers and civilians alike. The Communists wanted to keep Tokyo intact, so fire were only aloud to spread in areas with opposing soldiers in, other wise the fires are stopped by air spirits. Njord and Posideon wrestled in the seas, their bodies the waters themselves, with their titanic battle spread across the waters around Japan. The devastating Maelstroms and colliding waves mauled Soviet and American ships alike, nearly killing the soviet troop transports before they turned away from the danger zone.

MiG 21 flew un-harried across Japan, their enemies pulled from the sky by baseball sized chunks of hail, bombing targets and generally slaughtering all opposition. Troops began dropping in from helicopters, bypassing the writhing sea, and started to claim Tokyo. Heidmall, Thor and Magni led Spetnaz units into the heart of the city, overwhelming the surviving forces with ease. As soon as news of this god supported attack reached Washington, Kennedy realised that their forces would die without god support just as the Cubans had, so he contacted Olympus. Athena appeared through the presidential portal, and spoke frankly to the President. She was a master of strategy and tactics, and concluded that by the time it would take to muster forces to be sent along with the gods to reinforce Japan, and to transport them, there would be no American controlled areas to land in. Sending the gods in on their own would be suicide, as the Norse Gods were backed up by enough mortal air, ground and sea forces, that they would easily be able to overcome the Olympians. To save his forces from complete obliteration, Kennedy was forced to surrender all American forces on Japan, after as many as possible were evacuated. 10% escaped. 30% were captured. 60% were dead.

Arkhangelsk. Oblast. USSR.

2nd November. 1962. 2am.

It was -45 outside, the coldest November in record, and the wind was howling like a screaming banshee to boot. The skies were black, and the streets were covered with half a metre of ice. Reports were coming in from sailors saying the sea was freezing over. This was insane, thought Dimitri Tarasov, the local head of the party, it might be an unusually cold day, but the seas freezing? The sailors will of course be reprimanded for being wreckers and fear spreaders. He turned to look out of his thick window, and saw only a spinning mass of blizzard. Then, the cold intensified, a wave of cold passed through him, chilling him to the bone. It only lasted a second, and there seemed to be no evidence the cold snap had even occurred. But then, Dimitri's eyes recovered from the shock, and focused on what he was seeing. All motion in the swirling blizzard was gone, the snow just hung there. Then it dropped, like a marionette with its strings cut. In the co-ordination centre of the building, phones began to ring, from the hospital, the dock, the barracks and everywhere else. But still, it was only a freak weather phenomenon. The messages from the Dockyard somehow seemed urgent enough to warrant Dimitri's direct attention.

"Hello. This is Dimitri Tarasov. Who am I speaking to?" He spoke with tight formality, his arrogance failing to fully cover his growing fear.

"T-this is Leonid Vasiliev. I am the official party representative for the dock. We are experiencing some problems-- muffled screaming cuts through --just send us some help from the barracks, I don't, I-- a huge booming crash is heard in the background, then human screaming, and the word Giants is heard over the screaming --We are being attacked, by, by something just, wait please,-- Leonid is talking to another person at the dock. "We've gotta run now! its coming towards us! no, I must call for help. Idiot, now one can help us." now he speaks with panic in his voice, and the sounds of rending metal and dying men nearly make him inaudible -- I am abandoning my post, to seek safety in the rest of the city. Call for help, and run. Run now or--" the phone line is replaced with static. Already Dimitri could hear the screams moving closer from the harbour.

The military garrison of 500 soldiers and 12 tanks (tell me if that sort of number is stupid) had been rallied by their commanders, and were marching towards the dock. Reports had come that the sea had frozen all the way to the docks, but the only thing on the commanders minds was to quell the unexplained rioting. The fog hung thick in front of the armed column, the headlights on the jeeps cutting through 3 metres of fog, before stopping, like they had hit a wall of darkness. The column abruptly stopped as a building beyond the fog wall collapsed, the rubble just reaching far enough to tap gentle on the frontal armour on the lead tank. The tank commander poked his head out of his copula, looking around, as the soldiers fanned out. The fog gently, eerily rose upwards, revealing the dock to the soldiers. A looming humanoid figure, at least 15 metres tall stalked towards them through the rubble. Its body seemed to be made of hundreds of uneven boulders of ice, held together by clumps of hail stones, grinding and re-forming as it moved, like the gears on an insidious machine. The soldiers opened fire, blasting chunks out of it, as it reeled backwards in shock and pain from the heat and speed of the bullets. Golf ball sized chunks were cascading to the ground, just faster than it could re-grow them, and the tanks were blasting torso sized blocks of it. Shockingly fast for something so large and ungainly, it lurched towards the soldiers, blasting them with lethal hail as it approached. The hail stones pinged of the tank armour, leaving surprisingly deep dents. The bones they hit snapped and shattered under the onslaught, it was like a machine gun had been opened up on the soldiers. All the soldiers standing in the street were killed, but most had taken up positions in buildings when they started shooting. The guns continued to chip pieces of the giant, even as it grabbed the lead tank, swinging it round with the strength to pulverise the inhabitants, then throwing it at a building to the left, crushing the soldiers inside it. At this point, the rest of the unit Sh*t Brix. The Frost Giant shot its arm out in a huge lunge, reaching out at the second tank on the street. As the Giant crushed it, the tank discharged a high explosive round in its face, which ignited the fuel and ammo were crushed, causing the tank to explode. Despite this awesome spectacle, and half of the face of the giant being destroyed, it continued its rampage. An RPG hit it in the icy wound, causing it to stumble backwards. It shot out a hail of ice at the house the RPG had fired from. The concentrated blast shredded everything in the house, soldiers, bricks and all. Tank shots kept blasting the fallen giant, pinning it down. It raised its arm, and a clump of the hail stones flying above collided to form a car sized boulder, which then smashed downwards like a hammer onto the nearest tank. Then the ice chunk grew to form a temporary wall between the Giant and the tanks, letting it get up. The 10 remaining tanks blasted through the barrier, but the Frost Giant was gone. The tank at the back of the column was seized up and lifted into the air. The Frost Giant was deceptively fast, and had flanked them.Some of the soldiers were running, so the Frost Giant took the opportunity to crush them by throwing a tank at them, which then exploded#. The turrets struggled to traverse, as the Giant ran across their right flank, crushing the soldiers in the buildings, despite grenades, AK's and another RPG. When it reached the front of the column, and the tanks were just ready to fire on it, the Frost Giant jumped sideways, twisting sideways and crushing 4 tanks with a body slam. The resulting explosion, plus a volley from the other tanks as they spread around shattered the Frost Giant, but already more of them were moving towards them, and only 6 tanks an no infantry remained in the fight... Which then Exploded.


#That is my new phrase.

Arkhangelsk just got Frost Gianted. That's not a word, but still. Correct me if I am wrong about how much the city would have in the way of soldiers. Also, hint, the city loses the fight. That was one just Frost Giant, and there are 13 who have reached the city.

It’s hard to say whether the event, now widely called the Descent of Gods, was a good thing for the world, or a bad thing. But even if the powers of the gods eliminate the threat of MAD and allow total war again, for the average westerner, the Descent was a good thing. Despite all the high minded implications of a world with gods, it has had much more basic effects. Thanks to Dementer, food is and never will be a problem again. Deserts are graced with un-explainable cool rain, turning their sand into fertile topsoil. Golden fields of wheat and rice and hops stretch into the horizon on what were once the most inhospitable and useless lands in the world. Pests and weeds no longer effect crops, which some say is too heavy handed an action by Dementer, resulting in significant drops in the numbers of animals that eat the pests, or that eat the crops themselves. Most people agree that having their weekly shop as cheap as a newspaper is worth a few dead ecologies, despite what the damned hippies might say.
Norse and Greek Paganism is on a worldwide rise, though the Abrahamic religions managed to ride the wave surprisingly well by throwing words around like Demons and Old Testament and End of Days. The Sikhs did the best out of the pre-Descent religions, thanks to the ‘All Religions are Different Paths to Truth’ meaning that Gods on earth don’t harm their credibility, even gods with different values.
The power of the Gods seems to be derived from a mix of Sc-Fi tech and pure magic, the latter of which has given a huge tech boost to the world. Nuclear Fusion is handled in satellite power stations, providing cheap and effective power to all. Wind spirits, paid with Olympian gold (more on that latter) fill huge blimps that carry converted Ocean Liners on grand tours around the world in the skies, at rates cheaper than a holiday for the average pre Descent family. Pebble Bed reactors power cars and planes, and are the primary competitors for Hydrogen fuel cell market.
There is significant tension in some areas between Gods and Mortals. No angry mob would try to kill a god, but semi magical races like Fawns are the new target for skinhead anger. The fact that creatures like Fawns are much longer lived than humans, and benefit from much better education, means that they are generally more qualified than humans, and some feared that they may form a new ruling class, taking top research, business and political jobs. Luckily, this scare was averted when it was discovered that Fawns, being part prey animal, were fundamentally different from humans. Descended from Hunters, Humans could deal with tasks involving concentration, repetition and patience, all of which are required to be a scientist, politician or business leader. Fawns cannot due to being half prey animal, and by human standards, Fawns are near ADHD.
After the events of Ragnorak, which coincided with the rise of the Titans, most of the human-god conflict died down. The idea of gods being separate from us, and the general feeling of inferiority that fuelled the tension, were dispelled when the same demons and monsters and giants that killed gods, killed us. Humans became brothers in arms with gods, and people saw all of the beings of Asgard and Olympus, from semi-magical fawns and nymphs, to full on immortals, like Zeus and Magni, as friends, neighbours and equals. It is speculated that the relations between humans and gods were on the path to war between gods and men, as the existents of gods had indirectly caused huge damage, as it allowed for a war between the Warsaw Pact and NATO without MAD to stop it. Now, without a common enemy, and with Ragnorak fading from public memory, tensions between gods and men are on the rise…

Part 8
Communist Cuba was annexed by the NATO/Olympian alliances.
In retaliation, American occupied Japan was conquered by the Warsaw/Norse alliance.
The opening shots had been fired, and only the sheer enormity of the war before them had kept it from escalating. But the stillness on the European front is like the water in bath about to overflow, held in place only by tension. It was only a matter of time.

Two days after the Soviet attack on Japan, Russian forces in East Berlin mounted a devastating attack, meeting fierce resistance from NATO troops. The NATO forces in West Berlin, numbering 15,000 at the start of the attack, are heavily outnumbered, facing an enemy of 40,000 men and cut off from the bulk of their forces. They are miles behind enemy lines; they fight fiercely nevertheless. Columns of tanks, supported by helicopters and Mechanized infantry clash with Soviet ground troops in the fields of Europe, dealing all the death modern technology can deal, as well as all the death that various magical creatures and gods can deal. Ares, having chosen a battalion worth of soldiers, drawn from the SAS, SOAR, US Army Rangers, and the Australian SAS, makes his way to Berlin via plane, protected by Wind Spirits loyal to Olympus. They intend to give the soldiers there a fighting chance to survive against the onslaught of the Warsaw Pact until more forces can reach them.
The sun rises over berlin, its crimson glow casting wild shadows over the arches and spires of the city. Below the towering buildings, both new and old, the streets are enveloped in war, echoing with the sounds of gunfire as soldiers fight and die for survival. Screams of dying men cut through the din of battle, only eclipsed by the sound of collapsing buildings and the harsh thunderclap of tanks.
At the start of the attack on Berlin, bombers and fighter flew in support of the attack troops, bombing the NATO troops un-harassed. Fighter planes were sent out to deal with them by NATO, which drew more reinforcements from the Warsaw pact. Soon the bulk of both sides air power was engaged above Berlin, and the skies above Berlin began to resemble a collision between two swarms of angry fireflies. The aerial battleground was streaked with trails from rockets and lit by the constant flashes of exploding planes, like a chaotic but purposeful fireworks show, were ownership of Europe’s skies, and thus its fate, will be decided.
On the outskirts of Berlin, a group of planes touch down, unloading tanks, jeeps and soldiers. A figure steps down from the ramp of the lead plane, restless, and eager for action. He holds a Hoplite shield in his left hand and a 50 calibre machine gun in his right. On his head is a red plumed helmet, and his chest armour bears the mark of a grinning skull. Red mist swirls around his body, and the bodies of his soldiers, giving them true aim, tireless limbs and limitless ammo. He is a walking war crime, the embodiment of berserker rage, the primal scream of a cornered man, the battle cry of a thousand soldiers, the red mist of rage, the burning fires of pillaged cities and the cry of the refugee. He is Ares, God of War.

Part 9
The Russian advance was slowly grinding through West Berlin thanks to superior numbers, having lost 25,000 men and killed 10000 only thanks to clever defensive tactics on NATO’s part, fighting street for street against the doomed defenders. Another line of defence was about to be broken, so the NATO troops pulled back, covered by heavy bombardment by air forces. They took up new positions in another line of fortified buildings and strongpoints, putting killing zones between themselves and the enemy, rather than being overrun in room to room fighting. This constant, ordered retreat was something they had repeated many times already, and the soldiers were tired, hungry and fighting for their lives, desperately reforming defensive lines rather than being cut of and eliminated. They were punching above their weight and making the enemy fight for every inch. And they were losing. Despite NATO advances, they were still far behind enemy lines, severely outnumbered and running low on every type of supply.
The Russian forces had noticed a pattern in their enemy’s movements, and were preparing to rush forward to capture the buildings in front of them, as they saw the tell-tail signs of another retreat. The constant retreats had forced the Russians to play by NATO commander’s rules, either charging through empty, sometimes mined building, or fighting pinned down by prepared strongpoints, trying to get through roads-turned-killing zones, at great cost to man and materiel. Not to mention the horrible effect on moral of knowing that every time you are about to break through and fight the enemy on fair terms or good un-fair terms, they disappear, forcing you to rush through possibly mined buildings, just to end up in a nearly identical situation, pinned down by strongpoints and snipers, once again.
The heavy guns in the enemy’s buildings had finally fallen silent, meaning the last of the enemy had retreated from their lines, and some of the enemies mortars and their jets had given a brief covering bombardment for the retreat. Somewhere, some of the Russians must have reached a strongpoint and were fighting in close quarters, forcing the NATO forces to retreat again. The Soviet commanders in the city had all reached this conclusion, accepting it as the only explanation, even though this time, none of them had radioed that they had broken through. Still, all the signs were there, and the enemy was silent, so the order was given. Russian troops rushed from their hiding places, ready to storm the deserted buildings once again. Half way across the killing zones, all across the defensive line, groups of Russian soldiers ran onto mines, as guns opened up on them from windows and balconies. It was a feint, no-one had broken through, and the NATO forces had led them straight into a trap. Hundreds of Russians lay dead, and their confidence was given another blow, as a grim, hoarse cheer rose from the buildings on the other side of the killing zone. Still, it was only another bump in the road to total victory. There was no way NATO would reach Berlin, let alone before the embattled troops in West Berlin were crushed. Of this, the Russian commanders were assured.
The Russians rushed back to their lines, taking heavy casualties from the trap they had sprung. And then, at the worst, or best possible time, depending who you are, Ares struck.
Ares struck behind the Russian forces in East Berlin, cutting through the supply lines and artillery, trapping groups of attacking soldiers between his men and the defending NATO troops. They swung round, stretching themselves thin as they drove forward behind the Russian troops, following the curve of the battle lines. Ares led at the front of this advance, obliterating buildings and letting his troops advance with incredible speed, driving all before them. Within 2 minutes of the attack, the Berserkers were a third of the way round the battle lines. Attacks were sent against them, but only 2nd line troops and support troops were left, everyone else was either miles away fighting NATO armies to the west, or trapped committed to fighting NATO troops in East Berlin. Those sparse attacks were slaughtered easily by the superhuman forces under Ares’s control, and were not repeated. 5 minutes after Ares attacked, his forces were half way round the city, and the Russian commanders realised that their shallow hope of defeating all the NATO troops in West Berlin then turning their huge numbers against the Berserkers was not going to come true. The Russian and NATO commanders watched speechless as the Ares Berserkers, deifying all military logic and fighting like demons, slaying dozens for every man they lost, came back round full circle . 90% of all Russian soldiers in Berlin were trapped in a thin strip of land between the Ares Berserkers and the NATO defences. Unknown to Ares, as soon as he appeared on the battle field, the soviet commanders, under the orders of a new directive, had called for reinforcements from Valhalla.
The battle was now a forgone conclusion, with surrender or death as the only two options. Russian troops were beginning to lay down arms, sometimes led by officers, sometimes by common sense. Soldiers on both sides were breathing sighs of relief, (or cries of rage in the case of the Ares Berserkers) knowing that at least they had survived, whether or not they had won. Men buried the dead, rested and counted losses. But the battle was not yet over. The superhuman attack of the Ares Berserkers would not be the only shock for the commanders this day.
Reinforcements arrived, a seemingly tiny number compared to the forces already in the fight, roughly a battalion worth of soldiers. They are led by Thor, God of Thunder. Commanded by him are a battalion of Spetnaz, their skin covered in blue arcs of lightning, and their bodies bursting with the power of Thor*…

*For the sake of the story and the plan of the ASB, imagine these guys are as powerful as the Ares Berserkers, and in nearly equal numbers.

Part 10

The remaining Russians who had not surrendered, roughly 60% of the total still living, numbered 6000 men. Their opponents inside West Berlin numbered 5000, and still had the advantage of their defences. The Russians withdrew from the areas under fire from the NATO strong points, and dug in. Neither side was confident enough to attack, so their fate hung on the upcoming battle between Ares and Thor. Thor’s battalion was called the Red Hammers by the soviet military, and had roughly the same powers as their counterparts in the Ares Berserkers. The Berserkers and the Hammers met a mile away from the battle lines in West Berlin. The best of the Warsaw Pact’s forces, infused with the power of Thor, now faced the best of NATO, empowered by the God of War. Both sides were tense and ready, like a predator coiled to pounce, or a storm ready to break. The skies above howled with the sounds of the air battle, while the superhuman soldiers waited amongst the rubble of houses and shops, the minds devoted to war and above the ideals that drove their sides, their humanity temporarily thrown aside in their service of Thor and Ares.
Ares felt joy as he saw the rubble of peace being trampled and used by the power of war. He smiled a dark grin, that held no humour or warmth, only a deep echo of primal fury. He was evil in most definitions of the word, and would kill any and all things necessary to achieve his goals. He could only feel joy when drenched in his foes blood and taking lives indiscriminately, the true definition of the Berserker. Unlike his brothers and sisters in Olympus, he did not at all fit well with his NATO allies. Thor was proud, and sought justice in all he saw and was an honourable warrior. He, like Ares, seemed to be a polar opposite to his side, only doing as he does because of loyalty to Odin. Thor saw Ares’s cruel smile as a taunt, and that was all that was needed. The air exploded with bullets, as both sides opened fire with extreme precision, firing shots that would have guaranteed death for all except soldiers with similar magically-endowed abilities.
Thor strode towards Ares, hammer swinging around his head and crackling with blue lightning. Ares brings his heavy calibre machine gun to bear of Thor, firing red bolts of energy instead of bullets, striking Thor in the chest and denting his armour. Thor stumbled backwards in surprise and pain, his eyes burning with intense anger. He lets go of his swinging hammer, which flies forward on the head of a lightning bolt, striking Ares in the chest. He flies 20 meters backwards, crashing into an empty shop front. Shelves of products lay scattered and broken around Ares’s unconscious form, Thor’s hammer lay heavily on his armour, and his head rested on a crushed can of beans. Thor did not see any humour in this as he picked his hammer up. He raised it above his head, preparing for a killing blow. Suddenly, Ares’s eyes shot open, burning red with anger. In a fluid motion, he raised his knees and kicked Thor full in the face with both legs, using the momentum to flip back onto his feet. He swung his shield round in a blinding movement, hitting Thor in the side of the head. Relentless, he lunged with his short hoplite sword at Thor’s head. He ducked, narrowly avoiding the point of the sword and pulled back his hammer in one movement, then drove it forward like a prize fighter’s punch into Ares’s gut, winding him. Ares narrowly avoids a Mjolnir to the head by a desperate dive to the side. He drops into a stance, his shield arm forward, sword arm held ready to stab, the edges of panic beginning to show on his face. Thor launches a bolt of lightning at Ares. Ares manages to pre-empt him, and raises his shield to deflect the bolt. Thor pulls his shield from his back, holding it in front of him as he advances, spinning his hammer above his head. Ares’s eyes dart around, looking for a way out, and spots a discarded artillery piece, just behind and to the left of Thor. Ares begins sprinting towards Thor, who assumes he is going to leap at him. Thor fires a bolt of lightning were he guesses Ares will be. He misses, when Ares jumps higher, and to the left, landing near the artillery piece and running to it. He picks it up, and swings it round towards Thor. He fires the loaded cannon. The cannon spits out an explosive shell, infused with Ares’s power. The blast sends Thor flying on a horizontal pillar of fire. Thor flies over the roofs of empty houses, collides with and shattering a church steeple, before coming to a stop under an ugly tower block. The tower block collapses on top of Thor, and Ares grins with vile joy. Ares turns his back on Thor, walking back to join the battle. From the rubble, there is a thunderclap and a blue flash of light. Mjlonir burst free of the rubble, cast by Thor’s last strength and flies towards Ares. The hammer collides with the back of Ares’s head, releasing all its godlike energy. An explosion of blue lightning bursts out, and Mjolnir momentarily resembled a Tesla Coil of epic proportions. The dense lightning obscured both Ares and Mjolnir, engulfing them in a ball of blue energy. Thick tendrils arcing off the ball, like a chaotic and magical fireworks display. The thunder subsided, and Ares’s steaming corpse dropped to the ground, like a puppet with its strings cut. Thor sighs with relief, before succumbing to his wounds, and dies amongst the rubble. Mjolnir shatters and breaks, and far of in Siberia, Odin’s heart misses a beat. The Ares Berserkers and the Red hammers continue to fight, and are, if anything, more powerful since the death of the entities empowering them. But the death of two men, even if they are gods, will never stop the tide of war. The gods have now tasted the bitterness of loss, and now, the hostility between the two pantheons can grow to rival the hostility between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Zeus and Odin are no-longer fighting humans; they are now fighting each other.
The War between Gods has begun.

Part 11
The soviet sub glided silently through the freezing water of the Pacific, carrying a deadly payload of nuclear weapons. Most Submarines were grounded in their docks, because the pacific, and to a lesser extent, the Atlantic, was the battle ground of Njord and Poseidon. But this sub, was not staying home and safe, and was instead part of a very large gamble. The conflict between Njord and Poseidon was far too complex and alien for either side’s generals, or even most of the gods, to understand, but Njord had promised to divert Poseidon’s attention, and to give the sub a window of opportunity. The sub was currently over an Atlantic trench, and was hugging the seabed to avoid Poseidon’s forces that might blunder into it. But stray Kraken and sea demons were the least of their worries. Every man on board was resigned to death, and they were all ‘volunteers’ who would be rewarded by becoming ‘Heroes of Communism’ for their sacrifice. ICMB’s can be destroyed quickly and easily by both sides, but if a nuclear weapon reached its target without being detected, it would be unstoppable. So the plan was to have the sub surface just outside LA before detonating all its nuclear weapons, to destroy the city. They would be immediately noticed as soon as the surfaced, but by that point it would be too late to stop the explosion. All it cost was one sub, and they destroy one American city and any USNavy ships there. It was a trade off the Kremlin was willing to accept. The situation was as routine as it could be on a nuclear kamikaze ship, until something very distressing and confusing happened. Every clock stopped ticking, and the sailors on the ship felt as if the second they were in was stretching to infinity and nothingness and back again, never repeating and always in a loop of cause and effect through the ages. A great screeching, groaning sound was heard. Then the Sonar went insane, indicating a giant shape was reaching out of the trench towards them. The ship accelerated, but time stood still. The object, a hand, clamped around the sub, buckling the metal and setting off numerous warning lights. A voice boomed through the sub, a voice with no start or end, never beginning or ending.
It seemed to hold a weary contempt for everything as it spoke “I am Kronus, Lord of Time*. You are of no value or significance to time or the fates, your existence only clutters the seamless void of Time”
With that, the hand began to crush the sub, seemingly without even exerting itself. The captain of the ship stood bewildered next to the red button rigged to activate the subs nuclear payload. He pressed it, seeing no other option but to at least hurt this being that would try to kill him. The huge explosion billowed out from the sub, shredding the hand that held it. The Titan bellowed a time rending scream the echoed back and forth through eternity. Kronus fell back into the trench and then deeper, down into Tartarus. The Titan rising had been delayed, hut not stopped. And far of in Valhalla, Eric the Red and Sigmund the Dragon Slayer leave the golden halls at the front of band of heroes on a quest against the Frost Giants.

Part 12
I admit, the first part of this update is very detailed and long, and isn’t entirely necessary, I went on a bit of a ramble about schematics. The best part is the second part, with the suit in action for the first time. Anyway…
Deus ex Machina
15 January 1963
Since the Descent of The Gods, Earth, many questions had arisen. Most, were very mundane, like ‘why can’t you make it good weather all the time?’ and ‘Can you get my wife out of Hades?’ but some questions were more imaginative. Those questions got the government funding and became projects in R&D. One of these clandestine blank check projects was to play an important role in world war three, (or as it is more commonly known, The War of Immortals). That project, was Project Tin Can Man.
The scientist who came up with the idea had brother in the Army. His brother had seen Heracules fighting in a battle, and told his scientist brother why he thought they were so effective. Heracules were as tough as multiple layers of tank armour, something that a good artillery shot could deal with. And he was as fast as a jet fighter, again, something humans can shoot down. And finally, Heracules wielded the power of 3-4 artillery pieces, which, obviously, is less than the power human forces can bring to bear. He said, the defining factor, was Heracules, and Thor and Ares and Magni etc didn’t have unimaginable amounts of power, it was the combination of the power, resilience and speed together that made them so hard to kill. Without any one of those three factors, they would be worth surprisingly little.
Attacks against them must be lucky, because they are so fast, concentrated, because they are so tough, and in huge numbers, because the attackers can be dealt with very quickly. This means it is incredibly hard to kill them, as huge amounts of force must be constantly ready to be diverted to attack them, and must be ready to suffer huge casualties when they do, which is nearly impossible if you are facing a force that is both conventional forces and gods.
The solution, was either to outnumber the enemy nearly 10-1, something NATO could not do, or to have more gods than the enemy. They had to create something with the abilities of a god. With 1963 tech.
The scientist took this (lengthy) observation to Project Tin Can Man’s Think Tank. They decided to keep the weapon humanoid, modelling it after a knights armour. The main problems they had, were the motors on the joints were far, far too big and required huge amounts of fuel to be carried, and even then, there would not be nearly enough armour to survive the punishment a god would dish out.
They had reached a dead end, when they were contacted by Hephaestus, who had shown an interest in this novel idea. He showed them how to craft metals, at great cost, from alloys that were unimaginably rare, even for the Smith God, that could seemingly break the hack of physics. Even the most efficient motors they made were too big for the joints, and lost a large portion of their energy to friction. Motors made from these metals, would require only tiny amounts of input energy, and produce energy in amounts orders of magnitude greater than what was put in. The ingredients for this metal are, sadly, vanishingly rare, so worldwide free energy is not going to be the result of this amazing metal.
Fuel still needed to be carried, as energy created by Exotic Motors, as they are called, can’t be sent back in to the machine and multiplied again, meaning Exotic Motors are not a perpetual motion machine.
The motors on the joints are linked into the pilot’s brain, and are in effect, ‘possessed’ by the pilot, once again thanks to magic, causing them to move just as the pilot’s body would. They are rectangular, half an inch high, 2 inches wide, 4 inches long. Each one provides 750 horsepower, and an incredible headache for any scientist or engineer. The armour is only 2 inches thick, and even is less on the joints, but is another case of mechanical realities being solved by magical handwavium, because it is heavily enchanted, giving it the equivalent strength of a main battle tanks armour. The enchanted armour is another quality the suit has that is impractically expensive to add to conventional forces.
The weapons are a machine gun on the left arm, capable of firing heavy calibre explosive rounds and is primarily anti-infantry. On the right arm, is a specially made anti-armour rifle, that thanks to the magical nature of its bullets and its sheer power, can penetrate tank armour. This is primarily to use as a weapons against Asgardians. Finally, there is a nacelle of rockets on both shoulders, linked to the inbuilt radar system, which is linked to the pilots mind. Except from the rockets, all the ammunition in the suit, is just energy, and is provided by the enchanted nature of the weapons systems. For extra versatility, the bullets and rockets can be given various effects at the will of the pilot, ie smoke, explosive, phosphorous etc. Of course, with the power available to the pilot and the durability of the suit, it was argued that weapons were unnecessary, as opponents could just be punched to death.
The suit could run at remarkable speeds, but flight was always a requirement. This was achieved by having a heavily insulated (magic again) jet engine on the back of the suit, along with two smaller secondary engines for manoeuvring. The manoeuvring jets are suspended behind the body on two metre long struts, protruding from the shoulder blades, slightly upwards and at a right angle to each other.
The suit itself is called Prometheus. Its first battle will be as the new head of the Ares Berserkers, and it is hoped to turn the tide of their battle in Berlin against the Red Hammers.

Deus Ex Machina Part 2.
Jason Alywood was overwhelmed with two emotions. Pride, at being chosen to pilot the Prometheus, and fear, for the upcoming battle. He had served 3 years in the SAS, and had been selected for the joint British-French-American project because of his mastery of dogfights, fist fights, and gun fights.
The wind roared around his helmet as he stood looking through the bomb bay door of the b-52 Stratofortress. He could see muzzel flashes from the troops below. The normal NATO and WARPAC troops were in a stalemate in their dug in positions, waiting for the outcome of the battle between the post-human forces to determine their fate. Near the superhuman battleground, Jason could see a swirling mass of blood red clouds, marking the place were Thor and Ares had killed each other.
A light turned on in the bomb bay, indicating they were over the drop zone. Jason jumped out of the plane, falling like a stone. With a thought, he activated the jets on the suit, and began to pull up. In his mind, he could ‘see’ what the radar detected, and realised a Mig-29 was bearing down on him. Mentally he scolded himself, he had pulled up to early and had flown into the battle above Berlin. He was amazed that the battle for air superiority was still on-going, surely they would have run out of planes by know? He spun in the air as a burst of cannon fire pierced the sky around him, turning onto his back to face the fighter. He raised his right arm, firing the cannon on it at the plane’s cockpit. Even the best pilot under optimal circumstances is shooting in the dark when their shooting unguided rounds at a target moving as fast as they are. The bullet clipped the wing, but was still powerful enough to knock of the end of the wing, destabilising the fighter.
The MIG spun threw the air, out of control, before crashing into the ground below. That reminded Jason what he was really there for. He shot downwards, targeting and destroying another WARPAC jet with his shoulder rockets as an afterthought. He imagined he would use his jets to slow down enough that he would gently touch down amidst the battle. As he approached the ground, he realised that that wouldn’t be the case, not without mashing his organs with the g-force. He pulled upwards sharply, skimming just a few metres above the ground. Jason was flying past individual firefights, too fast to react before he was way past them, and realised that though he could fight jets and fight soldiers, he couldn’t do both at the same time. He looped upwards, slowing down as he did so, and turned his main engine of at the top of his arc. He glided down only with his secondary jets on, landing in the middle of a firefight with a jarring impact. He was in the middle of a street, with shops on either side. Behind him, were Ares Berserkers, in front were Red Hammers.
Three Hammers were in a shop directly in front of him, and were seconds away from opening up with a bazooka. Jason lunged forward and to the side, firing up his secondary jets as he did so. He could run 60mph in the suit, but he could hit 80 if he hit the thrusters as he ran. Jason smiled as the bazooka shot whizzed by his head, knowing that the soldiers that fired it were super-humanly good shots. He ducked as they opened up with everything they had, and swung his left arm around in an arc, the machine gun roaring as it spat out bullets, cutting down the Hammers in the shop.
Another group of Hammers took notice of this, and turned their attention away from the Berserkers they were engaging, and brought an anti-tank rifle round to aim at Jason. He saw this just in time on his radar, and sent a white phosphorous rocket out to meet his attackers. They were obliterated in the harsh white glare of the missile, burned to nothing in seconds. As he look at the building he had just shot, he realised that the steady pinging noise he could hear was small arms fire impacting against his armour. Strictly speaking, he could have ignored the anti-tank rifle. That though made him smile as he realised the extent of power his suit gave him.
Jason Alywood spent the next 4 hours in an exhausting killing spree, and as the sun began to set on the battlefield, the banshee cries of the Ares Berserkers were cries of triumphant victory. The battle was not yet over, but was clearly in favour of the NATO forces. Jason had achieved his objective, and jumped in the back of a helicopter, on a flight back to London, the closest place with a lab secret and advanced enough to house the Prometheus armour.
16 January 1963. Alywood was preparing to leave for America, where he would be assigned to a Marine Core Battlegroup in south East Asia, to lead the fight-back in Korea against the PLA. His Boeing had just taken off, and was climbing into the sky. 14 seconds into the flight, one of the engines failed, set on fire, and finally detached from the plane as it exploded. The plane began to circle round, trying to land, as fighters were scrambled to combat the unknown threat. Jason burst into the cockpit. He was about to ask what was happening, when the pilot, then the co-pilot, slumped backwards into their seats. There were two neat holes in the cockpit screen, that were letting out air fast. Alywood saw two arrows protruding from the heads of the pilots, and realised what caused the two holes in the screen. Impossible, he thought, but he turned his though back to the present, and saw that the plane was in free fall. He grabbed the controls. He was unfamiliar with commercial aircraft, but he didn’t have a choice, he couldn’t just fly off and abandon soldiers on the plane.
There was a huge booming sound behind Jason, and the plane began to break apart and fall. A flaming arrow had just hit the fuel tank. Insane, though Jason, as he fired his jets and flew away from the falling wreckage. He swore to kill his attacker, as he saw the burnt remains of the soldiers in the plane impact on the airport.
He noticed a flickering on his radar, and jerked to the side just as an arrow flew past were his head had been less than seconds ago. His instincts, honed by years of fighting in countless black-ops operations, told him that whatever these arrows are, they could kill him, Prometheus armour or not. Jason realised the source of the arrows was just on the horizon, on top of a tower block in London.
He saw a man wearing a cloak, with long hair, a tunic, a bow, and a quiver. He had been briefed on the potential threats he faced, and recognised this one as Vali, and archer of great skill and a warrior of renown too. Jason assumed he would be as strong as Thor, but was more intent on revenge for the deaths of the soldiers on the Boeing and its crew.
Jason came to a halt and hovered above and the tower block. People shouted and pointed on the streets below, and Jason realised he would have to draw Vali away from the city. Vali was roughly a hundred metres away, well in range of his cannon. Jason lined up the shot and fired, but Vali rolled to the left just before he fired. Jason shot towards Vali, who stood up in time to receive an uppercut that hit with the force of a truck. Vali was flung upwards and back, and Jason chased after him. Vali and Jason collided in mid-air, with Jason wrapping his arms around Vali’s midriff like a rugby player.
Jason angles downwards, letting go of Vali, who speeds towards the ground at speed approaching mach 1.5. The dust cleared, and Vali appeared, lying at the bottom of a huge crater. Jason was sure the battle was over, and that Vali had been struck down by the impact.
Vali’s eyes opened, glowing green. Jason remembered the briefing, Vali was a being born of a Giant and Odin, neither of whom were close to being weak, for the sole purpose of revenge against Hoor. More drastic action was needed.
An ear-splitting scream, which Jason assumed to be a jet fighter, echoed across the battleground. It came from strange flying creature. It had 2 black, scaled legs, and two arms that were long and stretched like a bats. The thick skin between the fingers in the wings was a deep red, mirroring the beast’s eyes. Its neck arched like a reptilian swan, if swans had sharp spines pocking out above the spine along the length of the neck. Its head was beaked, and was covered in spikes. In its mouth, there was a tiny ember burning, like the ignition spark on a flamethrower. Its tale swung wildly through the air, and had a large spiked club on the end of it. It landed, and Vali climbed onto it, sitting on a saddle strapped to the point where the neck and body meet. Jason had no idea how he was controlling the creature, and was more concerned with what the creature is.
It was a Dragon. A genuine, fire breathing, man eating, flying dragon. And it was being flown by a god who could score a headshot with a bow and arrow against a pilot on a moving jet plane from 3 miles away. For the first time since he put on the suit, Jason Alywood was mortally afraid.
Jason rushed forward towards the dragon, aiming to knock Vali off and kill him with another ground impact. The dragon sent a stream of fire at Jason, who dodged it by with a roll to the side. He could see the skin on the underside of the dragon neck was softer than the skin on the rest of its body. The dragon opened its mouth to fire again as Jason approached it. Jason slowed down, suffering huge amounts of G’s to pull a U-turn as it passed by the dragon, narrowly avoiding another blast of fire, matching its speed and hiding underneath its stomach.
To Vali and the dragon, it seemed like Jason had slowed down as he approached them, and was incinerated by the dragon as it passed by. Jason moved upwards and grabbed onto the Dragons underbelly, which continued to fly, oblivious to the danger. Jason started firing the gun on his left arm, drawing a circle on the beast’s underbelly. The dragon began to thrash and writhe about, but Jason held on. The dragon entered and spread out his wings to stop suddenly, in an attempt to throw him off. Jason finished making the hole, and ripped of the skin covering it. He could see coils of organs and what looked like intestines. Poking out from what looked like kidneys, was a sac like organ, that deflated every time dragon breathed fire. He waited a few seconds for it to inflate again, and targeted his armour piercing and high explosive rockets at it. Vali’s upper body then appeared round the side of the dragon. He had climbed round it to stop Jason himself. Jason saw this and gave a little wave, before he let go and fell away, as he fired the missiles at the gas sac. The dragon was replaced by a satisfying explosion, out of which flew a red notched arrow. Jason fired his jets, but the arrow was much faster than the others, and hit him below the collar bone, penetrating the armour. It went through his body, and would have come out the other end if it weren’t for the armour on the back. Jason slowed down as he came to the landing, but the poison in the arrow was burning through him, and he lost consciousness 30 metre up. His jets were directly linked to his mind, and had no safeguard installed, so the cut out when he fell unconscious and his body plummeted to the ground. News crews had been watching the battle, as it was only a mile away from London, and the crowds parted for the ambulance that rushed to the fallen warrior.

Update 13. The beginning of the end.
Since the beginning of the War of Immortals, events had been happening too fast for all the implications of The Descent to be realised. Every available mind in NATO and WARPAC was agonising over the new tactics arising from having gods on yours and the enemies side and how to fight a conventional war that would never end in MAD.
But, hidden in a nondescript building, a secret Swiss bank, inside Zurich, a lay inside a vault, writhing in pain as a droplets of poison fall onto him from the ceiling. The guards outside are baffled by the vault, and have been hearing a steady dripping from it since it appeared on 11am 24 may 1962. The thought of the vault carried a strange primal dread to the guards, and they did their best to avoid it, until very recently. 5 days ago, they vault had begun drawing them towards it, in their dreams, in their homes, and on the toilet. Driven by this urge, they began to ask questions and talk about the vault, and decided to investigate it. They found there was no space in the building for it, but that it was there anyway. The building now had an extra vault added to it, which by all rights is occupying the same space as a laundrette next door. Attempts to measure the inside of the building proved futile, as the numbers on the tape measure seemed to blur, and the tape itself seemed to stretch and bend into the horizon as they watched it.
So, having exhausting all other options, the guards decide to disobey the rule about never opening a client’s vault, and on the 24 of January, 1963, they found the combination in their managers office, and approached the vault.
Three guards stood clustered around the vault, as the forth turned the mechanism back and forth. The fourth guard reached the end of the sequence, and there was a subtle ‘click’ noise that echoed in the tense silence of the corridor. Three seconds passed, none of the guards wanting to turn the wheel, mentally, it was a step to far, even if they had already broken the law, but also, they were afraid of what was inside the vault more than what awaited them inside a prison cell. The guard who had unlocked the vault reached forward tentatively, like a man putting his hand into a lions jaw. The thought of the vault had resounded in their nightmares since they first saw it, but what it contained was far worse than a nightmare. His hand touched the wheel. There was an imperceptible change in the air, like something breaking, something crucial. The dripping had stopped. The wheel began to turn, incredibly slowly, then faster, until it was a blur. There was a screeching noise of metal being torn, and the wheel shot away from the vault, smashing into the wall opposite. A man was hunched at the far end of the vault, standing amidst piles of fool’s gold and holding what seemed to be a dead snake. Around his feet there was a pile of broken chains.
His eyes flashed green, blinding the guards for an instant. Their vision cleared and he was gone. They turned to look at each other, frozen in fear at what they saw. Each individual guard saw those around him as various combinations of monsters, criminals and serial killers, and had an incredible urge to strike out and kill the monsters around him in self-defence. The guard in the centre attacked the guard in the middle of the circle, grabbing his neck and desperately punching him. They feel to the flaw, both clawing and bashing in fear of the perceived monster in front of them. The guard nearest the end of the corridor tried to make a run for it, but the other guard cut him down with his gun, thinking he was charging at him, before killing the others on the floor. He ran out, stopping to kill the slathering creature he saw in the manager’s room. The man who had resided in the vault was Loki, god of tricks, lies and illusions. And he was loose on Zurich.
It didn’t matter that Zurich wasn’t NATO or WARPAC, within minutes of Zurich descending into chaos, messages had been sent to both Asgard and Olympus, and within minutes, Hypnos, the Olympian god of sleep, Morpheus, the god of dreams, and from Asgard, Niorun, goddess of dreams. The three Hypnos puts Zurich to sleep, while Niorun and Morpheus cure their madness in their dreams. But it was too late for over 50,000 people.
A temporary truce is called between Asgard and NATO, Asgard and Olympus, and between Olympus and WARPAC, to allow the gods, who have a far greater resistance to Loki’s abilities than humans, to hunt him down. The war rages on between NATO and WARPAC, and soon, the battle will be re-joined by the gods. WARPAC still has the conventional advantage, though they have suffered more casualties from the Olympians than NATO has from Asgard. And of course, Jason Alywood and the Prometheus armour is not included in the ceasefire. Heidmall and Artemis are dispatched to hunt Loki. The first steps towards Ragnorak have been taken…

Update 14.
The ground rushed past Loki, all the details lost in a blur of movement and speed. His wings beat against the air, and his small, dark, crow eyes darted around, searching for any sign of his pursuers. On the horizon, Loki saw two chariots, one steel and gold, and made with fine metal work, the other made from steel and wood, and inlaid with intricate carvings. A winged horse pulled the gold chariot and its rider, Heracules. The other was ridden by Heidmall, and was pulled by a jet black horse with burning feet and glaring eyes. The two gods saw Loki, not fooled by his disguise as a crow. He looked like a crow, but… shifty.
The warriors spilt up, flanking Loki, Hiedmall on the left, Heracules on the right. Heidmall notched an arrow to his bow, and Heracules drew back his bow, drew aim on Loki, and fired. Loki dodged downwards, Hiedmall anticipated this, and fired his arrow below Loki, who flew into it. The arrow lodged in Loki’s wing, who writhed about in the air trying to get it loose. Loki’s beak opened and screamed, a scream more befitting of a larger creature, and began to glow.
Loki’s scream continued and the glow grew to hide him entirely. Recognition darted on the edge of Hiedmall’s mind, he was sure he knew what that scream, no, that roar, was. His eyes widened and he yelled across to Heracules: “Heracules be warned! Loki is trying to take the form of a Dragon!”
Heracules opened his mouth to reply, but was silenced when a spiked dragon tail swung towards his head, and he was forced to duck. Heracules popped up like a jack-in-the-box as the tail passed over his head, and slashed it with his sword. The light faded, and the full body of the Dragon was revealed. Both had heard stories of Vali’s fight with Jason Alywood, but the Dragon in front of them was much bigger than the one in Jason’s battle. It had the same bat-like wings, scaled swan neck and 4 legs, but was much, much bigger, the size of a large submarine at least, and had two twisted goats horns. Hiedmall drew his bow, an oak longbow, and fired at the dragons head. The arrow imbedded itself in the scales above Loki’s eye, but didn’t draw blood. A deep, booming sound resounded across the sky, emanating from a ship newly stationed on the Potomac River. Three shells shot by, narrowly missing Loki. While he was distracted, Hiedmall pulled a spear of his back, manoeuvred his chariot below Loki and threw the spear at his soft belly. It struck deep, drawing a trail of blood that was whipped away by the wind as it appeared. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. Loki swooped down towards Hiedmall, and swatted at him with a huge clawed foot. Heidmall jumped as the foot smashed the chariot into kindling, wrapping his arms around the leg, and held on for his life. The fire-footed horse turned around and kicked out at the dragons face, jerking it violently backwards, before fleeing a pillar of fire that burst from Loki’s mouth. Loki swung his head around, an unbroken stream of fire waving through the sky like a crimson ribbon. Heracules swooped down, dodging the stream of fire and stuck his sword up, dragging it across Loki’s under belly as he passed. Another boom noise echoed as the ship down on Potomac River fired. Two shells missed, but the third struck home, catching Loki next to his left wing stem. His left wing became sluggish, and he began to fall. Heracules flew past Hiedmall, who grabbed on to the chariot as he went past. Heidmall swung into the chariot and started firing arrow after arrow in quick succession at Loki, aiming at the wing stems. The city of Washington DC expanded to fill the land below them, and people ran and screamed, pointing at the figures in the sky.
Loki began to glow again, and started to shrink. 20 metres above the white house, the light cleared, revealing the Loki, flailing through the air. He smashed into the white house, landing somewhere near the oval office. Heracules landed in the hole created by Loki’s impact, and he and Hiedmall dismounted, racing off after him. Three secret service guards were trying to pull Kennedy from a pile of rubble, when Loki reached them. Loki picked up the closest agent and threw him at the others, before pulling Kennedy from the wreckage. Loki placed his hand on Kennedy’s forehead, and entered his mind. He raced through his memories, and found what he was searching for.
He saw a day when Kennedy was taking a tour of a new type of nuclear silo, and was told by a technician the location of other similar facilities. Loki released him, and let him fall to the floor. Loki could sense his children, Hel, Fenrir and Jormungandr. He reached down and picked up a suit case from a crushed military aide, and opened it. Inside, was a small console with an antenna protruding from it. He picked up a black book from the case and opened it. It listed the exact locations of the sites Kennedy had known. Loki selected the silos he knew, he heard Hiedmall and Heracules approaching, and chose three targets. The target were inside the silos themselves, causing them to explode inside them. Loki channelled that explosions through his link to his children to their prisons. The explosions, milliseconds after coming into existence, disappeared, leaving the silos unharmed.
One appeared and became a tiny artificial sun inside the San Andreas Fault in California, in the Carrizo Plane. The fireball cooled and died unnaturally quickly, falling into the fault. Clawed hands appeared over the side of the fault, pulling demonic forms behind them. Hel’s horde was free, underneath a sky of fire and radioactivity.
One appeared on top the Icelandic Glacier Snaefellsjokull. The incredible heat and pressure melted the ice, and a huge form moved, freed from his icy prison. Jormingandr writhes threw the air and water, spraying venomous clouds from his maw. His body was the length of several oil tankers, and was covered in jagged spikes, dripping foul poison into the waters.
The final bomb appeared outside Asgard, and was sucked down into the ground as it exploded, like a fiery drill. From the smoking crater burst Fenrir, shattered manacles around his feet, trailing broken chains.
Seconds later, Heracules burst into the room. Loki turned to face them, instead meeting the fist of Heracules. Blood and gristle fell to the floor. Stunned, Loki staggered backwards. Heracules advanced, raining blow after blown upon Loki. He was going to enjoy this. One punch knocked multiple teeth out of Loki’s mouth, cutting cheek flesh and Lip as well. Another punch caved in one side of Loki’s skull. Brain and skull shards covered Heracules’ hand. Both of Heracules’ hands came down with a crushing grip on Loki’s shoulders. Pulling Loki towards him Heracules’ devastating knee blow shattered Loki’s chest, ribs had pierced and sliced Loki’s muscle, skin and sinew alike. Multiple organs were also on display. Seizing Loki’s face Heracules hefted him into the air, then, bought him crashing back down. In the small crater caused by this act of Herculean violence lay Loki, his face a bloody pulp and his body a horrific mess. Heidmall now entered the room, hefting his war axe above his head, Heracules stepped aside, allowing Heidmall to bring his axe cleaving down, carving Loki clean in half in a violent splash of sanguine life essence.

Update 15. The Death of Los Angeles.

Carrizo Plain. 8pm may 25 1963

A ragged column of creatures extended like a vile snake across the Carrizo Plain. They continued to pour from the fault line in their hundreds, while those at the front surged forward, devouring everything in their path. Their path led to Los Angeles.

Outskirts of Los Angeles. 9am May 26 1963

2 million and half people are running. The streets were gridlocked with cars, and have been since reports of a swarm of creatures moving towards the city 13 hours ago. Large amounts of people, over half the city’s population, are still trapped inside. The richest were in the suburbs and have already left, but the majority of the population of the poorer areas like Compton and Watts county are stuck inside.

At the head of the army lope great wolves with jagged teeth and shaggy coats, the size of a bear and as powerful as one two. Above them fly creatures with the torso, wings and head of a bat, two hooked arms covered in matted black fur, shrivelled, tiny legs ending in large talons and a mouth that spews clouds of venomous acidic gas. Behind them, huge beasts like mammoths with a bears head charge forward. Finally, behind them, are the majority of the creatures.

They have human bodies, covered in blood red skin, have twisted horns on their heads and claws on their hands. They run twice as fast as a sprinting human and never rest. Their skin is 100 degrees farenhiet, and their blood burns upon contact with oxygen. Theirs eyes are hollow, with only black fire in their place. And still more of every demon in Hel’s army continues to surge forth from the fault, like water from a broken dam.

Watts County. Los Angeles 1pm May 26 1963

Burbank lay in flames. The creatures had pushed through it, killing hundreds and burning everything. They have trampled a path through it, smashing the rubble flat with the impacts of thousands of feet. They are advancing towards Watts county, the nearest, biggest concentration of life. The women and children and elderly are being evacuated, but they are not fast enough. The men are staying behind, organised and armed in gangs, gangs that were the downfall of Watts will now be the saviour of it children at the expense of its men.

Watts County. Los Angeles 1:45pm May 26 1963.

The Army knows that if the demons can’t be stalled now, there will be no stopping them before they have destroyed Los Angeles and killed thousands. Troops are pouring in to the city and already the Air force fights for the air while artillery bombards the demons. But they need somewhere to anchor their position on, and they need more men. They have enough, but it is taking far too long to move them in while the population evacuates. The small groups of soldiers will be swept away without a pause in the ceaseless advance of the monsters. But an area with large numbers of trained and organised fighters and huge amounts of buildings to shelter in already exists. Watts County.

Watts County. Los Angeles 2:05pm May 26 1963.

Reinforcements pour into Watts, from gangs following the example of the Watts gangs, the LAPD, the first of the troops to have walked through the crowds to reach it, and large quantities of Special Forces, flown in by helicopter. Gang feuds, and hate of police/army/gang members has been put aside for the city.

Watts County. Los Angeles 2:17pm May 26 1963.

Jim Frye, age 23, was for once, happy to be in school. Mainly because inner city schools have thick concrete walls, and he was fighting for his life. He could see everything north of Watts burning from his position on the school roof. Next to him was a two other guys from his gang, and a fire team of marines that had been moved in by chopper.

Suddenly, a building across the street collapsed into a pile of rubble, replaced with a hulking mammoth-bear. The creature roared, spraying phlegm mixed with blood across the building. The Marines opened up, firing at its body.

Jim brought his pistol round and fired at the beast. Two shots slammed into its lower jaw, the third into its nose. Chunks of bone flew off the creature, but this only made it madder. It charged towards him, smashing through a block of concrete classroom without pausing.

Jim kept firing at its head, causing its steps to become jerky and un-coordinated. Jim popped in a new clip, and started firing again. He looked forward, and saw it was much closer. Too close.

Jim kept firing, fear freezing his legs, but not his hands. The beast was 3 metres from Jim, when he was thrown sideways, and landed hard on the ground. The beast smashed into the main body of the building, collapsing in the rubble. The weight on Jims chest disappeared, and hands gripped him, pulling him to his feet.

“What happened?”

One of the Marine spoke up. “I tackled you. Here’s a nade. We got to kill it before it gets up.” He said, before running over to the crater with the rest of his fire team.

Jim looked at the grenade in his hand, pulled of the pin and lobbed it at the crater. The beast stirred and shifted, waking from it head shot and concrete wall induced sleep. The Marine and the gangsters ducked behind a large shard of rubble, as a string of small powerful explosions went of around the monster. Three of the soldiers ran over to the edge of the building, and reassumed their lookout posts, while the others and the gangsters went to admire their handiwork. The creature lay still, huge raw chunks missing from it body. Its is smashed up, its front right leg lay a few metres away, and its organs spilled out across the ground.

“Nasty” Said one of the gangsters.

“No shit.” Spat the Marine who had tackled Jim
“GET OVER HERE, THE LITTLE DEMONS ARE ATTACKING” Yelled one of the Marines watching the street.

The creatures look like humans, but with blood red skin, sharp claws, sharp fangs, and in most cases, strips of blood and gore hanging down from their jaws. There were 13, running down the street towards them.

The men lined up along the roof, and started firing at the mass of creatures surging towards them. The creatures took 3-4 shots to down, and ran like a car. They kept dying, but the swarm seemed to be endless. They were seconds from reaching the walls, and the Marine were throwing the last of their grenades. Pain shot through Jim’s ankle, as a demonic hand grabbed him. It burned like fire, and searing lances of pain blazed up and down his leg. Jim points his gun downwards, screaming a banshee howl as he empties the last three bullets in the clip into the demons face, causing it to into the crowd of demons below.

To his left, one of the Marines gave a gleeful cry, as he stabbed a demon through the eye with his combat knife, and kicked the body off the knife and down the wall. To his right, another marine screamed in pain as he was pulled down and devoured, prompting the men to step back from the edge, as he pulled the pins on all his remaining grenades. The foundation of the wall rocked slightly with the impact, and the attack died down. There were only 5 demons left, 3 marines and 3 gangsters. The men attacked with renewed vigour, killing 4 with their knifes and guns, and crushing the last under a piece of rubble. A group of soldiers came running round the corner to help them, just as two Dire Wolves leapt onto the roof of a nearby flat. Jim looked up, and saw two figures moving fast in the sky, but thought nothing of it. After all, he had bigger problems right now…

Los Angeles 2:15pm Above LA.

Hel, the ruler of Niflheim, has many servants. The greatest and most powerful of those, is the Grey Demon (Take over Josh) (Me again)

The Demon surveyed the city below, from the burning wreckage, to the screaming, running masses and the desperate holding action in Watts. The best way to speed up the destruction and devouring of the city is to deploy the Deepest Monstrosities in the area called Watts, to overcome the human defences before a proper line can be established. The demon turned around to survey Midgard; it is still 10 hours until midnight and the 5 minute window that in which the Hel gate can be used to pass from Midgard to Niflhiem instead of the other way around.

Jason Alywood had been deployed to fight the Demon army, and had spotted a creature of unearthly origin above the city. He radioed in for permission to engage, got it, and charged.

The Demons vision exploded with black and red spots as a sledgehammer impact crashed into his skull. The ground and sky span round and the Grey Demon flailed about, trying to find purchase on his attackers metal skin. A huge thunderclap sounded out, as they passed the sound barrier, Jason arched downwards and let go, repeating the technique he had used against Vali mere days ago. The Demon rushed towards the ground, but began slowing down, before coming to a complete stop. Ominously, he began to move upwards towards Jason.

Jason was momentarily thrown by the Demons blatant superiority to Vali, an opponent he had barely overcome. But that was only for a second, before his training kicked in. Jason started firing his cannon and machine gun and the Demon, imbedding white chunks of phosphorous in its skin with every hit. White hot points of fire streaking into it did not slow it down, and it kept climbing towards him. Jason fired his missiles at the speeding creature, which dodged and weaved, avoiding most of them but staggering in the when two hit its body. Jason rushed downwards towards it, intending to use his height advantage to drive it into the ground. Seconds from impact, the creature reached out with its arm, and tendrils of grey shadow reached out toward Jason.

Jason dodged instinctively as the tendrils swept through the air he was seconds before. Jason flew backwards, facing the Demon and firing his cannon into it. The creature writhed in the air, shooting tendril out in all directions until it was at the centre of a swirling Maelstrom of ethereal shadows. Jason circled it, darting back and forth, taking advantage of the sluggish tentacles to shoot his cannon at the form in the centre.

The Grey Demon let loose a scream of rage and frustration, and charged towards Jason, its tentacles converging to for a solid wall of shadowy knife points. Jason anticipated this, and fires all his jets sideways, performing an Ariel sidestep against his hate blinded foe. He slams into the back of the abomination, using its own force to drive it downwards at mach 2. He changes course to avoid crashing into the city, and to avoid the dog fight between the Demonic Dragons and the Air force. He tries to angle towards the column of monsters leading to the city, but is forced to go further and further forward to avoid attacks by dragon. He spots an area where the swarms of bat like creatures and dragons do not cover, and flies towards it, aiming further downwards and tightening his hold on the Grey Demon. He looks at his landing sight, and realises it is the portal. It resembles a thin film of grey and purple energy swirling across the fault line.

Jason keeps flying downwards, his decision to hit the portal reinforced by the Demons increasingly frantic efforts to get free.
At the last possible second, he let go of the demon, which tried to slow itself down, but even its powers could not slow from Mach 3 to 0mph in 7 seconds. Jason climbed sharply upwards, flying away along the ground. The Demon hit the portal.

A sound like the rending of space itself emanated from the portal, as the energy that had been used to create the portal was released. The nuclear explosion blossomed outwards along the ground, the pressure wave flying across the earth like a wall of death. Jason turned his head, and stared in horror. A nuclear explosion was not the intended consequence of smashing the demon.
Jason’s skin began to itch and burn, as the pressure wave hit. Thankfully it was not travelling much fast than him, so he managed to keep control of his flight. Then a second wave hit, caused by the collapse of the portal, and Jason was flung forward at incredible speeds like a piece of paper in a tornado. He saw the ground rushing up at him, and then his vision died.

NBC news.
“…died of radiation poisoning, but the suit is undamaged, and shows no signs of being irradiated, meaning it can still be worn and used. The President has released an official statement announcing that the successor to Jason Alywood will be revealed tomorrow. There will also be a moment of silence during the suit’s passing over ceremony, in honour of this hero of Democracy.
The portal on the San Andreas Fault line has been closed, but the huge numbers of demonic creatures that came through the portal means that the fate of LA and the surrounding area still hangs in the balance. It is still unknown how severely pulling soldiers back from Europe to destroy the demons will affect the war, but military experts are cautiously optimistic, and say that they have enough strategic breathing room after a large Russian force was encircled and destroyed near Antwerp.”
“In other news, there have been numerous reports of ships being destroyed near Marseille. The NATO attack forces are making good progress, and have the Russians on the back foot, and are nearing Berlin. Outside of Germany, the front has mostly stabilised, but there have been reports of a massive Russian build up near…”
Update 16. The long night of Marseille
May 28 Marseille 1pm.
The Mediterranean was a clear blue, a calm expanse of water stretching across the horizon. Yachts and ferries cruised serenely across the water, gliding like dancers on a ballroom floor. The café’s and bars in the Old Port looked out across the ocean, flanked by two huge monoliths of stone and metal, Fort St Nicholas and Fort St Jean. The streets were filled with activity as 700,000 people went about their business.
The cruise ship ‘Any Port’ could see Marseille sprawling across the horizon, slowly growing bigger as it approached. As far as the passengers were concerned, all was well. Soon, they would dock at Marseille, spend a day and a night admiring the city, before getting back on the ship to head to Rome, and after that, the rest of the Med. But on the bridge, the crew was panicking. 40 seconds ago, they had received a warning from a NATO sub stationed in the port. It had detected a huge signature during a test of its sonar. The shape seemed to be sliding slowly across the sea bed towards the city. Originally the crew had thought that it was a malfunction, but after the shape twitched towards them and the sub violently rocked from the wave that a twitch had caused, the captain decided to send out a warning to surrounding vessels, just in case.
Half way through the warning, a huge crash followed by screaming and a rushing sound was heard in the sub, which was very shortly replaced with silence as the message cut out. Seconds later, the ship rocked back and forth, which the crew handwaved away by saying it was ‘the engine changing gear’ which luckily the passenger believed. It also helped that the crew announced that all drinks were free in the bar to distract them.
Despite the passengers being lulled into blissful ignorance and drunkenness, the Any Port began to make for the port at full speed. The water around the Any Port began to turn dark, as though they were being poisoned. The ship began to rock side to side as huge waves slammed into it from below.
Suddenly, all 81000 tons of the Any Port was thrown upward into the sky, held aloft by a giant pair of jaws. The jaws were followed out of the water by a huge, long body covered in glistening scales. Time seemed to stand still as it arced out of the water, before slamming the ship downwards into the water, with enough force to pulverise the ship into a fine powder. The huge impact threw up a wall of water, which rushed towards the city, turning ships into rubble and pulverising the seafront.
10,000 dead.
The size of the creature was insane. Biologically impossible. It had only shown a small part of its body, and any one with half a brain could see that it was linked to the Descent. This was definitely not a natural creature. Not when its full length was 6570 metres, the equivalent of 15 oil tankers back to back.
Across Europe, spare jet fighters were scrambled, and the Mediterranean fleet changed course to fight the creature. But Marseille was defenceless.
The creature reared its head above the thrashing waters. The sky turned dark at is spewed dark clouds of poison across the sky, which sunk to the ground, blanketing the waters in a thick poisonous fog, which ponderously rolled towards the city, like a curtain of death.
The cloud of poison hit the city, enveloping the rubble left by the wave. Firemen, Police, Soldiers and Paramedics, along with countless civilians were shrouded by the clouds as they tried to pull people from the wreckage.
Marseille 1:15pm
Jorgmandr surged through the water, covering the distance between him and the city in seconds. At this point in time, the tallest skyscraper in the world was the Empire state building, at 381 metres. Jorgmandr reared its head, lifting its body out of the water. The bottom section of his snake-like body coiled up on the see flaw, and his body sawed 4000 metres above the water, dwarfing anything humanity could build.
The city froze, staring at this Lovecraftian monolith in the sky in front of them. A low, creaking sound, echoes across the city. It pulls its head backwards, like a cobra waiting to strike. Its head shot forward at 1.5 mach, a feat seemingly impossible for a creature of its (already impossible) size. People ran and screamed in absolute terror, as the moment of impact rapidly approached.
Jorgmandr slammed its armoured head into Fort St Nicholas. The shockwave spread out from the fort, carrying a wall of rubble in front of it, crushing everything it encountered.
The shockwave began to slow down, but only after effecting 70% of Marseille, and destroying everything and everyone in 40% of the affected area.
Jorgmandr pulled its head out of the impact crater, poking its head out of the mushroom cloud the impact had thrown up. It reared up again, ready to deliver another devastating blow, but it stopped. It heard something, something besides screaming and burning. A high, loud screech. Getting louder every second.
Ideological hate could only go so far. Outside Archangelsk, the WARPAC was suffering a different Descent induced problem, as an army of Frost Giants bore down upon them. Both sides had called a temporary ceasefire and pledged to help each other with their immortal problems.
Jorgmandr found the source of the screeching. A Flight of 5 Mig-29’s shot past him, leaving a rash a of explosions across the back of his neck. Jorgmandr turned its head after the fighters, as a group of F105 Thunder Chiefs blasted the same spot of Mig’s had. Obviously, intelligence was not Jorgmandr’s strong point, as he once again tried to chase after the fighters, ignoring the new threat. Jorgmandr reared its head back, ready to lunge at the next target. If another group of jets attacked him from the front, they would be hit by a mach 1.5 skyscraper of scales and evil. But the jets were not as stupid as Jorgmandr, and the next assault came followed the same pattern. Jorgmandr glared at the Mig’s and Tigers as they reached the horizon. The Mig’s disappeared behind the horizon, and popped back into view, facing the Jorgmandr. 7 French Dassault III’s unleashed their rockets and cannons with a vengeance. Jorgamndr turned its head around, exposing the back of its neck to the Mig’s to attack the Mirages. But 6 of them were already far out of its reach. One, however, was from Marseille. He broke from the plan of attack. Instead of flying away to allow the Mig to repeat their attack and to then fly away, leaving the target open for the F105’s etc, the Mirage, callsign Lance 5, climbed upwards, then dived towards Jorgmandr. Jorgmandr blasted a cloud of poison from his jaw, as he lunged upwards to meet Lance 5. They met in mid-air, and Lance 5 disappeared into Jorgmandr’s mouth. Lance 5 had not fired all his rockets, and shot everything he had left into Jorgamandr crashed into the inside of its cavernous throat. The explosion caused by the rockets and the plane crash had a lot more effect than expected. Instead of dealing another small jab to Jorgmandr’s defences, the explosion ignited the poison. Explosions rippled through Jorgmandr’s throat and into the organ that created the poison. Jorgmandr flopped down to the sea, creating a huge tidal wave that swamped the rubble once known as Marsielle.
No one celebrated. They waited.
The water rippled, then exploded outwards, as Jorgmandr burst out of the water, bleeding blood and wisps of gas from a point halfway down his body, presumably were his poison organ is, or was, located.
But Jorgmandr was still alive. It was the equivalent of a prize fighter being stabbed in the shoulder. He might die later, but he can still fight.
An group of RN frigates had arrived at the battle; the HMS Leander, HMS Ajax, HMS Dido, and the HMS Penelope. Each Frigate had 2 Seacat Surface to Air missile, 2 240mm guns, and two torpedo tubes. They all opened fire, tearing gashes in Jorgmandr’s wound. Jorgmandr thrashed around, sending out waves that rocked the frigates, but did not tip them. Jets swarmed around Jorgamdr’s head, coming from every air field in every country nearby, in a desperate attempt to stop Jorgmandr. Israeli Mirage IIIc’s, British Electric Lightnings, American F105 Thunder Chiefs and F106 Delta Dart, Soviet Mig-29’s, French Mirages and countless others.
Jorgmandr’s tail burst out of the water next to the Dido, which fired its anti-sub torpedoes at it, as it smashed down, chopping the Dido down the middle. The Frigates spread out but continue firing, and let lose their anti-sub torpedos, most of which hit at the submerged part of his wound, causing Jorgmandr to visibly writhe in pain.
The Leander moves to pick up the floating survivors of the Dido, and the Ajax and Penelope move between Jormandr and Leander. Jorgmandr’s tail slides across the water in an attempt to grab and eat the Leander, but the Ajax rammed into it at full speed, leaving a deep gash. The Penelope then attacked the on other side of the tail, leaving another gash, and nearly severing the thin tail segment from the body.
The tail flinched away into the air, leaving the Frigates surprisingly unharmed. As the tail thrashed in the air, a UH-1D flew past, blasting its payload into the exposed bone in the tail wound. The end part of Jorgmandr’s tail broke of and fell into the water.
The tail segment is much thinner than the rest of Jorgmandr’s body, but it is still the size of a long freight train. And it landed on the Ajax, crushing it. The order went out for the Frigates to retreat, which, after the survivors of the Ajax were picked up by the Penelope, was quickly obeyed.
At this point, it was revealed that Jorgmandr had significant healing capabilities, as, still bleeding from his tail and chest, and countless other smaller one inflicted by the fighter jets, he began to breathe the noxious gas again.
As the familiar rushing sound that forewarned Jorgmandr’s gas attack echoed across the battle field, there was a scraping, rasping noise. Jorgmandr was scraping his teeth together to make sparks.
Jorgmandr let loose a cloud of gas, that ignited into a huge cloud of fire as it left his mouth. A swathe of fighter jets were caught in the cloud and incinerated.
The jets pulled of and fled. The generals had realised now, that if it could kill jets and ships that quickly, there was no way they would be able to kill it before it killed them, even more so, as Jorgmandr had demonstrated a frightening healing capability.
The order was given.
An American sub in the Mediterranean loaded a single missile into a torpedo tube. The order was checked and re-checked. The captain took a key off a chain around his neck. The second in command opened a plastic guard over the key hole. The key was placed in its position. The weapon officer inputted the co-ordinates. The orders were checked a final time. The key was turned.
The missile streaked away from the sub, riding atop a pillar of fire towards its target. Jorgmandr turned his head, sniffing for another target, believing he had won the battle. His head turned towards Rome, but a solitary roaring sound distracted him. The missile collided with his head, the head that could survive a Mach 1.5 impact into a city and being repeatedly shot by jets and Frigates. The nuclear hell fire expanded into a ball of red death, covering his upper body and head in shrouds of fiery energy.
Slowly the flames subsided. But Jorgmandr still stood. The scales near the centre of the blast were red and raw, and his skull was visible in many places. His eyes were dead and shrivelled, and his skin was covered in hideous burn. But still he moved towards Rome. There was no hesitation. Silo’s across Europe opened up, and five nuclear Warheads streaked towards Jorgmandr. When the fires died, there was only a blackened skeleton, which sunk to the ocean floor.
Marseille was dead, along with dozens of pilots and sailors. Rome would lose 20% of its population when the atomic cloud hovered over it, and the cloud would then be pulled by the winds into Istanbul and then finally into the Black Sea. The Mediterranean would be sterile for years to come, as would the Black Sea. And the question everybody asked was not why, or how, but where? Where were the Olympians and Asgardians?

17 (Overview Update)

Imagine, the conflicts and tension caused by the question of which, if any, gods or god was real? Religious wars, Jihad, general hate and prejudice. No imagine if the question was not which are real, but what to do now 2 of the most ancient and least believed in pantheons are back and are?
And the Descent did not, by any means replace religion with something new. True, most religions have taken a hit. Most of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, have had a roughly 20% fall in believers. There are less Hindus, but the numbers of Sikhs stayed the same, thanks to their belief that all religions are different paths to truth. The same holds true for Buddhists, who are now, along with Sikhs, seen as ‘neutral’ as they can co-exist with chariot-riding thunderbolt-throwing deities.
Unlike the majority of Christianity, and indeed, the Abrahamic religions as a whole, Catholicism had grown significantly since the events May 28 1963. Public opinion had slowly been turning in favour of the Olympians since the Descent, and acts of violence against Fawns and their businesses in had mostly died down. But after casualties began to mount on both sides as the war escalated, many, especially those who had lost a loved one in the fighting, began to blame the Olympians for the war. After all, without them and the Asgardians, MAD would still be in place, and war would have been impossible.
The Pope, whether he meant to or not, harnessed all those underlying emotions of inferiority and hate. The Pope turned Catholicism from a religion, into a figure head of hate against the Olympians. It is possible, that if he had made his declaration in different circumstances, it would not have created a self-sustaining wildfire of hate. But what-ifs and maybes are insubstantial, because as the rubble of Marseille burned, and as thousands were struck down by a cloud of radiation in Rome, the Pope lay on his bed, dying from radiation poisoning, he spoke.
On his death bed, he said “700,000 people, innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered in Marseille, day by day more die on the front line, and in the streets around me, people fall to the pavement, victims of an invisible poison. And what do we do to stop this? We have done nothing. We have allied ourselves with the Demons who reside in hedonistic luxury in Olympus while our cities burn and our men fight and die. Our enemies our not the soviets, are enemies are those who proclaimed themselves our allies. They forced as into a war we neither wanted, nor needed. They unleashed beasts onto us that have destroyed two cities and yet we give them land to live on and let them build their homes in our cities! I say this is the time to cast them out! Zeus is the violent, lustful young man and Odin is the scheming, oppressive lord in Satan’s mind. I call a new war against the Olympians and Asgardians, a war that will unite humanity against satan, before he manipulates us into destroying ourselves with this brutal war! I call a crusade to rid all peoples of humanity of this demonic scourge!”
As usual in this kind of situation (barring the Gods) the loudest minority became the face of the moderate majority. The fact that most Catholics did not engage in or harbour any thoughts of violence against the various OEMs (Olympian Ethnic Minorities) was forgotten by most media, and heralded a new era of stereotypes for Catholics. But the discrimination suffered by the majority of Catholics is trivial compared to the crimes committed by the extremist minority. All across the (free) world, there were attacks against fawns, the non-evil centaurs, tribes of human-like nature spirits, nymphs and any other OEM that chose to live in cities. Businesses were torched, houses were trashed, people were murdered, and, inexplicable, Protestant/Catholic violence in Ireland broke again. After the infamous (media named) ‘Goat Plaza’ massacre, where a square in Rome primarily occupied by fawn owned shops, was attacked by an armed mob. 13 Fawns were killed, 34 were injured, one human died while helping them to escape, and one rioter died when he was kicked in the head by a fawn. There were bright spots in the riots, as individuals throughout society sheltered people from the rioters, even as they spread across the globe. Originally, the riots began in Rome, and were fuelled by the Popes death-bed announcement, but very soon, anywhere with a xenophobia, or pent up hate for the OEM’s and sympathisers saw riots on their streets. The riots lasted from 3rd June to 19th June 1963. By the end of the riots, which spread from Rome to Naples and Venice, then to every city in France (except, and because of, Marseille), London, Edinburgh, all of the cities in the East and West coast of America and Tokyo in Japan, over 348 OEM’s were dead, along with 17 police officers, two national guardsmen and 24 protesters. Rome was the first and last city to riot, but France, for obvious reasons, was also hit very hard by the riots. But the June riots were definitely not the only, or most important social effects of the Descent.
The Amazon rainforest is significantly larger than most experts would suggest, as most companies pulled out after Stymphalian Birds began to attack and kill loggers with their metal beaks and feathers. Any large scale attempts to eliminate the birds was met with a hail of armour piercing arrows, fired by Hyperboreans. Agent orange was tested, but the crop dusters were quickly beset by the Stymphalian birds, which demonstrated their deadly ability to fire metallic feathers, shredding metal and pilot alike. Eventually it was decided committing genocide against the Hyperboreans and killing the Stymphalian birds was not worth the effort (and bad PR) to get some wood. The Hyperboreans now feature in many NATO black ops units, and hold a seat at the UN, which they use to annoy the Brazilians.
In a newly built skyscraper, built in a ‘neo-classical’ style, are the headquarters of a company called Olympian Sourcing headed by the Oracle. It owns the patent for various inventions, including the Wind Spirit Mega Blimp (a zeppelin filled by a hired wind spirit, that can have gondolas the size of an ocean liner), the WS Zeppelin Weapons Platform (a military version of the WSMB, which has multiple wind spirits, allowing for the blimps skin to be armoured like a bunker and for it to act as a way to land huge numbers of troops and material, as an aircraft carrier and as a platform for naval guns), various magical cures, including a medicine that caused all other pharmaceutical companies to go bust, the (highly expensive) Panacea. Which does exactly what the name suggests, curing any and all illness, along with disproving many theories about certain opinions or lifestyle choices being ‘diseases’.
When questioned about Thetans, Hades said he had never heard of them, much to the dismay of a certain Mr Hubbard.
And there is your social update, Reichenfaust!

A month has passed since the Jorgmandr ceasefire treaty timed out, on the 3rd of June. As the second hand passed midnight and the treaty became invalid, a huge force of WARPAC forces struck towards the Berlin, steam rolling through NATO defence lines, as they advanced under a strategic level rolling barrage of lighting and fire, provided by the Asgardians. A NATO forces fought desperate rear guard actions as they retreated the bulk of their forces to try and consolidate and stop the Soviet advance at defence line being set up outside Berlin. 5 miles east of Berlin, the world’s largest tank battle raged, and the skies burned as Jets clashed, and above, Zeus, Athena, Heracules, Artemis and Apollo fought Odin, Balder, Tyr, Heidmall and Ullr.
Hades followed the orders of Zeus, and led an army of soldiers, those who had been heroic enough to earn a place in Elysium, numbering 10,000, into battle. Amongst their ranks, were the Argonauts (baring Heracules), large numbers of Trojans and Achaeans from the battle of Troy, soldiers from the Battle of Marathon and men from the 7000 who fought at Thermopylae, along with heroes and warriors from countless battles in the realm of the Olympians. They fought as wraiths, a fury of ethereal limbs and weapons, as they unleashed the fury of lost lives and forgotten wars. They fought around the gods, against the host of Valhalla, as those yet-to die unleashed death from all the insidious weapons of humanity.
The day wore on, and the battle became reminiscent of the battle of the Somme; huge amounts of material being poured into a meat grinder as fast as possible. It was like a continuous train wreck, with the front being obliterated to make way for next carriage. The sun fell, like a tear shed by the heavens at the slaughter it witnessed. The Russians tried to flank the NATO positions, to try to gain some kind of advantage. Ullr disengaged from the Olympians after Artemis was wounded, to lead the flanking attack. Thomas Chambers, the replacement for Jason Alywood, in an up-armoured version of the Prometheus battle suit, the Ares battle suit, led the counter-attack. Ullr fought as NATO (primarily British and French) troops collided with WARPAC forces in a storm of fire and blood. Tom and Ullr scarred the land in their fury, dealing earth shattering blows in a berserker rage to match the fallen Ares, and with power to match the fallen Thor. The flanking attack ground to a halt, as the soldiers on both sides found themselves blocked by a strange storm front. Inside the storm Ullr and Chambers stopped fighting. The air around then hummed and shook with ancient power, as the earth far below them shattered. The land rose upwards, revealing a dark scar, running deep into earths heart. The scar in the earth grew brighter and brighter, shinning with the light of a thousand suns. Helios, the Titan of the sun emerged, wreathed in clothes of golden fire and carrying a spear of metal, forged from the core of a thunderbolt. Then arose Atlas, obviously neglecting his world carrying duties, who wore armour hewn from the very bedrock itself and whose helmet sparkled with the lightning of the stratosphere. And finally, undaunted by his run in with a multi-kiloton undersea nuclear explosion (see: part 11) rose Kronus. In his hand he held a sickle, and his robes were grey, tattered and plain and the bottom, but were embroided like the robes of a conquering hero at the top. His helmet was rusted and jagged at the bottom, but was a flawless silver gleam near the plume. The storm front collapsed, revealing the three towering figures that loomed across the horizon. They stood out like skyscrapers on the horizon, 1000 metre high beacons of terror. The battle stopped. Thousands of jaws fell agape. Kronus struck out, swatting Ullr and Chambers like flies. A decision was made. Zeus and Odin stopped fighting. Both knew who the three deities were, and both knew there was only one option. They spoke with their human allies, and the human forces regained purpose, as a the message relayed down the chain of command. ‘Kill the Titans. No human or god is your enemy.’
To be continued and concluded. In update 19. Also, I will appreciate any suggestions for my upcoming thread after this ‘The Second World War: 2 Nukes, Nazis and The Gods. It will feature the Egyptian gods, and an amalgamation of Gallic, Celtic, Zulu, Mesoamerican, and Bedouin gods.

19. The final Update.
Fenrir stalked through the snow and ice, his head waving slowly from side to side as he sniffed the air. Ahead, he could see the shining lights and towering spires of Asgard. He could smell warriors and lesser gods inside it, and he could smell the finely carved wood and cold steel. But he could not smell his fated combatants, the Asir. He raised his head from the ground, rearing to his full height, hundreds of metres into the sky, and tasted the air.
‘Yes… Through an infinity of snow, and a lesser plane of grass and forests. Past great dwellings, and under a setting sun. Fighting great beings in a scarred field of fire and death… and meat.’
He took off, bounding like the wind across mountains and over ice and grass. His footsteps shattered the earth, and people run from the sound of his footfalls. The battle loomed ahead.
He saw Odin, next to a man holding a writhing thunderbolt. He saw Ullr, lying in a crater next to a man made of metal. And he saw thousands upon thousands of humans. But they did not stare at Fenrir, a fact that baffled Fenrir, that he should be denied his rightful fear. And then he saw it, three towering figures, one hewn from the earth and sky, one glowing like the sun, and the other holding time in his sway.
The largest Titan, Kronus, turned to face Fenrir. Fenrir saw this as an insult, as though he was mocking him by commanding the fear of the mortals. He runs towards Kronus.

The air seemed to explode, as lances of fire shot from the human lines, stabbing into the skin of the Titans. Jets swooped and dived, like a swarm of hornets, spitting fire and metal at the Titans. Odin and Zeus attacked Atlas with a combination of Zeus’s Lightning and Odin’s might battle axe, as Fenrir pounced on Cronus. The ground shook as Cronus and Fenrir fell to the ground, locked in an embrace of death. Fenrir made deep gashes in Cronus’s skin with his jagged claws and jaws, as Cronus stabbed with his sickle, drawing blood and hitting bone. Helios ran towards a huge cluster of Russian tanks, blasting golden light from his staff, melting metal and vaporising the very air. High explosive and armour piercing rounds shot out, slamming into Helios. Ullr and Chambers pick themselves up out of the crater, Ullr got into his flying chariot, and they took off. Kronus managed to get his feet under Fenrir’s chest, and kicked upwards, sending him flying in the air. Kronus rolled to the side, stuck his hand out, holding his sickle out where Fenrir would fall. Fenrir fell down, and was impaled on the sickle. Fenrir roared in pain, and leaped at Kronus, yanking the sickle out of his hands as he leaps. Blinded by pain, Kronus relies on base instinct, and goes for the neck. His mighty jaws wrap around Kronus’s neck, crunching down as Kronus desperately tries to break free. Kronus grabs the sickle, and starts stabbing, again and again into Fenrirs chest. Suddenly, a loud snap is heard, and Kronus goes limp. Fenrir lifts his head, ripping Kronus’s head from his body. He then slumps to the ground as he succumbs to his wounds.
Ullr, Zeus, Odin and Chambers circle Atlas, blasting with various weapons. Atlas swats out at Zeus, who dodges. While Atlas is unbalanced by his lunge, Odin and Ullr slam into the small of his back, knocking him over. Jets and bombers begin strafing Atlas, sending chunks flying of his armour and spraying blood on the ground. Magni, Thor’s son dealt the killing blow, by picking up a cathedral sized chunk of his armour, and ramming it through his forehead.
Helios casts a bright light from his spear, that damages and disintegrates anything near it. He wields near his head, destroying dozens of planes as they try to attack him. But he forgets the ground, and soon tanks are firing round after round at him. He brings his spear down to strike them, but suddenly, NATO artillery opens up. Most of the shots miss, as they are trying to hit a relatively small target, the point of the spear. Unlike missiles, the artillery shells still work if they are damaged in flight, so they could run (fly) the gauntlet of energy. Eventually, a shot hits. Then another, and another. The air is filled with flying metal, and every second, a new shot hits the spear. Finally, there is a booming sound, as they spear point cracks, and releases an expanding cloud of fire, very much like a nuclear explosion, right next to Helios’s face. His body falls to the ground, as both armies beat a hasty retreat from the possibly radioactive ball of energy in the sky.
The sun sets, as the second sun, born from the death of a god, hangs in the sky. It revolves around the earth, in the opposite direction to the spin of the earth. It casts golden rays over the earth, from the relatively low height of 2000 metre in the sky, never burning nor irradiating the earth, only illuminating and remaining as a memorial to the war that ruined Europe, once again.

Curtains close, dissatisfied viewers leave, and go ‘meh’ as the advert for the much better written spin off, ‘The Second World War: 2 Nukes, Nazis and the Gods’ comes on screen. And that, is my first, finished TL. Thanks for reading.


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Through the Parties

Through the Parties
A History of the United States As Seen Through Political Conventions

Discussion Thread


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Chapter One: The Republicans, 1980


In 1980, the Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan for President of the United States but it was at this convention where history was forever altered. Most historians agree that then-Governor Reagan was heavily considering choosing George Bush, his former rival from the primaries, to be his number two on the Republican Convention but Reagan has reservations despite persistent advice from his staff. His thoughts kept turning back to 1976, only four year earlier, when he was "robbed" of the Republican Nomination for President by a man named Gerald Ford.

For weeks Reagan had been talking with Ford and discussing the possibility of a joint-presidency, behind the backs of most campaign insiders and on this particular night a deal was reached and a co-presidency was born. It was a dangerous precedent that Reagan would embark on but ultimately it was the only one that Reagan felt could guarantee him the election. In his hotel room the staff was engaged in a heated discussion over who Reagan should pick with names like Donald Rumsfeld being floated around but Reagan calmly walked to his hotel bathroom, washed his face, and looked in the mirror. He knew that Ford was the key to victory and so Reagan left the bathroom and made an announcement. "I've called Gerry Ford and he's agreed to be my running mate."

Reagan's decision was moderately surprising. Early on Ford had been heavily considered but most had thought the deal fell through, now they were faced with an impossible decision: should they dare talk the former Governor out of his decision. Alas, the answer would be no and history knows the rest: Gerald Ford was appointed as the running mate to Ronald Reagan and he accepted the nomination for Vice President of the United States at the Republican National Convention.

Ford's speech was well-written and well-delivered. It outlined his differences with Reagan but promised that at the end of the day they were united for change from the Carter-era ways. In the years since Ford's speech was heralded as a model of excellence with the perfect blend of policy and persuasion with a rhetoric few could master. The speechwriters behind the address were never revealed with no one taking credit and most saying Ford had an immense say in how the speech was worded.

On Election Night 1980 the Reagan/Ford ticket swept all but 3 states (Georgia, West Virginia, and Rhode Island) as well as the District of Columbia. They achieved nearly 52% of the popular vote with three candidates garnering a respectable percentage of votes.

Chapter Two: The Democrats, 1988


He was a young, charismatic figure in the Democratic Party and his defeat of Michael Dukakis in the primary battle prior to the convention was improbable. Governor Bill Clinton had all eyes on him at the Democratic National Convention in 1988 and he blew it, in front of a national audience, cementing 12 years of Republican rule in the White House. It was a humiliating moment for the Governor, but the failure began before the convention - at a meeting in New York.

Governor Bill Clinton met with Governor Mario Cuomo of New York who was largely seen as a front runner for the Vice Presidential nomination. Cuomo had delivered the Keynote Speech at the 1984 Democratic Convention (which nominated the ticket of Gary Hart and Lloyd Bentsen) and it shocked most n the nation when he decided not to run for President in his own right during the 1988 Democratic Primaries. Nonetheless, Clinton had settled on Cuomo as a running mate and after some hesitation Cuomo agreed.

At the Democratic National Convention held in Atlanta Texas State Treasurer Ann Richards delivered a rousing speech to the delegates, attacking the Republican nominee of Gerald Ford for being "yesterday's news" and pointing to Clinton as a source for new life and new ideas. The speech was inspirational in tone and was a roaring success among the delegates, rallying the base and ushering a new kind of optimism for the Democrats in what was predicted to be a moderately close election.

The next night was Mario Cuomo's turn and he blew the crowd away as well. His speech was a hit and all eyes turned to Clinton, who was expected to give his speech the next night. When Bill Clinton arrived at the podium expectations had been set higher than the Empire State Building and the nation watched as Clinton suffered mishap after mishap. The first was when he incorrectly named Bob Dole as the Republican Party's Vice Presidential Candidate, the nominee was Bob's wife, Secretary of the Treasury Elizabeth Dole. A small gaffe, but an unneeded one with expectations extremely high.

Clinton's speech was long, but the irony was Clinton's prepared remarks were less than 4,000 words. When Clinton got on stage he began rambling and struggled to stick to the script. He would get lost in his words and sometimes he would get so off topic he'd stop, stare at the camera, and pick a random portion of the speech as the teleprompter scrolled to find what the hell he was talking about. Historians would later reflect on the speech as a disaster, but today most argue if expectations hadn't been so high it might have saved some face for Clinton.

Ultimately Clinton and Cuomo lost to the Ford/Dole ticket winning a select few states. The failure of the DLC would haunt the Democrats for years and move their party's platform significantly to the left. Clinton retired after his term as Governor ended and left politics until 1998 when he ran, and won, a seat in the United States Senate launching the most improbable of political comebacks.

Chapter Three: The Democrats, 1992


Massachusetts Senator Edward Moore Kennedy stood before the Democratic Convention and accepted the party's nomination for Vice President and his nomination made the 1992 Democratic Convention one of the most memorable in American History. It was 32 years earlier that the same party nominated Kennedy's brother an it was 12 years earlier that the same party, at a similar convention, denied Kennedy of his party's nomination against Jimmy Carter. The tides had changed and that much was clear.

It's no secret that Kennedy emerged the victor of a brokered convention with Al Gore, Mario Cuomo, and Michael Dukakis having enough support to bring the fight from the primaries to the convention floor. After the first day of the convention the party wasn't impressed by what the candidates had to say and they began to turn to find another candidate. Ann Richards was widely considered and so was Lloyd Bentsen but ultimately it was Kennedy who emerged victorious in a brutal floor fight, one that most said the party wouldn't recover from.

The fact was, with a war raging in the Gulf and the economy slipping the Republicans were vulnerable and the Democrats had a clear shot to take them out of the race, but after a divided convention that seemed improbable and so when Ted Kennedy walked on stage the delegates were nervous and excited, a mix of emotions that few felt they could feel. His Vice Presidential Nominee, New York Senator Shirley Chisholm, had made history and here was Ted Kennedy, the Kennedy's last best chance at winning the White House.

His speech blew the delegates away. Not only did award red meat to the chanting delegates on the floor, it provided solutions to the viewers at home. The Kennedy/Chisholm campaign gained respect and Chisholm would go on to become the first African-American Vice President when the Democrats defeated the Ford/Dole ticket with well-over the necessary 270 electoral votes required. Nearly every swing state broke in Kennedy's favor and it was all because he reassured Americans he was ready to lead at the convention.

Chapter Four: The Republicans, 2000


It had been eight long years for the Republican Party since their loss in 1992. In his time as President Ted Kennedy had passed significant health care reform, providing universal coverage for all Americans. He had reformed Washington by decreasing the involvement of political action committees in the election process as well as ending the war in the Gulf which began under President Ford. Perhaps most importantly unemployment stood at 3.9%, an incredibly low number that most felt would end any chance of Republican success in November. The Democratic Party had nominated Kennedy's Secretary of State, Sam Nunn, as their party's nominee. The Republicans experienced a contested primary between Elizabeth Dole, Colin Powell, and John McCain. Ultimately Powell succeeded.

The polls showed him trailing Nunn 49-47 and Powell's selection of McCain as a running mate was a smart political strategy. Going into the convention Powell would need to gain a bump to revitalize his campaign, which had gone from a 2-point lead to a 2-point deficit. The convention was full of admirable speakers including Ronald Reagan, who was in extraordinary health given his age, Gerald Ford, Elizabeth Dole, Jack Kemp (the party's nominee in 1996), and many other high-profile Republicans. It was a great spectacle but ultimately attention was fixed on Powell.

His speech accented his experience and displayed a mastery of the issues. He was strong and passionate and rallied the base, something most felt he would have a problem with. At the end of the day Powell walked away with a 7-point bounce from the convention while Nunn would only experience a 3-point bounce from his. Powell ran away with the election and ushered in a moderate Administration focused on national security and foreign affairs while domestic affairs were largely ignored.

Chapter Five: The Democrats, 2004


The political comeback of Bill Clinton is often considered the Democratic Version of Richard Nixon. His career was filled with ups-and-downs but in the 2004 Democratic Primaries Clinton prevailed against foreign policy hawk Joe Lieberman, Governor of Connecticut, and the liberal Andrew Cuomo, Senator from New York. The United States was looking for change in 2004 because President Powell had failed to address big issues like education and social security. It was the perfect time for Bill Clinton to reenter the national stage.

When he entered the race Senator Clinton was laughed-off but slowly he gained momentum, winning the Iowa Caucuses in an upset victory. That momentum propelled him to sweep all 50 states in the most bizarre turn of events in modern U.S. political history. The nerves going into the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina were unimaginable. Pollsters and pundits debated if Clinton could succeed after such a disastrous performance in 1988 when he accepted his party's nomination.

His running mate, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, did as expected in his speech and the only one who raised the bar, per se, was Clinton's wife Hillary who delivered a touching address on the first night. At the end of the day the convention was Clinton's for the taking and he took it and ran with it.

His speech began with humor, but soon he turned his disastrous performance in 1988 into a major advantage. "They called that speech the speech that just wouldn't end, and they're right: it didn't end," Clinton proclaimed. He walked the delegates through his life since that speech, highlighting numerous accomplishments as a U.S. Senator and concluding his address by saying, "No speech ever ends, because the work of a public servant never ends!" Somehow Clinton had captured the audience's attention and soon he was leading Powell in the polls, hitting him for a failed education system but Clinton's ticket to the White House really began with the speech he delivered in Charlotte.

Chapter Six: The Republicans, 2008


Since 1992, the Republicans had held the presidency for only four years and they wanted the White House badly and so they turned to reformer Paul Ryan, the Governor of Wisconsin. He had made his state number one in job creation, balanced the budget nearly every year he was Governor, and had led a very proactive agenda. He was the perfect candidate and that was why he did so well in the primaries against John McCain, the former Vice President. Despite being only 38 years old Ryan had achieved remarkable success and had been in public service his whole life.

To join him he chose the seasoned political veteran Mitt Romney who had served 14 years in the U.S. Senate since his election in 1994. Romney was a moderate, supported civil unions, and while being pro-life had held some fairly pro-choice positions in the past. He was a strong and formidable running mate and reassured voters who felt Ryan was just too young to be elected President. Ryan contrasted with Romney to an excellent degree and the Republicans were very confident about their chances in the 2008 election. The polls showed a tight race and every bit of the election mattered and at their convention in Cleveland the Republicans put together a hell of a show-stopper.

The first big speech was the keynote delivered by Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. Palin fired up the crowd and put her name in the national spotlight. Her great speech received stellar reviews and put her name on the front page of every paper. Former Vice President John McCain gave a gracious speech on the first night of the convention, applauding Ryan on his success in the primaries. Also present were Former Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Colin Powell. Though Ford and Reagan did not speak their presence symbolized a lot for the Republicans.

Ryan's speech was excellent. It was not historic in any way, but at the time it was well-received. He succeeded in bridging the gap with young Americans and succeeded in reassuring the American public of his leadership. Ultimately, the Ryan/Romney ticket succeeded in November 2008 with 295 electoral votes compared to Clinton/Kerry's 243 electoral votes. While Ryan's speech isn't often regarded as exemplary by historians, it is noted that his speech served it's purpose: to prove to Americans this guy was a legitimate candidate with excellent qualifications, even if he was young.

For a brief time after Ryan's inauguration there were six former U.S. Presidents alive at one time (Carter, Ford, Reagan, Powell, Kennedy, and Clinton). This was a record, but ended with Ford's death in May 2009. Reagan died on the 1-year anniversary of Ford's death and Kennedy died in December 2010 reducing the number of living former Presidents from six in January 2009 to just three by January 2011.
The Great Opportunity: An Alternate History

Chapter One
Taking Power

(Taken from “The Deputy: 1992 - 2003” by Tony Blair, Random House 2010)

“…Gordon called me that morning and asked for us to meet. I was still reeling from the election and was very tired by the whole thing. But I knew it was very urgent. He suggested a small restaurant in Islington around lunch time. I agreed and caught the first train back to London. I knew already what he was going to tell me, and I already knew my response.

Ever since John died six years before Gordon had been seen as Neil’s natural successor. He had been Shadow Chancellor for six years and had become a very experience parliamentarian and minister. He was a strategic expert, a brilliant intellectual force. He was the man for the job, I already knew it. Perhaps if John was still with us he would have been the favourite, and maybe I could have stood. But right then, it was not to be.

I arrived at around two o’clock and we sat down at a table, I couldn’t eat anything, I was too nervous.

He didn’t beat around the bush. He knew what he was going to do, and what he wanted from me. He was going to stand and he wanted me on side. I was hardly surprised but tried to act it. He offered me Deputy Leadership and Foreign Secretary, Beckett was going to Home Secretary and Cook would be Chancellor. He said if we won in 1997, which didn’t seem certain at the time, he would go after six years and would support me if I stood for leadership.

I couldn’t refuse…”

(Taken From “New Labour, New Socialism: A history of the Labour Party 1992 – 2012” By Andrew Marr, Pan Books 2012)

“…In July 1992 Gordon Brown was elected Leader of the Labour Party in a landslide victory, defeating challengers Bryan Gould and Michael Meacher. Tony Blair also became Deputy Leader almost unopposed with only John Prescott standing against him. Their plan had worked and the two became the face of the Labour Party. They embodied the image of modernisation, while still maintaining the roots of Labour’s heritage, a move which struck a chord with Labour supporters both old and new.

The first appearances they made in Parliament was greeted with a huge applause from the Labour seats, an applause they experienced ten times louder at the Labour Party Conference that September in Blackpool, a few days after what would one day be called “Black Wednesday”. The two men stood side by side on the grand conference stage, the brothers in arms, the hope the Labour hadn’t experienced for over a decade, and on the final night of that Conference, the two men made their maiden speeches…”

(Taken from Tony Blair’s speech to the Labour Party Conference, Blackpool 1992)

“…this is a new dawn for Britain; we have a new leader, with a new message, a new movement, a New Labour, a New Socialism! We will win, we will change Britain…”

(Taken from Gordon Brown’s speech to the Labour Party Conference, Blackpool 1992)

“…Comrades, Brothers, Sisters and Friends; I am delighted to be elected Leader of the Labour Party and honoured to be given this great opportunity to serve my party and my country...”

(Taken from “From Thatcher to Hague: A History of British Prime Ministers: 1979 – 2019” By Andrew Rawnsley, Harper Collins 2019)

“…Labour were back, with a new leader, a new deputy and a new movement. On that rainy night in Blackpool as thousands of people crammed into the huge building of the Labour Party Conference, the “New Labour Movement” was born.

The most influential political ideology since Thatcherism was taking its first steps on a modest stage in Blackpool. It was the beginning of New Labour Socialism…”

(Taken from “The Modernizer” by Sir Gordon Brown, Random House 2005)

“…I had finally done it. The job I had wanted since I was fifteen was finally mine. I was honoured and delighted. This was my chance to make the country a fairer, more equal and more prosperous place. I could not afford to fail…”

(Taken from “Brown and Blair: The Rise and Fall” By Robert Harris, Random House 2007)

“…Once the conference was over it was time for the two men to get to work. The Conservatives had dropped in popularity due to Black Wednesday and it was time for Labour to capitalise on that. For the Conservatives it was a disaster, they were in second place in the polls. They would stay there for over twenty years.

Brown and Blair became the political double act. Seemingly inseparable in Parliament, Television interviews and on the numerous public appearances they made that year, sending out the message of their news movement. In the weeks following Black Wednesday the two were at the for front of burrowing into the then Prime Minister John Major, while Robin Cook the new Shadow Chancellor attacked Norman Lamont for his failure to prevent the crisis. Gordon Brown described Lamont and Major as “the Chuckle Brothers of British politics” while Tony Blair famously called Major a “Weak Prime Minister in a weak Government”

The Labour attack had dealt a heavy blow and was a work of strategic genius. They showed themselves as a new Party moving on from the days of Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock but still calling onto their previous successes of Gaitskell, Attlee and Wilson. They attacked the government’s economic policy but refrained from returning to Labour’s “Tax and Spend” economics. A move Gordon Brown was determined to stick to. By the end of December 1992 Brown and Blair were beginning their climb to power. They had begun their march to the door of No.10…”
The Great Opportunity: An Alternate History

Dear Readers,

This is the final thread for my TL "The Great Opportunity". Here I shall post the chapters in their entirety as well as images from the timeline.

It has been a pleasure to write this TL and I hope you will enjoy the complete, uninterrupted final edition of this story.
The Great Opportunity: An Alternate History (Finished Edition)

Dear Readers,

This is the final thread for my TL "The Great Opportunity". Here I shall post the chapters in their entirety as well as images from the timeline.

It has been a pleasure to write this TL and I hope you will enjoy the complete, uninterrupted final edition of this story.


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The Dead Skunk

Original thread, with more artwork, here.

“There is on the globe one single spot, the possessor of which is our natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans, through which the produce of three-eighths of our territory must pass to market, and from its fertility it will ere long yield more than half of our whole produce and contain more than half our inhabitants.”
-Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to U.S. Minister to France Robert R. Livingston, April 18, 1802​

December 23, 1814
About 3:45 a.m.
Bayou Mazant

The moon was just about full, and after what seemed like days of dismal weather the sky was at last clear. But the trees, heavy with vines and Spanish moss, blocked out most of the heavens. The bayou, and the path that led from it, were a winding thread of dim gray light that ran through absolute darkness.

Major General John Keane watched as his men disembarked. They moved in single file, walking carefully from one barge to the next until they set foot on the shore, then going down the path far enough to make room for their comrades. It would have been so much easier if only they could have risked a light, but everything depended on secrecy and surprise.

He shivered. Even in winter, southern Louisiana had no business being this cold.

And then the queue stopped moving. General Keane made his way forward, trying to keep his feet on firm ground. As he neared the front, he became aware of a horrible smell, like burning rotten eggs. He wasn’t the only one — all the soldiers up here were making faces and muttering their revulsion.

The man at the head of the queue couldn’t have been more than eighteen. He was doubled over, holding his nose.

“Lt. Gleig, 85th Regiment of Foot,” he said, barely getting the words out. His eyes were watering. He pointed to something in front of him. “Watch out, sir. There’s a skunk just up ahead.”

Keane had heard of the animals, but never seen one. The white stripes down its back shone in the darkness. It stood its ground in front of the whole army, obviously with no fear of man. (And though it couldn’t know why, it was right — shooting it right now would give everything away.)

Nonetheless, if this was the worst it could do, his men could endure it. Keane was about to order the army to defy the beast and keep walking, when something happened that made the matter moot. Something he couldn’t hear and almost couldn’t see swooped out of the sky, landed on the skunk and struck it in the back of the neck. The skunk squealed and struggled. Its enemy fought to stay on top, the pale underside of its wings flashing in the moonlight. Those wings were easily four feet wide. After about ten seconds, the beast fell insensible to the ground and the bird began to eat. Keane ordered the march to resume.

The killer proved less trouble than its prey. When the soldiers walked close by, it hooted angrily at them and flew off into the night.

* * *
About 11:00 a.m.
Near Villeré’s plantation

Over seven sleepless hours later, General Keane now found himself looking at another dead animal in the woods. This one was a dog which had once belonged to Major Villeré of the Louisiana militia. They had captured him — on his own front porch, no less — and when he made a run for it, his dog had run innocently after him, barking the whole way. Then, somewhere behind a big live oak, it had stopped barking. Villeré had silenced it permanently.

“In a couple of hours, the Yankees will know we’re here,” said Colonel William Thornton. “I recommend we strike now, sir. We’re not far from New Orleans — we can march there today.”

“To face what exactly?” said Keane. “This Andrew Jackson has a fearsome reputation, and we don’t know how many men he has with him.”

“Surely you can’t believe what the deserters are saying.” The few Americans Keane had caught were claiming Jackson had anywhere from fifteen to twenty thousand men.

“Cousin Jonathan can’t possibly have organized that many men and brought them out here so quickly,” Thornton continued. “And think about it — if Jackson was that certain of victory, why would anyone desert him in the first place?”

“At present, we only have 1,800 men here ourselves.”

“And so? The dirty-shirts can shoot as well as anyone, but they have no staying power — we saw that at Bladensburg. If we attack them before they’re ready, they’ll scatter like field mice.”

Keane was about to point out that events went otherwise at Baltimore, but then he remembered that Baltimore was a well-defended city near the heart of American power, such as it was. New Orleans, to the Yankees, was more along the lines of a distant but valuable outpost.

He found himself thinking of what he’d seen last night. The skunk, fearless with what seemed to be a perfect natural defense against other animals (poor Gleig still hadn’t had a chance to get himself cleaned up properly) had been surprised and killed by a sudden and unexpected attack from some sort of large owl.

Keane was a cautious man by nature, and he certainly didn’t think of himself as the sort of man to see omens in the flights of birds… but it occurred to him that under certain circumstance, moving quickly and decisively was the best possible precaution. This might be a case where valor was the better part of discretion. In any event, if Jackson did have as big an army as the deserters were claiming, he could squash Keane’s little strike force flat, and he could do it as easily here as in New Orleans.

And if not… the British force might just capture the city in one fell swoop.

“Very well, Thornton,” said the general. “You’ve convinced me.” He turned to go, brushing a curtain of moss out of his way. “We march.”

At least part of General Jackson’s dismal reputation stems from the fact that the people who remember him most vividly — the Creeks of Florida and the Creoles of Louisiana — suffered most from his actions. To them, he was a vicious yeoman and a treacherous butcher who treated his allies worse than his enemies. Yet his friends and Army rivals invariably describe him in their memoirs as a man of determination, great bravery, and, above all, intense personal honor…
Charles Cerniglia, The War of 1812

About 2:30 p.m.
New Orleans

Keane crouched behind the wall of the house. It wasn’t one of the fine houses of New Orleans — it was in fact little more than the average frontier shack — but it kept him well hidden from enemy fire. Those Yankee riflemen were too bloody good, and there were a dozen red-coated dead bodies around him to prove it.

It was hard for him to believe that as savage as this battle was, he was winning. But Jackson couldn’t have had more than an hour’s worth of warning. Only an hour in which to get his field guns and soldiers into position in a city where the streets were clogged with civilians trying to flee.

And luckily, the city was a nice, neat grid. If one street was blocked by a field-piece and sharpshooters firing from windows, another would do just as well. A good-sized chunk of Cousin Jonathan’s force was holed up in Fort Charles, at the southeastern tip of the city, and now effectively under siege.

From somewhere around the corner came Colonel Thornton’s voice. “You can come out now, General!”

Keane did. Thornton was standing fearlessly in the middle of the street amid drifting clouds of gunsmoke. The soldiers around him were triumphantly cleaning the blood off their bayonets.

“The thing about rifles,” said the colonel smugly, “is that in a fight, they take rather a long time to reload.”

“Well done, Colonel,” said Keane. “How goes the rest of the battle?”

“We hold the eastern half of the city. Didn’t I say this would happen, sir?”

“You did indeed, Colonel,” said Keane. “You may have also said some things concerning field mice, but I choose to forget…” He paused. “Do you smell smoke?”

As soon as he said it, he realized it was a foolish thing to say. Gunsmoke hung over the city like fog. But woodsmoke had a different scent, and Keane was very sure he had just smelled it. Either a lot of people had chosen to cook an early supper in the middle of a battle, or… Now that Keane looked again, the smoke drifting in from the west seemed a lot thicker.

Then, from the middle of the smoke, came new noises. Gunfire. Angry shouts in French. Cries of “Treason!” in American accents. Keane had no idea what was happening over there, but it sounded promising. He ordered the men to get back into formation and be ready to advance.

After about a minute, a man emerged from the smoke. Keane saw the white flag he was holding before he saw the man’s face.

“Dussau de la Croix, of the New Orleans Committee of Public Safety,” said the man with the white flag. Keane repressed a shudder at the Jacobinesque title. The city was a notorious hive of Bonapartism and revolutionary sentiment.

“Have you come to surrender?”

“To hell with that — we’ve come to join you. I speak for the Louisiana militia and the local volunteers.” He spat. “That cochon Jackson is trying to burn down our city.”

Of course. It would be like Jackson to torch this place rather than let it fall into British hands. What he’d forgotten, or more likely not cared about, was that New Orleans wasn’t Boston or Philadelphia. It was still relatively new to the United States, and the loyalty of its people was… conditional. They were not prepared to see their lives or fortunes sacrificed on the altar of other men’s freedom.
* * *
About 2:45 p.m.
A half-dozen Louisiana militiamen huddled around the doorway of a burning house, pointing their muskets through it. They all fired at once.

Then they backed away from the door. A pale, skinny figure in a smoke-stained uniform emerged, bleeding from a dozen places. He fell to his knees.

One of the militiamen, cutlass in hand, approached cautiously — but not cautiously enough. He didn’t see the tension in the pale man’s arms, or the rage in his eyes, until the man’s bayonet stabbed upward and slashed through the femoral artery of the militiaman. The militiaman was already dying as he brought his cutlass down on the pale man’s neck.

The rest of them kept out of slashing distance until they were quite sure that General Andrew Jackson was dead.
* * *
About 8:00 p.m.
“This I had to see for myself,” said Sir Edward Michael Pakenham as he looked around him.

“I said I’d spend Christmas in New Orleans,” said Admiral Cochrane, “and I damned well will. How goes the fight?”

“The city is secure, and the fires are out,” said Keane. “The American General Coffee got here just in time to lead what was left of the defenders out of the city. All that remains is to secure Fort St. Philip and the rest.”

“Do we have any prisoners?” said Pakenham.

“We do. We’re keeping them with General Carroll in Fort St. Charles. It makes as good a prison as any, and it keeps them safe from the locals.”

“One more thing remains to be done, then,” said Cochrane. “We must write forthwith to His Majesty’s government, tell them what we’ve done and urge them to formalize it with their blessing. The whole territory, including this city, belonged to Spain until Napoleon seized it and sold it to Cousin Jonathan to sustain his war on us. In my letter I shall propose to the Earl of Liverpool that he purchase New Orleans from the legitimate government of Spain. And to buy Florida while he’s about it, for I intend to take it next.” The Yankees had killed Alexander Cochrane’s brother at Yorktown. To him, this whole war was one long opportunity to take the maximum amount of revenge.
* * *
The next day, on the other side of the Atlantic, British and American representatives signed the Treaty of Ghent.
Age Of Hominids:Now We Are Equals

Archaeologists have wondered for years how Neanderthals were able to take on so many Homo Sapien characteristics shortly before the last glacial maximum, but there has recently been a great find in Caanan, in an obscure cave there were excellently preserved aurochs bone carvings; these carvings depict a story made of pictures, the biography of a Neanderthal named Sun Follower.
For many years the three great tribes of the south had been in constant feud, but as the forests slowly dwindled and hunting became difficult, the elders of the tribes realized that the only way to survive was to work together. They chose a young man with great dreams to lead them to the west, following the disc of the sun as it dwindled into night. In the prime of his reign, Sun Follower came across a new conflict, the cloven hoof. They were thin men with dark skin and arched feet; they hunted with their women by running with the herds, but this ran them out of the territory of the solid foot. Many wanted war, but Sun Follower chose peace. The cloven hoof would chase animals into the traps of the solid foot, and eventually become the fourth great tribe. The Cloven and Solid took each other as husbands and wives, and eventually became one people, the running was then done by those who ran like Cloven, and the trap setting by those who ambushed like the Solid. Prosperity had at last come, and this was a sign that they had followed the sun far enough.
The area nearby the cave became home of the most powerful tribe of Caanan, and eventually began the empire of Caanan, these bone tablets are thought by many to be the first origins of sun worship in Caanan, one of the first monotheistic cultures.
No one knows why the Denisovans chose to cross Beringia, the area was cold when they were there, but 35,000 years ago they did. Some scientists have theorized that they were pushed out by a previously unknown subspecies of Gigantopithecus. Gigantopithecus Ultrix bones were found in an area ranging from southwestern Siberia to northern Manchuria. So named because of their vengeful attitudes, they would often have territorial battles with each other. Believed to be the ancestors of Gigantopithecus Domesticum, they averaged 4 meters in height with little difference between males and females. The reason that they are believed to have driven the Denisovans across Beringia is that there are many cave paintings of Denisovans hunting young Ultrix; this information combined with knowledge of the Ultrix's vengeful attitude is believed to have caused a species-wide hate of Denisovans. A small population of Denisovans did survive in Taiwan for thousands of years, however, though it is believed that they were enslaved by the Xainon empire and absorbed into the population of Homo Libertus.

The Black Eagle: A Hohenstauffen timeline

the discussion thread is here
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The following year, taking advantage of a rumour that Conradin was dead, he was crowned King of Sicily at Palermo on August 10. The falsehood of this report was soon manifest; but the new king, supported by the popular voice, declined to abdicate and pointed out to Conradin's envoys the necessity for a strong native ruler. The pope, to whom the Saracen alliance was a serious offence, declared Manfred's coronation void. Undeterred by the excommunication Manfred sought to obtain power in central and northern Italy, where the Ghibelline leader Ezzelino III da Romano had disappeared. He named vicars in Tuscany, Spoleto, Marche, Romagna and Lombardy. After Montaperti he was recognized as protector of Tuscany by the citizens of Florence, who did homage to his representative, and he was chosen "Senator of the Romans" by a faction in the city. His power was also augmented by the marriage of his daughter Constance in 1262 to Peter III of Aragon.
Terrified by these proceedings, the new Pope Urban IV excommunicated him. The pope first tried to sell the Kingdom of Sicily to Richard of Cornwall and his son, but in vain. In 1263 he was most successful with Charles, the Count of Anjou, a brother of the French King Louis IX, who accepted the investiture of the kingdom of Sicily at his hands. Hearing of the approach of Charles, Manfred issued a manifesto to the Romans, in which he not only defended his rule over Italy but even claimed the imperial crown.
Charles' army, some 30,000 strong, entered Italy from the Col de Tende in late 1265. He soon reduced numerous Ghibelline strongholds in northern Italy and was crowned in Rome in January 1266, the pope being absent. On 20 January he set southwards and waded the Liri river, invading the Kingdom of Sicily. After some minor clashes, the rival armies met at the Battle of Benevento on 26 February 1266, and Manfred's army was defeated. The king himself, refusing to flee, rushed into the midst of his enemies and was killed. Over his body, which was buried on the battlefield, a huge heap of stones was placed, but afterwards with the consent of the pope the remains were unearthed, cast out of the papal territory, and interred on the bank of the Garigliano River, outside of the boundaries of Naples and the Papal States.
What if Manfred won this battle and did not perish?

The Black Eagle
1260 to 1300
Victory of Manfred of Sicily
The following year, taking advantage of a rumour that Conradin was dead, Manfred was crowned King of Sicily at Palermo on August 10. The falsehood of this report was soon manifest; but the new king, supported by the popular voice, declined to abdicate and pointed out to Conradin's envoys the necessity for a strong native ruler. The pope, to whom the Saracen alliance was a serious offence, declared Manfred's coronation void. Undeterred by the excommunication Manfred sought to obtain power in central and northern Italy, where the Ghibelline leader Ezzelino III da Romano had disappeared. He named vicars in Tuscany, Spoleto, Marche, Romagna and Lombardy. After Montaperti he was recognized as protector of Tuscany by the citizens of Florence, who did homage to his representative, and he was chosen "Senator of the Romans" by a faction in the city. His power was also augmented by the marriage of his daughter Constance in 1262 to Peter III of Aragon.
Terrified by these proceedings, the new Pope Urban IV excommunicated him. The pope first tried to sell the Kingdom of Sicily to Richard of Cornwall and his son, but in vain. In 1263 he was most successful with Charles, the Count of Anjou, a brother of the French King Louis IX, who accepted the investiture of the kingdom of Sicily at his hands. Hearing of the approach of Charles, Manfred issued a manifesto to the Romans, in which he not only defended his rule over Italy but even claimed the imperial crown.
Charles' army, some 30,000 strong, entered Italy from the Col de Tende in late 1265. He soon reduced numerous Ghibelline strongholds in northern Italy and was crowned in Rome in January 1266, the pope being absent. On 20 January he set southwards and waded the Liri river, invading the Kingdom of Sicily. After some minor clashes, the rival armies met at the Battle of Benevento on 26 February 1266, and Manfred's army won and defeated Charles, Count of Anjou and killed Charles, Count of Anjou in action in Latium, the victory was a pyrrhic victory against the Papacy and the Angevins and Manfred forced the pope to lift his excommunication.
After the death of Charles, Count of Anjou, the body of Charles, Count of Anjou was found and sent to Provence to his wife, because of his winning he decided to make an offer to Conradin and that is marrying Beatrice, the daughter of Manfred to Conradin in order to secure Conradin's claim to the Holy Roman Throne and to have Conradin give up his caim to Sicily , King Louis IX has no lost love for the Count of Anjou when he was alive, now that Provence and Anjou are under a regency the King of France can declare both lands as fiefs of France and made Richard, King of Romans renounce Provence since it is now defacto a French vassal.
the offer to marry Conradin to his cousin was not accepted by Conradin but Conradin decided not to pursue his claim to Sicily because he realized that he is not a native ruler to Sicily and he needed to concede and the Sicilians don't like him and that Sicily would be better under Manfred, Beatrice is married to John IV Laskaris, the Basileus of the Eastern Roman Empire on 1267 in celebration of the winning of Manfred of Sicily, the marriage made Manfred of Sicily support him against the Palaiologos faction who want to rule all of the Byzantine Empire.
Beatrice of Sicily:I am about to be betrothed to someone right?
Manfred of Sicily:Yes, and that is to the Eastern Roman Emperor!
Beatrice: What is an Eastern Roman Emperor.
Manfred of Sicily: He is the King of the Greeks, do you remember about the Greek Philosophers, he speaks the same language as them
Beatrice of Sicily: okay.
Manfred of Sicily supported John IV Laskaris against his enemies and gave him soldiers and for that reason, John IV Laskaris is able to rule the Eastern Roman Empire again and because of the alliance, John IV Laskaris is able to focus on attempts on reconquering Anatolian lands from Rum and due to this, the Eastern Roman Empire became actually stable for a time and it avoided more crisis due to the help of Manfred of Sicily, Manfred of Sicily is happy because he has an ally against the pope and due to that, Manfred of Sicily is confident that the throne of Sicily would remain under the Hohenstauffens.
Manfred of Sicily told John IV Laskaris that he would help the Eastern Romans against the Empire of Rum and the Seljuks and he said the Turks needed to be expelled from Anatolia, John IV Laskaris was happy at what Manfred of Sicily said to him.
Manfred of Sicily decided that the Eastern Romans will need help from him so he decided to improve the Military of his Southern Italian realm.
Manfred of Sicily talked again to Conradin and told him about what is happening on Italy and his Eastern Roman alliance, Conradin reacted very happy that his uncle is maintaining the Kingdom of Sicily and that the Kingdom of Sicily would remain under the hands of the Hohenstauffen for a long time.

On 1268, the Lombard league reformed are interested in appointing a new King different from the King of the Romans and it is Conradin who was the best candidate at that time.
The leader of the Lombard league said;
"Conradin looks perfect and he is related to the Holy Roman Emperors, he could be a good King for the Kingdom of Italy"
the other member said
"Yes, if Conradin can defeat all his enemies then the Kingdom of Italy can be independent from the "
Conradin was invited in Padua in order for him to be known by the new Lombard League.
Conradin was very shocked at the offer to him to be the King of the Kingdom of Italy.
He said
"I did not expect much support from the people of Italy."
Conradin said
"I will be a good king because I want to return the trust that you had given me!"
Conradin smiled at the Lombard league.
Conradin was crowned and given the Iron Crown of Lombardy which is the Crown of the Kings of Italy, he felt the texture of the crown and said.
“It is a great honor to be your King and I will do my best as your King and the only thing possible that stands between me and my is death in which I would not be in the world any more”
One of the people in the Lombard League and the duke vassals of the Lombard Crown or the Kingdom of Italy said.
“Long live the King!”
Conradin was flattered because of what was said to him by his own subjects and he felt that he is very much fit for being a King because of the trust give to him by his subjects.
After sometime, Conrad I of Italy decided that he needs the support from the french so a marriage alliance is needed by France, he summoned ambassadors to tell the french king that Conradin is interested in an alliance with France against the King of Germany.
Louis IX felt very flattered at the proposition of marriage and it was decided by Louis IX that Margaret was assigned marry Conrad I of Italy, Margaret of France was hesitant at first to agree at the marriage.
Louis IX: You will marry Conradin
Margaret of France: No, dad I would be rather a Nun rather than marry that man!
Louis IX: He is a handsome and Kind man
Margaret of France: Are you sure.
Louis IX: Yes of course.
Margaret of France rode a chariot with the ambassadors of Conrad I of Italy and her retinue not knowing what will happen to her once she arrives to Conrad I of Italy.
Conrad of Italy finally meets the young Margaret of France and meets Conrad I of Italy, the meeting was very pleasant at first but Margaret of France is very shy.
finally on 1269, Conrad I of Italy and Margaret are married which solidifies the alliance between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of France, the marriage was attended by the Dukes of Northern Italy, the King of France and the French nobles.

-The Mongols from the golden horde raid the baltics crushing Novgorod, Polotsk and Lithuania resulting in the Slavs and Balts in the baltic region flee Southwest to Bohemia, Southwest Poland and Hungary.
-Beatrice of Sicily gives birth to a son named Theodoros.
-Kunigunde of Slavonia gives birth to Wenceslaus II
-Conrad I of Italy starts a to war with Manfred of Sicily, Conrad I of Italy gained the County of Abruzzi from Manfred of Sicily, Manfred of Sicily remains as the King of Sicily due to the help of the Eastern Roman Emperor, the bughers of Lazio and Spoleto revolt and due to the help of the Lombard league and due to that Latium and Spoleto with the exception of Rome was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy ruled by Conrad I of Italy and due to that Pope Urban IV was humiliated but france won't intervene in the side of the papacy because France is allied with Conrad I of Italy.
-Manfred of Sicilia decided to betroth his daughter, Flordelisa to one of the future of Bohemia, the son of Ottokar, Nicholas in order to start and alliance between Bohemia and Sicily and to show the support of Wenceslaus to Ottokar of Bohemia and allies against the Habsburgs and King Conradin I of Italy, the Habsburgs are planing to get the throne of the Kingdom of Germany and Italy.
-Alfonso X of Castile dies and Ferdinand dela Cerda and his wife Blanche of France are crowned as King and Queen of Castile.
-Premysl Ottokar is crowned as the Holy Roman Emperor, although with opposition of Rudolf Von Habsburg which starts a civil war on Germany which Conrad I of Italy takes advantage of.
-Flordelisa marries Nicholas of Opava cementing the alliance between Sicily and Bohemia.
-Frederick of Baden with the help of Conrad I of Italy claims Austria, this worsens the civil war in Germany, the people of Austria sided with Frederick of Baden and not Premysl Ottokar.
-Margaret of France gives birth to a son named Frederick on June 4, 1277.
-Premysl Ottokar is defeated by Frederick of Baden and Frederick of Baden became the one ruling Austria, the defeat is very shameful for Premysl Ottokar.
-Rudolf Von Habsburg tries to steal the Crown of Germany from Premysl Ottokar by having the German states hate Premysl Ottokar but to no avail, he becomes desperate.
-Margaret of France gives birth to a son named Otto who was made the successor to the German territories.
-Clementia of Habsburg, the daughter of Count Robert Von Habsburg is married to Frederick of Sicily, the son of Manfred of Sicily.
-The German Civil war ends with Premysl Ottokar as the victor and Premysl Ottokar made a treaty renouncing austria to Leopold of Baden.
-Premysl Ottokar tries to attack the Kingdom of Italy with the help of Manfred of Sicily but it fails because of the french support to the Kingdom of Italy.
-Premysl Ottokar dies and Rudolf Von Habsburg becomes the Holy Roman Emperor and sends his daughter, Judith to be the bride of Wenceslaus II of Bohemia, the son of Premysl Ottokar.
-The Mongols raid Lithuania again which causes it to fall to the Teutonic Knights completely.
-Conrad I of Italy attempts to annex the Venetian republic and sends armies from Pavia, his capital to Venice in order to gain the port of Venice and have access to its riches and its merchants but the annexation attempt fails.
-Clementia of Habsburg marries Frederick of Sicily which solidifies the alliance betweem the Habsburgs and the Sicilian Hohenzollerns.
-The son of Edward I, John, Prince of Wales marries Maria of Brabant, the former Queen of France.
-A skirmish happens between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum which ends up with the Eastern Romans securing a land connection to the Trebizond.later on the reign of her husband on 1286, a skirmish happens between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Caliphate of Rum which ends up with the Eastern Romans securing a land connection to the Trebizond, which made both Beatrice and John happy, the defeat was embarassing to the Seljuks that in the next decade they are starting to splinter more into smaller states which the Eastern Romans took advantage.
-Trebizond and Georgia are boosted by their new land connections to the Eastern Roman Empire.
-Euphemia of Kuyavia marries Ladislaus IV the Cuman of Hungary.
A Nun and an Old Man
In 1287, Leszek the Black and Agrippina of Slavonia fled to Hungary after the attack of the Mongols, Agrippina of Slavonia blamed Leszek for her failed marriage with him and she said that her sister's marriage to Premysl Ottokar produced many children but they did not have any children, Leszek the Black told his wife Gryfina to forgive him for having a failed marriage, the two came back to a Poland that is fragmented and raided by the Mongols, Leszek the black appointed Wladyslaw the Elbowhigh as his own successor if he dies without an heir however Poland also became very much raided by the Lithuanians as well. Agrippina died on January 24, 1288. Leszek the Black contacted Waclaw in order to find a lady to marry and Kunigunde of Bohemia, he was quickly granted dispensation by Pope Nicholas IV ,he was married to Kunigunde of Bohemia, the niece of Agrippina of Slavonia via her sister Kunigunde of Slavonia on April 4, 1288 , the marriage with Kunigunde went smooth, Kunigunde was fresh from a convent, and from the Order of the Poor Ladies and she was so naive that she always did what her husband Leszek has asked from her, Leszek acted more like a father to her than a husband but the marriage was consumated on the wedding night, she asked what happened to her aunt Agrippina but Leszek told her that she died and their marriage was not consumated Kunigunde said to him that she would try be the best wife for him.
Kunigunde of Bohemia gave at last birth to a male heir on June 4, 1289 and named their son Przemysl after her own father, Przemysl Ottokar, Kunigunde had no problems in giving birth to Przemysl Ottokar, the birth would mean that the Polish throne would not be up for grabs, Leszek and Kunigunde presented their son, Przemysl Ottokar to the public and Przemysl was baptized one month after being born.
Leszek promised Henry Probus that he would grant him Greater Poland if Przemysl II of Greater Poland dies without a male heir which made Henry Probus happy, Kunigunde of Bohemia talked to her brother Waclaw and later to Wladyslaw the Elbowhigh in order for the couple to improve their relationship to them.
It was later revealed that Waclaw and Wladyslaw the Elbowhigh both wanted the Polish throne themselves but due to the good health and the heir of Leszek the Black it would now be impossible to happen, Waclaw could had claimed the position of being the ruler of the Seniorate Principality of Krakow if Leszek the Black died heirless via proximity of blood while Wladyslaw could had claimed the throne because he is the next line to the Polish throne after Leszek the Black dies.
In October 6, 1289, Judith of Habsburg gave birth to twins Waclaw and Agnes, another son of Waclaw, last year, they had a son named Przemysl Ottokar who died a few months after his birth, Kunigunde and Leszek were invited on the baptism of the twins.
Kunigunde was pregnant again and gave birth to two twin daughters named Margaret and Elisabeth in October 4, 1290, they was baptized a month after being born, Kunigunde was delighted on the birth of the two daughters.
Przemysl II of Greater Poland dies in 1290 and his daughter, Richeza is kidnapped by Henry Probus of Wroclaw and later engaged promptly to Henry Probus of Wroclaw a few months after her father's death in order to guarantee Greater Poland to himself, Leszek was shocked of the incident but accepted it.
In 1291, Kunigunde of Bohemia told Leszek the Black that they should meet with King Waclaw II of Bohemia in order for him to see the young child, Przemysl Ottokar, Waclaw II was very fond of the child and even loved the child like he is his own son, Leszek the Black was very happy of the treatment of the child by Waclaw II, Judith of Habsburg was annoyed of the fact that Kunigunde of Bohemia is harboring Zavish.
On the latter part of 1291, Leszek the Black sent an envoy to Rome in order for him to be crowned as the King of Poland, the Pope was amused of the proposal of the envoy for the Prince of Poland, Leszek to be crowned so he approved the proposal and allowed the coronation of the Duke of Krakow, Leszek in order for him to be the King of Poland, the crown was sent by Pope Nicholas IV to the envoy of Leszek the Black in order for him to be crowned as the King of Poland.
The Crown finally arrived in December 4, 1291, and the crown was laden with Gold, Silver and Gem stones, Kunigunde and Leszek duke of Krakow were crowned as the King and Queen of Poland, Leszek became King Leszek I of Poland and Kunigunde became Queen Kunigunde of Poland.
Kunigunde of Bohemia met Judith of Habsburg in 1292 but Judith distrusted her because she harboured Zavish and let her stay in Poland and she did not even invited Kunigunde to the baptisms of her daughters, Anna(b. October 10, 1290) and Elisabeth(b. January 20, 1292), Kunigunde arranged the future marriage of Agnes of Bohemia and her son, Przemysl Ottokar, Prince of Poland and obtained the necessary dispensation from the Pope Nicholas IV, in order for the marriage to happen, the next Pope, Boniface VIII was also fond of Kunigunde of Bohemia, Queen of Poland that he also favored Queen Kunigunde in order for the betrothal to remain possible.
Judith of Habsburg brought German influences to the Prague court, like the introduction of knights at court. She made Prague a cultural centre, later in 1294, Zavish attempted to return to Bohemia and was captured by the people of Judith of Habsburg and she had him killed shortly after he was captured.
In the end, Judith and Kunigunde decided to make peace with each other again after Zavish was killed, Kunigunde found out that Judith had Zavish killed, which worsened the relationship between Judith and Kunigunde which also led to the worsening of the relationship between Waclaw and Judith, later Waclaw was able to meet Wladyslaw, the younger brother of Leszek and called him a dwarf.
Judith of Habsburg died in 1296, a few years after Zavish died, Kunigunde was happy about the death of Zavish.
In 1300, Kunigunde and King Leszek witnessed the wedding of Henryk of Wroclaw and Richeza of Greater Poland.
Empress Beatrice of the Eastern Roman Empire
Beatrice is married to John IV Laskaris, the Basileus of the Eastern Roman Empire on 1267 in celebration of the winning of Manfred of Sicily, the marriage made Manfred of Sicily support him against the Palaiologos faction who want to rule all of the Byzantine Empire and due to the marriage the rule of John IV Laskaris was saved from the revolts that plagued the Empire.
Beatrice of Sicily gives birth to a son named Theodoros on June 5, 1270.
The marriage between Beatrice and John IV Laskaris meant strong relations between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Sicily but it also meant that they have a stake in the succession if Manfred fails to have male progeny.
Due to Beatrice being a Catholic, she is unpopular at first but she was loved by the people in her court in the Byzantine Empire and for that reason, Empress Beatrice is very concerned of her husband.
On 1271-1272, the Eastern Roman Empire becomes involved in the war against the Kingdom of Italy that had splintered from the Holy Roman Empire, the result of this was the loss of Abruzzi from the Kingdom of Sicily, but this defeat was not embarassing since Manfred retained Sicily aside from Abruzzi after the battle.
The Eastern Roman Empire during the time of John IV Laskaris and Beatrice of Sicily is the time of the restoration of the glory of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Beatrice of Sicily gives birth to another child and this time to a female named Anna Laskarina on November 4, 1273.
She told her husband, John that she thinks that the Eastern Empire needed more reforms and she also told him that the Eastern Roman Empire should try to improve its relationship with the pope, John IV Laskaris did not want to upset the citizens so John told Beatrice that this is not possible yet but Beatrice wanted it to happen but both John and Beatrice made steps to make the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church to be more united as possible and he also made visits to the pope.
Beatrice of Sicily: We should unite the Eastern Orthodox Church with rome in order to strengthen us against enemies.
John Laskarina: That would cause the nobles to hate us since none of the liked Rome.
later on the reign of her husband on 1286, a skirmish happens between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Caliphate of Rum which ends up with the Eastern Romans securing a land connection to the Trebizond, which made both Beatrice and John happy, the defeat was embarassing to the Seljuks that in the next decade they are starting to splinter more into smaller states which the Eastern Romans took advantage.
John Laskarina was quoted in saying “this restoration of lands and alliance with Sicily is a great miracle to us!”
Anna Laskarina is betrothed to the Prince of Galicia Yuri I, the marriage between Anna Laskarina and Yuri of Galicia happened on 1288, Lev I of Galicia, the father of Yuri of Galicia wanted the Rus Principalities to be united like in the times of the Kievan Rus
Meanwhile on 1290, Fennena of Kuyavia marries Prince Frederick of Italy, the son of Conrad I of Sicily, the marriage between Frederick of Italy and Fenenna of Kuyavia meant an addition of a smart princess to the court of Italy, the marriage was meant to counter the Habsburg-Sicilian alliance established by the marriage of Clementia of Habsburg and Frederick of Sicily.
Maria of Brabant, Queen of England
After the death of her husband on 1285, Philip III of France, she has decided that she should marry an English Prince and be a queen again, inspired by Eleanor of Aquitaine, she decided that the son of Edward I, John I of England is fitting to be her husband and married him on 1286, she gave birth to a son named Edward, Duke of Cornwall on June 4, 1287, her daughters Margaret and Blanche were betrothed to Rudolf of Habsburg and Charles of Provence respectively, the birth of the Child made England and France more connected diplomatically and aside from that the marriage caused a leak of information between the French court and the English court since Maria of Brabant goes back and forth from the French court and the English court.
On 1290, the son of Edward I, Edward is betrothed to Margaret of Norway, the fair Maid of Scotland, the future Queen of Scotland and because of that he becomes the future monarch of Scotland and for this reason England now has some influence on Scotland, the Maid of Norway was made the Queen of Scotland after her own arrival, their future marriage meant that Scotland would now fall under English influence.

-The Eastern Roman Empire launches more offensives against the Sultanate of Rum.
-A Mosque in Jerusalem was built by muslims.
-Some Jews decide to return to Palestine
-Edward, duke of Cornawall, son of Maria of Brabant and John, Prince of Wales is born.
-Kunigunde of Bohemia marries Leszek the Black, the Duke of Poland.
-Jadwiga of Greater Poland marries Wladyslaw the Elbowhigh.
-Euphemia of Kuyavia marries Ladislaus IV of Hungary, this causes Poland and Hungary's ties to be more closer.
-The Eastern Roman Empire attacks the Sultanate of Rum and annexed the Ankara are where settlers from Galicia were invited to settle because the muslims were obligated to be expelled or convert.
-Euphemia of Kuyavia gives birth to a son named Ladislaus(born June 4, 1289).

-Margaret of Scotland is betrothed to Prince Edward of England.
-Przemysl II of Greater Poland dies in 1290 and his daughter, Richeza is kidnapped by Henry Probus of Wroclaw and later engaged promptly to Henry Probus of Wroclaw a few months after her father's death in order to guarantee Greater Poland to himself, Leszek was shocked of the incident but accepted it.
-Anna Laskarina marries Yuri of Galicia, strengthening the ties of Galicia-Volhynia and the Eastern Roman Empire.
-Philip IV of France marries Jeanne of Navarre who was betrothed to him for a long time since the start of her reign, resulting in the integration of Champagne to the royal demesne.
-Pope Clementine(Clementino) I aka Hugo Aleramici becomes the Pope and replaced Pope Nicholas IV, he becomes a pope that has many mistresses and revealed that he has children of his own causing scandals in the Roman court, Conrad I of Italy is very much pissed off of him, he has a 50 years rule in the papacy, although Clementine grants Conrad the title King of the Romans, the Aleramici faction gets strength in Italy.
-Prince Louis of France is born on October 4, 1291.
-Dauphine swears fealty to France which is ruled by Philip IV, the Kingdom of Germany suffers dissintegration and the King of Germany title just becomes nominal.
-Savoy, Saluzzo and Montferrat, the duchies that are in the border of Italy and Burgundy finally swears fealty to the Kingdom of Italy, it meant that all of the italian duchies are under Conrad I.
-Ugolino, with his brother Guido or Vadino Vivaldo, was in command of this expedition of two galleys, which he had organized in conjunction with Tedisio Doria, and which left Genoa in May 1291 with the purpose of going to India "by the Ocean Sea" and bringing back useful things for trade.
-Eleanor of England is married to Alfonso III of Aragon.
-The Eastern Roman Empire and the Duchy of Epirus wars with each other due to the Duchy of Epirus not wanting to be vassalized under the Eastern Roman Empire, this resulted in the vassalization of the Duchy of Epirus by force to the Eastern Roman Empire.
-The Kingdom of Sicily is made into a protectorate of the Eastern Roman Empire to guard against the agression of the Kingdom of Italy.
-Anna Laskarina gives birth to a son named Lev on June 4, 1292.
-Eleanor of England, Queen of Aragon gives birth to a son named James on October 8, 1292.
-With the help of the Kingdom of Italy, France starts a war against the republic of Genoa resulting in the cession of the County of Nice to France, this weakened the Republic of Genoa.
-Pope Clementine was surprised about the Eastern Roman vassalization of the Kingdom of Sicily but there is nothing that they could do because the Eastern Romans are now stronger.
-Marco Polo returns revealing the strange lands in the east and starts to write a book about them.
-The Vivaldi brothers arrive in a weakening Genoa but they discover new lands such as the Canarias and Mali, Genoa is too weak to support another expedition by them.
-France and England have guaranteed peace in Gascony due to Maria of Brabant's intervention.
-The Duchy of Polotsk becomes a fief of the Novgorod Republic which had just recovered from the Mongol attacks.
-Sweden gets Murmansk and Karelia which were former parts of Novgorod republic due to the destruction of Novgorod in the Mongol raids.
-Novgorod annexes Livonia and Semigalia from the Teutonic Order and makes peace with Sweden and renounces the lands acquired by Sweden in order to get an ally against the Teutonic Order.
-The Duchy of Gdansk-Pomerania is inherited by the Grandson of Mestwin II in an agreement that it would be subordinate to the duchy of Greater Poland.
-Blanche Capet is married to Rudolf of Habsburg and Margaret Capet is married to Charles of Provence, this made the French ties to Habsburg and the French fief of Provence stronger.
-The book of Marco Polo the travels to strange lands becomes published and copied by people.
The Teutonic Knights lose Curonia to the Novgorodians due to the aid Sweden which made an allegience with the Novgorod republic.
-John IV Laskaris wars with the Kingdom of Cyprus annexes back the island of Cyprus to the Eastern Roman Empire and annexes the remnants of the Latin Empire of Constantinople and also annexes more of the Sultanate of Rum turning it into a rump state.
-Edward of England marries Margaret, Queen of Scoltand and Norway, making him the King of Scots or King of Scotland and Norway.
-The Betrothal between Premyszl Ottokar of Poland and Anna of Bohemia is revealed after the death of the son of Wenceslaus II, this is a measure to prevent a German marriage to acquire Bohemia.
-Richeza of Greater Poland marries Henryk of Wroclaw.
-Divided between France, Germany(Habsburg areas) and Italy although Valais and Geneva remains independent but Italy and France has interest on them.
-The ruler is declared as the King of the Romans.
-Allied with Italy and in a temporary truce with England over Gascony due to Maria of Brabant.
-The Duchy of Krakow or rather the Duchy of Poland and the Kingdom of Bohemia is about to merge completely but under the Piast Dynasty but at this point it is still divided but a majority of Silesia and Greater Poland is under the rule of Henryk Probus of Silesia, the duke of Pomerelia is an underling of Henryk Probus after his marriage with Richeza of Greater Poland.
Eastern Roman Empire
Regained Sicily and Epirus as fiefs and regained a majority of Anatolia.

Alternate Northern Italian National language
Sub-Alpine sermons in one of the variants of the national language of the Kingdom of Italy
Ço fo à dir: e' non hay mia ço fait, mas tu qui me dones la femena. Or dis nostre Senhor: "Tu di' que eu t'hay fait pequer, e eu troveray art e engeig per que tu seyes delivre del peca. Or t'en torneras là dun e' te fis, car ben es dreit e justicia que zo que e' fis abia la penitentia e espeneça ço que e' contradis." Or Senhor frere, vardem que noi no siam engignay, si cum to lo nostre premer pare Adam; mas sí prenem izemple del segunt Adam, ço es nostre Senhor Jesu Crist, qui venque lo diavol.
written without accents
que - /ke/
gue - /ge/
qu'e - /kwe/
gu'e - /gwe/
Letters consonants
Sh - Sh as in sheep
J - J as in Judge or si as in Vision
Ch - Ch as in Chica
Ç – ts as in ts in Cats and Tsunami or th as in thin or s as in Sand
Z - Z as in Zone or ds as in Suds

Pope Clementine
Pope Clementine(Clementino) I aka Hugo Aleramici becomes the Pope and replaced Pope Nicholas IV, he becomes a pope that has many mistresses and revealed that he has children of his own causing scandals in the Roman court, Conrad I of Italy is very much pissed off of him, he has a 50 years rule in the papacy, although Clementine grants Conrad the title King of the Romans, the Aleramici faction gets strength in Italy.
Conrad I: You look so despicable and corrupt!
Pope Clementine:I can grant you one thing that you cannot resist and it is the title of the King of the Romans
Conrad: Please grant me that title and I will not dare touch you!
Pope Clementine: I would be happy to serve you
Pope Clementine was very lecherous and had many children and this children included Alexandre/Lissander and Lucrezia.
Alexandre is groomed to become a successor of Clementine but he could not fit in that role because he is more lecherous than his father and wants to be more powerful than his father while Lucrezia was a girl known for her betrothals and the betrothals that don't really end up well due to Clementine changing his mind about the betrothals.
Lucrezia had a betrothal with the baron of Milan which was very successful and Lucrezia is married to the baron of Milan in 1293.
Lissander approached Conrad I and told him to make Alexander one of the advisors of Conrad I but Conrad I said no, and said he does not deserve any position.
Lissander was very much evil as well due to him being known to kill his servants who erred.
Conrad I of Italy and Lissander did not like each other due to the lechery and lust for power of Lissader and aside from that Lissander was called scum in the court of Conrad I of Italy.
Lissander was exiled from the court of Conrad I of Italy and went to the court of Pope Clementine, his father who also did not accept him as well so the fate of Lissander remained in limbo but later Lissander proved himself worthy of the court so he was allowed by his father to reside in his court with the condition of not doing what he did.
In this time the lecherous Lissander was able to acquire a harem for himself which annoyed everyone including the Pope.
On 1294, Pope Clementine was surprised about the Eastern Roman vassalization of the Kingdom of Sicily but there is nothing that they could do because the Eastern Romans are now stronger and due to this he is afraid about the Eastern Roman Empire and what it could do to the papacy but Conrad I of Italy did not lift any finger for Clementine whom he never liked anyway so instead Clementine spent most of his time in Conrad's court instead where he was not treated very well.
Lissander and his harem were a very talked much matter in Rome and for this reason the reign of Clementine was tarnished because of what Lissander did and due to this Clementine made it quite difficult to Lissander by separating him from his court and putting him in a house where in he can't bring his harem in but Lissander will do everything to be able to put his own harem there.
Clementine was also sad because of the Teutonic Order's loss of Livonia to Novgorod but Clementine decided not to intervene because there is no way for the Teutonic Order to regain that land and aside from that there are bigger fish to catch for him and this is the approval of the Kings of France and Italy to start a crusade in order for him to gain much wealth which will also feed his son Lissander.

A Horizon in the South of Orient
In the late 13th century, the population of Irraya started to increase and due to that the town of Irraya started to expand and flourish that it absorb it's nearby towns, Irraya started to look more as a progressive town.
The population increase also happened in Meykawayan and Irraya although it is less than that of Irraya.
Due to the population of Irraya and it being a trading hub in Ma-I it became a big city and very prosperous compared to other towns in Ma-I, and second to it is Meykawayan and third is Lingayen in Kaboloan.

Mongol Invasion of Nippon
In 1274, The first invasion devastated the Nipponese. The battle took place on the beaches where the two forces met. The Mongols had several advantages; the Nipponese were overwhelmed and began to retreat. Not knowing they had won, the Mongols feared the Nipponese were coming back with reinforcements and retreated but they decided to stay and hide in a remote area in Nippon instead in the Kanto region instead of boarding again the ship that they ride from Korea.

During the time period between the first and second invasion, the Nipponese prudently built two-meter walls to protect themselves from future invaders and the Nipponese did not see the Mongols would invade Nippon very successfully and wipe off Nippon from the map.

Seven years later, the Mongols sent another army in 1281 they were able to land themselves in North of Nippon in Fokuriku(later Hokuriku) wherein they marched and later assisted by their allies that once hid once they knew about the landing of another army , Kublai Khan followed after he knew that the Mongols were successful in invading Nippon and Emperor Yohito( Go-Uda Tenno) was forced to submit but Yohito does not want Nippon to depend on the Mongols and rebels against their new liege and because of that, Yohito and his son, Kuhiharu and Yohito, and the rest of his family and clan was stripped of his titles, banished and exiled creating their own polity in Tohoku in 1290 and some even went to Ryukyu and Taiwan, the first Emperor in the new polity is Kuniharu, while the daughter of Yohito was married to Manggala by force in order for the new polity in Hokkaido and Tohoku to have peace with the rest of Japan, the son of Yohito although it styles itself as the legitimate government of Nihon it is called as the Ezo Kingdom , The invasion and invasion of Western part of Nippon was described as a wrath of gods and gone down to history as an event that had changed history and no one would believe that the Nipponese Archipelago can be a superpower because Nippon has been crippled because of the Mongolian Annexation, because of the belief wrath of the gods some people in Nippon lost their faith in their traditional Shinto and Buddhist religion decided to convert to Nestorian Christianity and in general, the Nestorian faith recovers in Asia instead of being destroyed and becomes the basis of the future new churches in Asia.

Apparently, the Mongols decided annex the western part of Nippon as Mongol dominion with which is ruled by Manggala because the Yamato dynasty of Nippon is very hostile against the Mongols at this time and the Nipponese don’t want to cooperate with the Mongols, the Mongols decided not to bother with the budding polity in Tohoku(Tofoku) and Ezo by the members of the former royal family which vowed to get the rest of Nippon the new Japonic language in the eastern part of Nippon that is heavily laden with Ainu words starts to develop and the new polity has a tolerance to the Nestorians and after this the Nipponese became quite fragmented.

Nestorianism in East Asia at this point although recovering also starts to splinter into the new National Eastern Churches, because of the influence of the native religions and Buddhism.

If only Nippon had been more luckier they could had survived the mongols they could had been united and a power that defeated the Mongols and have pride in defeating the Mongols but they were not lucky.

Lithuaniae et Novgorodiae

In 1264 he escaped assassination plot by Treniota and Daumantas against his father and two of his brothers. Treniota was murdered by former servants of Mindaugas. Vaišvilkas allied himself with his brother-in-law Shvarn from Halych-Volhynia. They managed to take control over Black Ruthenia and Duchy of Lithuania. Then they waged a war against Nalšia and Deltuva, two main centers of opposition to Mindaugas and Vaišvilkas. Daumantas, Duke of Nalšia, was forced to flee to Pskov. Suksė (Suxe), another influential duke from Nalšia, fled to Livonia. Vaišvilkas become the Grand Duke of Lithuania. As a Christian, he tried to maintain friendly relationship with the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. He signed a peace treaty with Livonia regarding trade on the Daugava River. Lithuanian support of the Great Prussian Uprising ceased, and the orders made advances against Semigallians and Curonians uninterrupted. Together with Shvarn Vaišvilkas attacked Poland in 1265 to avenge devastation of Yotvingians in 1264, due to what happened to him, he became a strict and wise ruler who advances his countries causes before his own and he loves his country above his own life, after this point he became known as Basil I of Lithuania.
The Mongols attack Lithuania on 1270 causing it to be crushed but King Basil I of Lithuania is not discouraged of the destruction of Lithuania but instead he decided that the survival of Lithuania is a miracle that should be celebrated and he told his court that he is still alive and they should be thankful of this miracle because Lithuania will rise again and when it rises again it will be one of the great nations that ever existed, later on he married Anna, the daughter of a late ruler of Novgorod.
Basil I of Lithuania also became the ruler of the Republic of Novgorod as Basil I of Novgorod in 1270 due to the electors liking what Basil I did in Lithuania and how he stopped the teutonic attacks, in his first acts as the ruler of Novgorod, he reformed the Republic of Novgorod and attacked the Golden Horde and allied with the Ruthenian duchies and due to that he got the trust of the other Ruthenian duchies or principalities and due to that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Novgorod's union was solidified and the people wanted the union between the two stay, aside from that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Novgorod is losing its powers in the North and the Sweden is starting to control the tribes of Karelia and Murmansk, the tribes of Karelia and Murmansk became more happy with trading with the Swedes rather than their current master, the ruler of Novgorod, Lithuania is merged with the Republic of Novogrod and formed the Duchy of Novgorod-Lithuania which is just known for the outsiders as Novgorod and due to that it is believed that the merger of Lithuania and Novgorod strengthened Novgorod and now it is Novgorod that is attacking the Teutonic Knights but they are weak on the Northern part or the areas near Sweden due to the tribes near Sweden preferring Swedish rule rather than Novgorod rule.
Anna of Novgorod gave birth to a son named Vladislav, in 1270, her son has been raised on the Orthodox faith.
Due to the preference of the tribes of Karelia and Murmansk, Sweden annexes Murmansk and Karelia completely on 1296 which were former parts of Novgorod which floated away from the control of the republic due to the destruction of Novgorod in the Mongol raids.
On 1297, Novgorod annexes Livonia and Semigalia from the Teutonic Order and makes peace with Sweden and renounces the lands acquired by Sweden in order to get an ally against the Teutonic Order.


New Frontier

-1963: NOVEMBER 22.1922

Walter Cronkite. We interrupt this program for a special announcement . There has

been shots fired at the motorcade.

the United States came close to losing the 35Th

President of the United States. Interrupting a moment of excitement, the Texas residents had gotten

at viewing their charismatic President. Shots ring out from the Dallas Book Depository, causing

people to run for cover.

A Secret Service agent, very quickly, jumped out of the car that followed the President's car and grabbed a hold of the President. After the President is shot in the

shoulder, the next shot hit the

Secret Service agent that would have fatally struck the President, had he not been present.

Now the search for the shooter or shooters began!

Many believed there was a shooter in the bushes aiding Oswald but onlookers rushed to the Grassy

Knoll and no one was found. About two hours later, Oswald was confronted by Police Officer J.D.

Tippit in a Dallas movie theater.
Oswald would never have a trial or tell his side of the story after Tippit confronted him because they had a shootout and was killed by Tippit later that evening.

President Kennedy would awaken after a successful surgery.

Unfortunately, he would be told of the

Death of the Secret Service agent and would be shocked to learn that he died while saving his life.

For many weeks,

Vice President Johnson would act as President of the United States, talking to Senators or the heads of state in foreign lands.

1964 Presidential Election

Despite New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller winning the California primary, Arizona
Senator Barry Goldwater had won the Republican nomination for President.

Rockefeller had won many delegates over the
course of the primary season,
Governor Rockefeller went on record. saying he would not support goldwater for president.

IN THE 1964 Democratic Primary, there were no major challengers to Kennedy, except for Governor George
Wallace of Alabama who only won South Carolina and his home state. President Kennedy placed his arm around
his beautiful wife Jacqueline Kennedy as he took the stage at the Democratic National
Event Date 9-2-1964
In the Presidential debate, two men, Kennedy and Goldwater, from opposing parties,
headed off in the second televised debate in U.S. History.
Barry Goldwater defended his Civil Rights record saying he did not vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill
because he believes

This is a state issue not federal/ the Black community and the White community
can't be two separate group says president kennedy and that integration is the best way
to go. As for defense, concerning the Cold War,
Senator Goldwater believed we should build more weapons giving east berlin as a
example of soviet influence.,

but president kennedy remind the audience
watcing the
Debate which is being filmed on cruise ship how close we came to war with he soviets

During the Cuban missle crisis.
the President adds in his argruement. a test ban treaty will "cool down" the Cold War.
President Kennedy and his staff sit in the Oval Office and watch the election returns.
"Either we sail or sink!", Kennedy said to his staff. Walter Cronkite comes on the air to
announce the winner.

"While Goldwater has won
many Democratic strongholds in the South, as well as his home state,
President Kennedy has won reelection."

John F. Kennedy/Lyndon B. Johnson - 400 electoral votes - 57,141,168
Barry Goldwater/John J. Williams - 128 electoral votes - 27,141,164
Barry Goldwater would earn the title of "Mr. Conservative", this would be the last time
he would ever run for President. Perhaps Nixon or someone else would run in 1968.

"I wish to congratulate President Kennedy on his win tonight and wish him the best of
luck for the next four years", Goldwater very gracefully conceded defeat.



John . Kennedy

"Today we will embark on a brave adventure as a country. We will make discoveries in space,
defend freedom in places that threaten freedom.historians will look at the this decade and say people
in that era were not afraid of change but rather embraced it. "
AFTER GIVING HIS inaugural address

PRESIDENT Kennedy shakes hands with Senator Humphrey/
Interview with David Brinkley
Brinkley; what is your most important event as president?
in 1963, that November?
There are many but civil rights leg slation which was stalled in my first term would rank
at the top. In august 14 1965 the civil rights

Feb 26, 1965
President Kennedy
signs the Tax Reduction Act lowering income tax rates from a range of 20-91% to 14-70%. Corporate rates are reduced from 52% to 48%.
Aug 30, 1965

Civil Rights Act of 1964
President Kennedy
signs the Civil Rights Act of 1965. The act outlaws discrimination in public facilities, such as parks,
and in public accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants, and it prohibits employment
discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender after words he shakes hands with
Doctor martin Luther king. Vice president johnson
,Senator Humphrey is standing next to him.
Aug 6, 1965
Voting Rights Act of 1965
President Kennedy signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act abolishes literacy tests and other tests used by local and state governments to inhibit African-American voting.
Senator Thurmond announce switch to Rebublican party.
Mid term Elections 1966

Democrats lose key senate race in Kentucky, south Carolina and many southern state"s

G,o,p gain many house seats.

Sep 23, 1966
Minimum Wage Increase
The minimum wage is raised in stages from its current $1.25 per hour to $1.60 by February 1968.

Using only Green Berets for south veitnam. Governor Nixon call"s The kennedy and ministration foreign poicy insane and dangerous.

Mid term Elections 1966
Democrats lose key senate race in Kentucky, south Carolina and many southern state"s
G,o,p gain many house seats. in deleware maine
It is predicted Gerald Ford of Michigan may one day be Speaker of the House.
San Francisco Mayor George Kristopher defeats governor Edmund Brown to become the next governor of California. After beating Ronald Regan in the primary.


President kennedy tell"s Griss grissim to bring him a rock.
regarding the 1972 planed trip to the moon. Kennedy will keep the "rock" the rest of his
natural born life.
Classius Clay knocks out Joe fraiser to keep his title world heavy weight champ.
CBS Interview,
September 2 1967
Mr. President, the only hot war we've got running atthe moment is of course the one in Viet-Nam, and we have ourdifficulties here, quite obviously.

I don't think that unless a greater effort is made by the Government to win popular
support that the war can be won out there. In the final analysis, it is their war. They are
the ones who have to win it or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment,
we can send our men out there as advisers,
but they have to win it—the people of Viet-Nam—

against the Communists. We are prepared to continue to assist them, but I don't think that the war can be won unless the people support the effort, and,
in my opinion, in the last 2 months the Government has gottenout of touch with the people.
The repressions against the Buddhists,

we felt, were very unwise. Now all we can do is to make it
very clear that we don't think thisis the way to win. It is my hope that this will become increasingly
obvious to the Government,
that they will take steps to try to bring back popular support for this very essential struggle.
Do you think this Government has time to regainthe support of the people?
PRESIDENT KENNEDY. I do. With changes in policy and perhaps with personnel, I think it can. If it doesn't make those changes, I would think that the chances of winning it would not be very good.
MR. CRONKITE. Hasn't every indication from Saigon beenthatPresident Diem has no intention of changing his pattern .


If he does not change it, of course, that is his decision. He has been there 10 years, and, as I say, he has carried this burden when he has been counted out on a number of occasions.
Our best judgment is that he can't be successful on this basis.
We hope that he comes to see that;
but in the final analysis it is the people end the Government itself
who have to win or lose this struggle. All he can do is help, and we are making it very
clear. But I don't agree
with those who say we should withdraw.
That would be a great mistake. That would be a great mistake. I know people don't like

Americans to be engaged in this kind of an effort.
Forty-seven Americans have been killed in combat with the enemy,
but this is a very important struggle even though it is far away.

We took all this—
made this effort to defend Europe. Now Europe is quite secure. We also have to participate—we may not like it—in the defense of Asia.
* * * * * * *
(b) NBC Interview, September 9
MR. HUNTLEY. Mr. President, in respect to our difficulties in South Viet-Nam, could it be
that our Government tends occasionally to get locked into a policy or an attitude and
then finds it difficult to alter or shift that policy ?


Yes, that is true. I think in the case of South Viet Nam we have been dealing with a Government which is in control, has been in control for 10 years. In addition, we have felt for the last
2 years that the struggle against the Communists was going better. Since June, however—the difficulties with the Buddhists—
we have been concerned about a deterioration, particularly in the Saigon area,
which hasn't been felt greatly in the outlying areas but may spread. So we are faced with the problem of wanting to
protect the area against the Communists. On the other hand, we have to deal with the Government there.
That produces a kind of ambivalence in our efforts which exposes us to some criticism. We are using our influence to persuade the Government there to take those steps which will win back support.
That takes some time, and we must be patient, we mustpersist.
Mr. HUNTLEY. Are we likely to reduce our aid to South Viet-Nam now?

I don't think we think that would be helpful at this time. If you reduce your aid, it is possible you could have some effect upon the government structure there. On the other hand,
you might have a situation which could bring about a collapse. Strongly in our mind is what happened in the case of China at the end of World War II, where China was lost—a weak government became increasingly unable to control events. We don't want that.

Mr. President, have You had any reason to doubt this so-called "domino theory," that if South Viet-Nam falls, the rest of Southeast Asia will go behind it ?
No, I believe it. I believe it. I think that the struggle is close enough. China is so large, looms so high just beyond the frontiers,
that if South Viet-Nam went, it would not
make a huge difference.
Edit/Delete Message Reply With Quote Multi-Quote This Message
civil rights Bill was finally passed,as you know David the president remarked to David Brinkley.
16. 1966.
Corps of peace debuts on n.b.c television. Series is about the peace corps and its world wide mission.it will last ten successful seasons on n.b.c. Sargent Shiver will be creative, technical consultant.
October .11. 1966
New frontier bill passed. Program to help youth obtain job skills and employment.
October 16.1967
President Kennedy meets with Neil Armstrong to discuss future trip to the moon, at the end of the decade."bring me a rock" he tells Armstrong which he will do and president kennedy will keep it for the rest of his life.
February 12. 1967

The singer Ricky Nelson"s perform for President Kennedy at the white house. The president tells Mrs. Kennedy the lads had a nice beat but my noise was ringing for


April 17. 1967

Kennedy orders Special Forces to South Vietnam, massive bombing of North Vietnam is suggested by Kennedy aides but the president wants to pull out Special Forces by the end of the decade.

Event Date

3 12.1968

Governor Rockefeller the Republican candidate for president says senator Jackson is too extreme to be president and is a democratic version of Goldwater. Senator jackson responds to Governor Rockefeller:S remark.

"You wanna win a fight ,take the first punch:, that's my foreign policy.
Jackson says Rockefeller needs to have a better idea on how he would implement a foreign policy with the soviets,
Henry Jackson
Wilbur Milles
governor Nelson Rockefeller
mark Hatfield 37,18.00
276 https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/i...sWGCAL_RH8Sjj7

First term
In the first quarter of 1970, president Rockefeller's term the u,s, has economic huge
boom in the first quarter of 1970’
Event date 2 ;1970
President Rockefeller

pass"s welfare reform bill with with encouragement
Event date 4 16 1970
Gerald ford ,the nw speaker of the house .
pass"s strict gun laws and overhauls military budget making more tanks and other weapons.
Event Date
President Rockefeller visits china.
open’s ties with that nation.
Event Date 3 16.1972
Announcing He will not run for reelection, President Rockefeller says he will support the the 1972
Republican candidate
Event date 5 27.1972 Vietnam is split into Norah and south Vietnam.
1970 Gerald ford is now speaker of the house, by 1971, President Rockefeller is very unpopular with conservatives in the g.o.p but governor of ohio .James Rhoeds may run. many want
Nixon to run but he decides not to in the interest of unity of the republican party.

Humphrey starts his campaign Senator ted Kennedy also run"s but crashes"s car hiting tree he was extremely drunk.
"teddy you gotta control your drinking"Jack Kennedy tell"s his brother.
Teddy Kennedy soon drops out of race, defeating mayor john lindsay win"s Florida but after visiting Chicago a heckler throws a bag of sour apples at the mayor of the big apple. and Shirley chisum wins Texas,
she visits south George Wallace in hospital after he gets shot. democratic primaries. chisum to
Humphrey after the front runner Wallace drooped out,with Lindsay getting the protest vote among college student in other news.

James Rhodes
john tower
Hubert Humphrey
Carl sander
term of Hubert Humphrey
President Humphrey goes into office with 37 percent unemployment.
Event date 7 8.1973
He creates rail road act with corporation
of Gerald Ford the House speaker also. new overhaul of social security and medicare, unemployment is slowly but surely going down.
By 1976
Ted Kennedy is majority senate whip and the democrats are assure more house seats,
while the republicans will most likely keep the house.
Senator Dole wins nomination, Gerald ford tours the country with Senator Dole for his
presidential campaign." am
glad your running not me"ford tellsRhodes
Event Date
Hubert Humphrey H.H.H. gets universal health care enacted,
Event Date 11-5-1975.
Rail Road mass transportation bill enacted.
Event date
President Humphrey dies.on live t.v. in new zealand. Carl Sanders is now president of the united states. .suddenly
without warning Iranian s take the ambassador hostage, but operation eagle claw is
a success.event date
7 .8.1976
president sanders pass’s new literacy bill.Full scale war breaks out between Iraq and Iran,
The H.H.H
act is passed July 17.1976.
Soviet Union being crippled financially by Yugoslavia. war.
u.s.s.r invade that country in 1972 .
Bob Dole
Carl sanders
Edmund Muskie

Event date
Robert F, Kennedy becomes a member of the supreme court
Also. The u,s. is hit by a mild recession .
president sanders new tax plan is under attack.
as the u.s.s.r leaves Yugoslavia .
The soviet economy is battered and cold war tensions are hot. Also the u.s. goes to war with communist brazil and its allies when brazil kidnaps a irforce piolet.

running mate
Paul laxalt
president sanders
Vice president
Edmund muskie
The first term of Howard Baker
President Baker sworn in by Robert f. Kennedy supreme court justice.
President Baker hires new chairman of the fed opens up talks with the soviet union.
Baker over sees moon base program increase military spending.

Paul laxalt

once the challenger disaster occurs. president Baker canceled the manned space
May 5.1990.
Judge Robert Kennedy tell"s
a reporter ,that Clarence Thomas should resign. withen 7 day"s he does in fact,
resign.from supreme court bench.


president Baker give bailout money for banks during recession.

Paul Laxalt
Jack Kemp

Mario Coumo
John Glenn
TX. governor
Ross Perot
Dan Choate
13,16 17
I wish to congratulate president Baker his win tonight,

Mario Coumo concession speech.1988
many people believe Republican governor, Ross Perot took many vote"s away from President Laxalt

But he won anyhow.
The first term president Laxalt
gave bailout money for banks during recession.
Under laxalt presidency
successful operation of gulf war were Saddam Husein is killed

EVENT DATE May 6 1988
judge Kennedy advocates for Miranda rights and rights for authorities to search for
EVENT DATE 11 6 1988
visits with Gorbachev to eliminate huge stockpile of nuclear weapons President laxalt is last cold war president.

Event Date 7 14 1992

It looks like Jerry Litton will become the favorite to win the Democratic nomination. However senators "s campaign is derailed by a assaigns bullet, He dies 24 hours

after winning the New Hampshire primary.

Governor Duel feats Governor Bill Clinton. Senator Jay Rockefeller for deomocratic nomnation



Peter Duel 47.14.00

Dick Gephardt

E.V. 330


Paul laxalt. 230

Elizabeth Dole 45/12.00

President laxalt was the favorite to win with Liz Dole as running Mate but the ticket of Duel Gephardt wins in the first 4 months Duel is president the signs the

housing act and clean water act .

Event Date April 17 1993

former president John Fitzgerald Kennedy dies in his sleep

supreme court judge Robert F, Kennedy delivers eulogy.

Event date 4 25 1992
senator Kennedy says stories of the governor of California Peter duel drinking is just to undermind
the campaign. says .Duel gephardt is a great presidential ticket.

later in a Barbra Walter interview he says he {governor duel[ has had demons but
overcame them.

As president DUEL

passes legslation for work programs for those in poverty stricken areas in America.

president Duel as a ex-t.v. film actor gives budget overhaul for the organization. pass

tax stimulus act of 1993

while visiting Russia in April 27.1994 .the premier of Russia that replased grobachev give the u.s. president a clipping of a `t.v. ad with president Duel playing

Hannibal hayes on Alias Smith and jones.

president Duel also has the federal reserve audited. the economy continues to grow.



Peter Duel

Dickhttps://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ9GmbTYHfQqIufpn01V8l66ZAsI91eM AT-s8mv89kz1GotA1y_dw


Electoral.Vote.437 popular
37,14, 19
President Duel tours Native American reservations all acorns the u,.s He tells a reporter "let us not
forget the before their was a United State Of AMERICA.

their existed indidignous tribes all along this

They were here before Columbus."
the native American job training act act is passed as is the first balance budget in years.

Duel and house speaker

Barry Goldwatewr j,r, butt heads on many issues.such as

welfare reform and defence

spending. also

The attorney General

resigns over tax scandle s. o. s. resigns over sex scandle with prositute.

June 03 -1999

he Democrats nominate Dick Gerhardt . while the g.o.p n
Senator Hatch wins the electoral vote while Gephard wins the popular, despite a massive recount Hatch is declared the winner.

during the early months of the Hatch ad mintration. Neo Nazis hijack a plane and plunge the plane into the united nations in newyork leaving killing many,

president Hatch signs legslation shortly after the tragedy on 5 _1201 that will place stricter guide lines on airport security.

Sends troops to the Congo in search of w.m.d.during the midterm elections g.op retain house and

senate majority but a recession stars to plague the United States.

rumors of senator Kennedy of new york making awhile house run begin as Robert and Ted

encourage him to try him for a white house run

Senator Kennedy IS Married to Caroyln Bissete kennedy and has two sons j.f.k 3 and Theodore.i .

2000 election

Dick Gerhardt

Joe Lieberman

Electoral.vote. 260



Orrion Hatch

Mike Huckabee

Electoral.vote. 269

43 ,12.18

making his first appearance in a year new York
enator John Kennedy says president Hatch has created a George Orwell society,

in responce to that president hatch has said he has made America a safer place to live.

Although the presidents approval rating is at 34%

Kennedy is not assured a second nomination. in fact

John Edwards wins many of the early 2004, primaries but a last minute endorse meant by president

Duel seems to help the Kennedy campaign.



Orrion Hatch

Mike Huckabee


john f. Kennedy j.r. Junior

Bill Bradley


on, inauguration dayformer president Hatch congratulates his successor John F.Kennedy junior.

in the second Kennedy admintration, Neo Nazis are continued being apprehended. may 16.2005

u.s. Russia make a joint flight to the moon.

Event Date

late 2007

john f.Kennedy junior is visiting Irland

when a mentally disturbed woman jumps out of the Bush's and tries to shoot the president. the secret service mangage to apprehend her with out anyone getting hurt

late 2007, the stock market collaps wall street protests take the streets many are killed in a riot along the streets of washington D.C.

Event date

The Republicans nominate

Ron Paul. Texas governor who once ran as a libertarian for president back in the 80s when he was a congressman,
3 2 88

Gerald Ford release bio passed on his experince as Rebublican speaker of the house.

"We have been attacked people who feel threaten by our equality, our middle class is shrinking as

president i will do something.to end this" promises

says governor Ron Paul

G.o.p rally.Elsewhere. president Kennedy in a t.v. interview

says the factory bill if passed will bring the econmy back on track, by summer of 2008. poll"s show

Governor Ron Paul with 54% to Kennedy"S 32%,

this does not look good for president Kennedy.

John f. Kennedy Kennedy junior

vice president
Bill Bradley
Ron Paul
Kelly aoyte

later that night Peterson, congraulated president Kennedy over the phone.

march 16. 2009

the Factory Bill is passed

Supreme court Justice robert Francis Kennedy die"s 2 day"s after the

the Alternative Energy bill is passed.

march .7.2009 2012


Mark Warner

Andrew Como



Ben carson



The 2012 election was a historic election since the Republicans had a African American candidate for president of the united states The 43the president narrowly wins


in 2016.

President Carson after being sworn in, as president of the united states. tells the audience at his
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Minting of the oneounce Pandas will jump to five hundred

China's Golden Panda Is No Bear Adored by collectors about the world, the golden Pandas tell a a lot larger story about the Chinese economy. Only 16,000 of the oneounce Pandas were minted when they had been first introduced in 1982. But this year, a complete of 300,000 Pandas had been slated for stamping. That wasn't enough. Now Beijing has sharply elevated its quota for panda production. (Gold Pandas are minted in cash of one,air max 95 pas cher, one/2, 1/4, 1/ten and 1.20 troy oz. of 999 good gold in what collectors call "Prooflike Brilliant Uncirculated" high quality.) Minting of the oneounce Pandas will jump to 500,000 this yr. Every of the smaller sized cash in the sequence will have their maximum circulation numbers tripled, growing from 200,000 coins to 600,000 for each denomination. These massively well-liked Pandas are technically legal tender in China but no sane person would trade them at their "face" values of 500, two hundred, 100, fifty and twenty five yuan. (The oneounce Panda with a face value of five hundred yuan is supposedly worth the equivalent of $seventy seven. In fact an ounce of gold is promoting for $1487 on international markets.) Pandas are no longer collectors' items or authorized tender. They are becoming the most well-liked investments for China's masses. And as a leading international market, Chinese gold need is particular to impact globe prices. Barely a Golden Chance in China That was the ominous headline printed recently in the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper acknowledges the soaring demand in China, up a outstanding 47 percent in the initial quarter of the yr. The Journal also acknowledges that "China was the biggest physicalbar and coin market in the globe in the first quarter." In other words China is now leading the globe in physical investment in gold. What's more, the Journal admits, "Lion Fund,nike shox nz pas cher, the initial Chinese fund to offer overseas exchangetraded goods backed by gold, hit its $500 million subscription quota and then asked for more". So what's the problem? Well, the Journal warns, if Chinese inflation begins to decline, "need for gold as a hedge towards inflation may also be corroded." Instead, an "explosion" of wealth management goods offering higher curiosity prices could erode demand for gold. Affordable, but lifeless wrong. In reality, inflation jumped up to five.5 % just as that article was printed. Rather of declining, inflation could peak at 6 percent. As for competing investment products, none are proving to be as popular as golden Pandas, gold bars and goldbased expense certificates. The Journal also warns that Chinese consumption might have attained its limits. Historic figures display that the possible demand for individual consumption has space to develop in China and the relaxation of the globe. Remarkably, individual consumption of gold per capita is nonetheless lower in China than India. But, China has significantly greater for each capita income than India, leaving substantial space for development. China average gold keeping is only 1 fourth of the global norm in accordance to Zhong Wei, director of financial study at Beijing Regular College. As the Globe Gold Council lately told Bloomberg: "There is a tidal wave of gold demand coming." The Concealed Hoard Add to this picture one much more large unknown in the global gold picture: national gold reserves. Many countries announce their gold reserves publicly. But China releases information only periodically. Presently, China's acknowledged gold holdings seem abnormally small. Numerous Chinese scholars are stating publicly that China ought to dramatically increase its holdings of gold. They argue that a substantial reserve of gold would act as a hedge against the nation's huge investment in dollardenominated property, estimated to be worth approximately a trillion dollars. Offered the condition of the greenback, there is considerable speak amongst gold bugs that Beijing is now secretly filling its reserves with huge holdings of domesticallyproduced gold. As the world's largest producer of gold, China has the capability to do that with out revealing its actions to the world. Nervousness about Greece, Europe and American financial debt haven't moved the needle on gold costs more than the past thirty day period. But in the long operate, it's a fair wager that China will turn out to be the world's biggest gold consumer. Do not neglect China's adore for the gold Panda. It is 1 species that seems destined to continue multiplying. Chinese demand is growing relentlessly. Gold marketplaces are not likely to stay flat as the world's most populous nation continues to indulge the gleam in its eyes and the want for evergreater holdings of the precious metal. What stocks is the "Warren Buffett of China" into now? Jim Trippon,nike air force 1 noir pas cher, Publisher of China Stock Digest, has been called the "Warren Buffett" of China because he just appears to have a knack for unearthing the most undervalued stocks in that nation. He provided a hefty 39% return to his subscribers in 2007, 58% in 2007, and is up forty eight% more than the previous three years in the worst marketplace since the Great Melancholy. ???????: rewritten or redistributed. In Australia CA JUNE 27


Марсоход Curiosity пе

Вот фотки,в котором он сейчас состоянии: http://www.gansi.ru
Видно, как он пытается перевернуться с помощью своей клешни.
Empty America

Empty America​
Originally written by Doug Hoff starting in 2003.

(Hop, Vinland, circa 1010 a.d.)

Thorfinn Karlsefni took a good look around. Not a bad settlement, all things considered. Sod houses (including one serviceable bathhouse) coming along nicely. And they found the vines that they were looking for and some very nice fields of wild wheat. Definitely better than Straumfjord, where they had wintered. A hundred and sixty men, all told, and a handful of women, including his wife Gudrid, widow of one of Eric the Red's sons. Thorfinn likes this place, just upstream from the estuary of a little river, which he has named Freydisi, after Eric's daughter and near a little lake, which he has named Snorri, after his son.

It is spring and the land blooms. Strange creatures roam the fields and woodlands, like nothing that Thorfinn had ever seen before. Giant beasts, the most terrifying of which is a great cat with fangs like spearpoints. And some huge, shaggy walking beast with a nose like a great serpent. It had taken twenty of Thorfinn's best men to bring one of THOSE down, but its carcass had given them so much meat that they had to leave some of it behind and blankets for a dozen families. (One of the young men was working on a saga about that already.) One other creature, like a giant rat with tail like a paddle that swam like a fish, more than half as tall as a man, with teeth that could chew through tree-trunks, yielded amazingly waterproof fur. This land ... this was a land of marvels, just teeming with life, both strange and familiar.

But no men.

He didn't know how big this Vinland was, exactly, just having bumped around the edges a little looking for a suitable spot for a settlement, but he had a feeling that it was bigger than Iceland and Greenland combined. But there was no one to greet them. That just seemed strange, such a big place with no one in it. Thorfinn shrugged. More room for us. As soon as he can, he is sending a couple of ships back to Iceland to pick up more tools and other supplies. And women, they will definitely need more women. If they were going to stay that is.

And looking around at his bustling little village, Thorfinn Karlsefni figured they would.

1010-1080 a.d


Over the next 70 years (a period that Vinlanders [FN3] will call The Landnam, i.e. "the land-taking"[FN4]), the little Norse settlements prosper and grow, spreading both inland and along the coast of Vinland [FN4a] and Markand (Newfoundland). The sod houses are, in time, replaced by sturdy log cabins with thatched roofs. Longhouses with a single great room morph into "passage houses" with multiple living quarters, stables and storerooms. The Norse tend to be farmers with strong inclination towards animal husbandry, so trees are cut down and fields are plowed (domesticated versions of the wild wheat and some imported crops).

But the Vinlanders are not just farmers. Hunters range far and wide, bringing back meat and pelts. The most prized furs are from the giant beaver (Castoroides ohioensis, 3.3' at the shoulder, weighing in at 450 lbs), whose waterproof fur makes for excellent hats, cloaks and lining for boots. Wooly mammoth (mammuthus primigenius) hunts are periodic affairs, due to the number of men that it takes to bring one down, and the meat and furs are collected in common and distributed equally to all the hunters. A number of attempts are made to domesticate the mammoth, with mixed results. Many frustrated owners simply give up and slaughter the beasts for food and fur. Some owners succeed (generally by capturing young mammoths and raising them in captivity) and plow their neighbors fields for profit. Keeping a mammoth is an expensive proposition, though, and the great beasts never become common domestic work-animals. Giant elk (megalocerous giganteus, 7' tall), on the other hand, prove to be _very_ handy to have around for plowing and dragging timber.

Dire wolves (canis dirus) and saber-toothed cats (smilodon fatalis) keep Vinlanders who venture into the woods on their toes, but both are hunted for sport and for fur. Many hunters recover dire wolf cubs after killing the mothers and undertake the rather perilous (some might say suicidal) task of domesticating wolves that stand five feet at the shoulder. It is a rough go, as you can imagine, and the wilds of Vinland are littered with the gnawed bones of men whose decedents will never walk their pomeranians down the streets of Vinland cities with little plastic bags over their hands ... But a domesticated dire wolf makes a hell of a sled dog, so the stalwart Norse persevere.

The fishing off the Vinland and Markland coasts is ... well, incredible. The Norse were not big into fishing as a rule, they tend to be a practical people and not inclined to pass up the free-food bonanza that teems in the offshore waters. You cannot dip a line in the ocean without pulling out a cod. Fishing boats routinely struggle their way back to Hop and the other coastal villages nearly swamped by the weight of their catch. Vinlanders also venture to sea to hunt whales with hand-thrown harpoons. Fishermen move down the Markland coasts, setting up camps and drying areas for their catches. Fresh-water fishing is nothing to sneeze at, either. The rivers and lakes positively overflow with salmon. The vast stands of excellent timber just boggle the minds of the Icelanders. No scrabbling for driftwood, here.

The population of Vinland booms. Life in Iceland is kind of rough by comparison to Vinland. Most of the good land there is already taken, so Icelanders (especially tenant farmers who have had it up to here with workin for da man) head for Vinland in droves. (Greenland does pretty well, too, but is rapidly outstripped by Vinland.) Similar conditions prevail in Norway, and so a steady stream of Norwegians (with a smattering of other Scandinavians and a few Irish) is heading across the Atlantic for greener pastures. And it is not only land hunger that propels the Norse across the seas, but also the consolidation of royal power in Scandinavia. Norse had gotten kind of used to small-scale political organization, and they liked it. Vinland offered itself as a place where Vikings could be Vikings, rather than subjects. To the extent there is any government at all in the first 70 years of Norse settlement, it tends to be ad hoc democracy and/or local headmen, depending upon the inclination of the locals.

Iceland became Christian in a.d. 1000 and mainland Scandinavia sometime before that. Many of the early Norse settlers in Vinland either remain pagan or revert to paganism once they arrive. Later immigrants are Christian, however, and the pagan population is quickly swamped. Vinlanders themselves have a fairly live-and-let-live attitude towards religion, and sectarian violence is largely unknown or (where it does crop up) is generally just window-dressing thrown up over feuds that really have their origins elsewhere. Still, pagan Vinlanders tend to cluster off from the
Christians, electing their own godarir (chieftain-priests) and shying away from the scattered areas where the Church's law is actually enforced.

By 1080, Vinland has its own bishop (who actually resides in Norway) and a growing population of priests and some fairly impressive churches. The Church turns a tidy profit by Vinland - its tithe in furs, skins and ivory (walrus and mammoth) is nothing to sneeze at, especially for a frontier province. The seeds of conflict are sown by the tithe. The Bishop (none to happy about the fact that pagans continue to resist conversion in Vinland and that no one seems real eager to convert them at swordpoint) decrees that all Vinlanders - pagan and Christian - must tithe. Practical reasons underlie the decision - Vinland Christians (many of whom were not exactly devout to begin with) were lapsing into paganism to try to duck the tax. But in 11th Century Vinland, there really is no one to enforce the diktat aside from individual Christian headmen, whose own compliance is spotty, so the decree goes largely unenforced.

Tithing aside, trade booms between Vinland and northern Europe, primarily Norway and the British Isles, both of which trade raw and finished iron tools and weapons and luxury goods for Vinland furs and hides. A fairly steady stream of knorrir (merchant ships) make their way from Scandinavians trading centers like Hedeby, Kaupang and Birka to Vinland and back. Vinland also has a very healthy trade with the cities of Dublin and York. From there, Vinland products make their way into European trade and Vinland seeps into European consciousness. Adam of Bremen is fascinated by Vinland and spends a lot of time annoying various traders by pestering them for information about this new land, eventually cobbling it all together into the first major work on the subject, with a tongue-tying Latin title that will not be reproduced here.

And in 1070 Vinland gets its first major influx of 'political' refugees [FN5]. A fleet of ships led by Hereward the Wake brings an influx of Saxons to Vinland's shores. Ironically enough, they are fleeing subjugation by the Vinlanders' Norman cousins. The first wave brings with them a small monastic community and invaluable illuminated manuscripts of the Peterborough Abbey. Other monks also follow - preserving the written texts such as Beowulf, and the dream of the Rood. Seeking a new land where they can be their own masters, the Saxon settlements - Niwe Wessex and Niwe Mercia [FN6] are soon thriving and pushing inland. Nothing succeeds like success, and the prosperity of the Vinland Saxons acts as a powerful draw upon those who are now serfs (villeins) in what was once their own land. A steady trickle of Saxon runaways manage to make it to both Norse Vinland and the Saxon settlements.

By 1080, Vinland has a reputation of being not only a prosperous land, but also a free one. Distance, the uncertainties of travel and the cantankerous nature of the inhabitants, all combine to make it damn difficult for the traditional sources of authority in Europe (church, nobility and monarchy) to exert their power. Far-seeing guardians of the European status quo will come to see this, become alarmed and think upon ways this intolerable situation could be remedied.

Part 2: War-Wolves of Vinland - One [FN7]



1080 is a big year for Vinland [FN7a], what with the arrival of Bishop Alfric, a young Norwegian cleric. The Christian citizens of Hop are generally very happy that Vinland has been proclaimed its own see with a resident bishop. They go to great lengths to welcome him - starting construction on a modest [FN8] cathedral (which will continue, in fits and starts, for 40 years), a splendid fieldstone Residence [FN8a], and they even rename their city Anskar, after a saint who was an apostle to the Scandinavians in the 9th Century. The bishop is accompanied by a not-insignificant coterie of priests and other Church officials. Alfric makes no bones about the fact that he is there, not only to shepherd his flock, but also to fleece them - the tithe and Peter's Pence are to be paid, end of story.

The population, both immigrant and native-born, continues to grow. Most of the immigrants continue to come from Scandinavia, Iceland and Ireland. Vinland receives a very healthy influx of Swedish pagans, as the forced Christian conversion of Scandinavia continues. Not all the immigrants are free - many are Irish slaves and indentured servants, brought to work the fields and labor in the towns [FN8b]. One thing that Vinland needs possibly more than anything else is labor - with land essentially free for the taking and gold to be made in furs, there is not much incentive to remain an urban laborer for any great length of time. With labor - especially skilled labor - in such short supply, guilds rapidly establish themselves and become very powerful in Anskar and the other towns.

Farming and animal husbandry are the occupations of most Vinlanders. Every rural longhouse has a vegetable garden bursting with cabbages, peas, onions and other Scandinavian plants. Chickens and turkeys scratch in the dirt. Some farmers tend sown crops - primarily barley, hops [FN8c] and flax. Newcomers are Vinland are delighted to discover that virtually every small farmer has a few pigs rooting around his homestead, pork being a high-status meat in Scandinavian society.

Hunters continue to push deeper and deeper into the interior, seeking out the giant beavers, scimitar and sabre-tooth cats, and mammoths and mastodons whose furs and hides fetch such an enormous price in Europe. And lets not forget the non-megafauna, such as seals, whales and so forth. As the Vinland economy grows more sophisticated, the dynamic of hunting changes. No longer primarily a part-time job of farmers seeking cash and skins, full-time hunting parties now roam the land. Skinning a mammoth is hard work, especially getting to the hide underneath a beast who has fallen on his side.

Torsk (dried cod) imported through Bremen quickly becomes a not-uncommon food in the Holy Roman Empire - and skins and ivory flow out of Vinland and gold, silver, luxury goods, weapons and iron tools flow in. The Vinlanders also indulge in what could only be characterized as an orgy of boat-building. Overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of timber available and the wealth of fish in the Vinland seas, the coasts and inlets of Vinland and Markland now swarm with boats of all sizes [8b]. Timber being widely available, the holdup is sails. However, it is quickly discovered that mammoth hair is long-fibered enough to make excellent yarn. Unwashed, the yarn is water-resistant enough to make serviceable sails.

The upswept, dragon-headed prow and broad square sail is now seen up and down the northern seaboard of the New World, and much of Vinland's trade is carried in Vinlandic hulls. The Vinlanders do not explore for its own sake and are not mapmakers by any stretch of the imagination, but they begin to get the idea that they are living at the northeast tip of a very large landmass. A number of Norse are convinced they are living on the fringes of Utgard, the land of the giants, which circles the world of mortal men. Given the animals they have encountered, it is an excusable mistake.

Government in Vinland essentially mimics that in Iceland. The althing, or general assembly, meets once a year in Anskar. However, the governing body of Vinland is the Logretta, a quasi-legislative, quasi-judicial body made up of prominent men. The only official is the logsogumadur or "law speaker" who, at meetings of the Logretta, pronounced the applicable law to questions
before the body.

The once harmonious relations between Christian and Norse [FN9] begin to break down. Alfric is none too happy about the continuation of paganism in Vinland. Initially, anyway, the Vinlanders are very resistant to the idea of forcing their Norse friends and neighbors to convert, and calls for strenuous efforts to bring the Norse into the Church are largely ignored. The Norwegian authorities are none too keen to stir the pot and the Vinland Allthing has many, many pagan members. Not only are the Norse left to practice their religion, more than a few Christians 'lapse' back into paganism, as it seems to be a good way to dodge the Church's taxes (which are paid at church on feast days). The problem looms large for Alfric, who insists that, since the Norse are living in a Christian land, they too must pay the tithe, and demands cooperation from the Norwegian and Vinlandic authorities in collecting. The groundwork for civil and sectarian strife is laid.

As Vinland prospers and grows, its existence continues to seep through European consciousness like a drop of ink in a glass of water, although most of the consumers of Vinlandic products have no idea where they come from [FN10]. Tales of huge hairy elephants and gigantic wolves are received entirely without skepticism or even real surprise - the idea of a far-off land populated by monsters fits in with a 11th Century European world-view. There is still no clear idea about the size and shape of the New World, or even that Vinland is a separate continent from Europe or Asia. European thinkers are used to the idea of sparsely inhabited or uninhabited reaches to their north, although none so far have proven to be so lucrative for trade. Of course, this uncertainty does not prevent Pope Gregory VII, in a hastily-added provision of Dictatus Papae [FN10a] from proclaiming "all newly discovered lands in the west" to be a papal fief.

Europeans simply don't know if they would run into anything if they struck out across the Atlantic from Spain or France. The idea of striking out into the trackless Atlantic is not on the European mental horizon, as it were. The tools for reliably navigating large open bodies of water simply don't exist yet, and the northern Europeans dominate the Iceland-Greenland-Vinland route.

Most of the European effort is not put into sending their own hunters to Vinland, but rather trying to do each other out of the profits already being made. English traders make a killing acting as middlemen for Vinlandic exports to Western Europe. Scandinavia serves the same function for the Holy Roman Empire and Eastern Europe, although coastal German cities try diligently to establish direct contact with Vinland fur traders.

(Niwe Wessex / Niwe Mercia)

The English in the New World have been busy. As William the Conqueror goes to work divesting English nobles of their estates and handing them over to his Norman followers, the initial rag-tag influx of refugees is followed by a rather unwelcome stream of disenfranchised English nobles, most still professing loyalty to Edgar the Atheling, the English claimant to the Throne [FN 11]. While Edgar himself plots against (and, along with King Malcolm, occasionally attacks) the Normans from Scotland, the Earls (and so forth) go to work immediately carving large domains for themselves, and soon what was once a fairly harmonious pair of little colonies has been greatly expanded and fragmented [FN11a]. It works like this: the dukes stake out land for themselves then ask for a writ from Edgar to govern it. Edgar, his palm suitably greased, dispatches the writs post-haste. Not that he has any recognized claim to the New World himself, but upon landing, the initial immigrants claimed the whole New World in Edgar's name. The formalities must be observed. A bastardized version of pre-Conquest English pre-feudalism takes root and spreads in the New World. In 1072, Edgar is ousted from Scotland and, after some intervening misadventures, departs to Flanders. From there, he attacks William in Normandy, with the assistance of King Phillip of France, to no discernable effect. In 1074, Edgar (now back in Scotland) realizes this is going nowhere fast. Essentially, he has two choices - he can take a boat to the New World and try to unite the squabbling dukedoms. Preferring to serve in heaven than reign in hell, Edgar joins William's court, effectively renouncing his claim to the English throne. Once they learn of it, the dukes have their own choice to make. They can transfer their allegiance to William or ... something else. They are not inclined to become Norman vassals. It was one thing to be technically loyal to an easily-bought refugee 'king,' and quite another to submit to one who is looking more and more powerful.

The other new arrivals are from the Danelaw in northern England. Having enjoyed something like domestic autonomy under the English kings, they see the writing on the wall with William's consolidation of power. Hundreds, stripped of their lands, they take ship to the New World. Not inclined to live under either the Vinlanders or the English, they establish themselves in a brand new colony between them [FN12].

(Vinland, 1105)

The ruins of the Froharg have long stopped smoldering and are covered with a light dusting of early-spring snow. It is Hrafnel Freysgodi's land, and this was his temple, dedicated to Freya, the goddess of fertility. Hrafnel is a prominent Norse magnate and godar [FN13], with expansive land holdings, several longships and over a hundred men - farmers, hunters and seamen - owing him loyalty. His name is great in Vinland, prominent and respected in the Logretta, where he leads the Norse faction. It is the collapse of the Logretta that led to the attack on Hrafnel's land and the burning of the Froharg. The Christian contingent in the assembly declared that henceforth, the laws of Vinland would be written in a great book that would be kept in the custody of Bishop Alfric and the logsogumadur would have to go to the bishop, who would tell him the law. It is a decisive shift in power from the Logretta to the Church, the fruit of twenty five years' worth of clerical attacks upon the Vinland's inherited religious tolerance. Norse Vinlanders protest vigorously, but they are outnumbered. In the end, the Logretta divides between Christian and Norse and each group declares itself to be 'out of law' with the other, effectively inaugurating civil war.

Shortly after the schism, Bishop Alfric dispatched lay officers to collect the tithe from Hrafnel, under the belief that if he could force such a prominent Norse magnate to acknowledge the authority of the Church, he could bring his co-religionists to heel.

He is wrong.

The bishop's men make it far enough onto Hrafnel's land to burn his temple (as an affront to the White Christ) when they are ambushed. A swarm of arrows whistle out of the forest, striking them down as the stand in the temple clearing, the flames silhouetting them against the darkness of the forest. Bellowing with rage, Hrafnel and his men charge out of the woods, hacking and slashing with their swords and battle-axes. Only one of the bishop's men survives, and he run he runs terrified down the path through the woodland. In the weeks that follow, Vinland and Markland erupt in a paroxysm of communal violence, a terrible cycle of attack and retribution. Farms and hamlets are sacked and burned and whole communities are put to the sword. Women and girls are violated and murdered or carried off into slavery. Norsemen and Vinlanders, organizing themselves around hunting parties or companies loyal to local headmen, fight scattered but fierce and pitiless engagements throughout the colony. Each side struggles not just for the upper hand, but for sheer survival against an implacable enemy who was once their neighbor, their friend, their kin.

And now, Hrafnel has called an allthing of the Norse of Vinland, to unite their forces and to forge a common battle plan for the desperate days ahead. Dozens of prominent men from all corners of the colony have gathered to stand in the torchlit forest grove, around the ruins of Hrafnel's temple, to hear his call for the extermination of the Christians of Vinland. The paintings of later days show them, big, bearded, glowering men, clad in heavy leather boots, rough wadmal [FN14] breeches and shirts and long fur cloaks. As befitting the times, all the men are armed and armored. Many wear thick leather jerkins [FN15], but the wealthier among them come clad in chainmail. All carry swords, spears or battle-axes and wear round helmets [FN16], some with a chainmail fringe over the back of the neck and iron loops to protect the eyes.

Hrafnel cries for land to be soaked in blood, for the Norse to drive the Vinlanders into the sea, then to take to their boats and to wrest Iceland from the Christians. His fellows roar full-throated approval and pound their shields with the flats of their swords or thrust their spears in the air. The fury of the Northmen rings throughout the forest. But then, above it all, a clear, loud cry is heard:

"Norse of Vinland, hear me!"

The savage war-cries suddenly fade as the assembly turns as one to face the speaker, standing at the edge of the clearing. He is a grizzled old man, silver of hair and beard, bareheaded and clad in long gray robes. Using a spear as a walking stick, he strides through the crowd towards the ruined temple around which they are gathered. Flanking him are six ferocious men, dressed in bear skins, clutching spears, swords and battle axes. The Norse part soundlessly to let the man and his companions through.

By the flickering torchlight, they can see that the old man in the gray robes, carrying the spear as a walking stick, has only one eye. A patch covers the other eye, but not the mass of scarring that covers the side of his face. Every man in the clearing stands stunned, looking at the silver-beared man in gray robes who only has one eye and who holds a spear as a walking-stick. Standing in the ruins of the temple of Freya, in the middle of this now-silent assembly, the one-eyed man speaks:

"I am Erik Einauga, new to this land. I was born in the great city of Constantinople, where my father was a captain of the Varangian Guard, protectors of the Emperor. We were at sea, when our ship was taken by the Saracens, who slew my father but spared me and raised me as a warrior. Though the Saracens thought they made me a Musselman, like themselves, from my father I knew I was a Norseman. Like my father before me, I became a captain in the service of a foreign master and slew countless numbers of my lord's enemies. Six years ago, I stood on the steps of the great al-aksa-moschee in Jerusalem and fought, sword to sword, the great King Tankred."

If any of the men in the crowd were skeptical, not a hint of it showed on their faces.

"Though we fought as fiercely as any men could, Tankred and his knights overwhelmed us and drove us from Jerusalem. I alone managed to escape to Haifa and the sea. I made my way north, because I knew that is where my people were. In Iceland, I learned of a new land, where men could live free and keep the sidur [FN17] of our fathers and grandfathers. So I came here, and I heard the bishop and priests of the White Christ speak hatred of the sidur. And I saw the great numbers of the followers of the White Christ. I knew, then, what must be done. So I went into the wilderness to find the Norse a new land, away from the priests and their hatred. And I found a land to the south along the banks of a great river. A land of rich, black earth, vast sweet lakes full of fish, flocks of birds that block out the sun, and forests teeming with life.

If we are to survive and follow the sidur, we must leave this place and go to this new land of the south. And I can lead you there ..."

Empty America Part 3: War-Wolves of Vinland - Two

A.D. 1105

(Skogrland [FN18])

Word of the one-eyed stranger spreads through Vinland like wildfire. Among the Norse, there is no universal consensus that they should flee. The Norse are, after all, a fighting people, and those in Vinland are no exception. Through the years, they have been bloodied in feuds, family and communal. But this is different - it is a war to the death. Hrafnel Freysgodi and some of his allies, all opposed to leaving, lead their men into Anskar, where they sack and destroy the main church and the bishop's residence. But they are driven out with heavy casualties by a Christian counterattack.

Christian Vinlanders outnumber the Norse by two to one, and as the violence continues to escalate, it becomes clear that, if they are not to be wiped out entirely, they must either convert or leave. Chastened by the battle in Anskar, even Freysgodi comes to believe that they must depart. Einauga is constantly at his elbow now, in his gray robes, broad hat, and walking staff, as they travel the land, cajoling the reluctant and organizing [FN19] the Norse exodus. Those skeptical of Freysgodi (who has a widespread reputation as being an overbearing, arrogant boor) are won over by Einauga. They look into that one eye and know that they must do has he would have them do.

In the days and weeks that follow, the Norse take to such roads as their are in Vinland - tracks for pack-horses and mammoths, really - and make for the coasts. For most, this is not a long journey - the Scandinavians who settled Iceland and Vinland have a cultural preference for farming near the sea. The first flotilla, seventy ships in all, is ready. Commanded by Freysgodi and guided by one of Einauga's bearskin-clad men, it takes to the sea, moving south along the coast of Skogrland. Before long, they spy signs of human habitation - the Saxon colonies of Niwe Wessex and Niwe Mercia. Many of the Norse are surprised to find the English here, but others are not. Contact between the Norse and the Saxons in the New World had been sporadic and isolated, although a number of the Saxons were are of the conflict that was rending Vinland and fear that one side or another would move south. Here and there, ships that left Vinland ill-provisioned visit coastal Saxon farms and barter for food. For the most part, the encounters are friendly enough, even though many of the Saxons are terrified and many of the Norse highly suspicious.

As they move further south, however, Einauga's bearskinned lieutenant starts taking a hand in managing the flotilla. Norse warriors splash ashore and drive off the handful Saxon inhabitants of a large island off the coast [FN20]. The Norsemen are given strict orders to remain there, construct a stockade and await more arrivals. The soldiers christen it Streymoy, after an island in the Faroes. The rest of the flotilla moves on, making landfall at the mouth of a great south-flowing river [FN21]. This river valley, explains the bear-warrior, somewhat uncomfortable with the evident solemnity of the occasion, and the lands to either side are yours.

Now Freysgodi takes over. He names the river "Thjorsa," [FN22] and their new home, "Domstolland" [FN23]

Freysgodi orders the construction of a Domhring [FN24] in a clearing on the riverbank, near where the river enters the sea. In the center of the circle of stones, he places the Thorstein, the granite pillar of Thor, taken from the ashes of one of the Thunderer's temples in Vinland. On the Thorstein, he places a simple gold ring, its runes clearly visible in the flickering torchlight. One by one, the men approach the Thorstein, place their hands on the ring and swear an oath to be true to the sidur, to each other, and to Domstolland.

And they vow that they will have their revenge.

Freysgodi and the other men agree that those in the ships that follow them shall all land at this place and swear this same oath.

The Norse then move up the river valley, seizing a number of small Saxon settlements and enslaving the inhabitants. More and more boats arrive in Domstolland and thousands make their way to the Domhring to swear the oath. Ari the Wise, who arrives in one of the second wave boats, takes the oath but is somewhat discomfited by the palpable anger seething all around him at the Domhring. Trouble is coming. Beware the fury of the North Men.

Fury indeed. After depositing their women and children safely in Domstolland, the third and forth waves of Norse immigrants vent their rage upon the inhabitants of Niwe Wessex and Niwe Mercia. Commanding the third flotilla, Gizur Teitsson carves a broad swath of destruction the length of the Saxon colonies and returns to Domstolland laden with plunder and slaves. Just as the Saxons are getting back on their feet, the fourth wave sweeps over them. The Saxon Earls try to organize resistance, but the bad blood and lack of unity that have been sown among them is their downfall - some Earls bribe the Norse to pass them by, and provide guides to steer them onto the lands of their rivals. But others assemble their sheriffs, thegns [FN25] and peasant soldiers and march against the Vikings. After series of short, one-sided battles in which many of the Earls themselves fall in combat, the Saxons are defeated. The survivors hold a witan [FN26] in Niwe Wessex at which they agree that the only course of action left to them is to pay the Vikings to leave them in peace, and they dispatch an embassy to Domstolland to negotiate. The problem is that there is no one to treat with, really. Freysgodi has moved up river to stake out a vast estate and is, at the moment, busying himself with getting his own household re-established. The Domstollanders have not yet convened a new Logretta, and there is not really anyone who can claim to speak for them. In the end, the Saxons wind up making a private deal with Teitsson - his men and ships will protect Niwe Wessex and Niwe Mercia in exchange for tribute, payable in gold, furs and food. Teitsson is allowed to set up a longhport [FN27] on the Saxon coastline, from which he and his men can sortie.

* * *

Meanwhile, back in Vinland, the One-Eyed Wanderer and his followers are rounding up the stragglers as the last and largest of the Norse flotillas prepares to depart. On a gravelly beach on the coast of Vinland the boats and a great crowd of men, women and children are gathering. The Christian Vinlanders have not sat idle while their pagan neighbors make for the water. They move in, seizing whatever they is left behind. And the communal violence continues. Norse are ambushed on the trails to the coast and many parties have to conduct a fighting retreat to make it to the boats. With the last large group of Norse gathered at the water's edge, the Bishop's men make their move. A ring of iron closes in around the embarkation point.

It begins at dawn, as the last of the Norse are loading their ships. More mob than army, the Vinlanders attack the last of the pack-trains. A general alarm goes up among the Norse, who rush to the aid of their fellow refugees. Throughout the woods, a dozen desperate skirmishes rage. Einauga is everywhere, bringing order out of chaos, assembling the remaining men into some sort of coherent line, which charges the onrushing Vinlanders, driving them back in bloody disorder.

Einauga leads his men back to the waterline. The Christians are routed, but they will regroup, and be back in greater order and numbers than before. "To the boats! Get the women and children on the ships! Get the loaded ships out to sea!" The Norsemen's blood is up and they want to continue the fight, but they look into that one glimmering eye and do as they are bidden.

As Einauga predicted, the Vinlanders gather their wits and charge again, this time moving down the beach in a disciplined svinfylking [FN28]. Einauga looks around. Most of the men are helping the women and children into the ships, and there are still dozens, children and gray-haired elderly, mostly sobbing with fear among heaps of their possessions. He summons his berserks, who gather around him, biting the edges of their shields and raging for battle. Einauga points his spear-staff at the charging Vinlanders. "There are your foemen!" The berserks charge down the beach, howling and waving their battle axes and swords.

Above the din of battle, Einauga hears it. The howling of great wolves. Peering through the trees, he sees them: six dire wolves in iron collars. War wolves, trained to kill, rushing headlong through the forest towards the water. The lead beast is enormous, even for a dire wolf, and his eyes burn red like fire.

Einauga looks down the beach. His berserks, outnumbered ten to one, battle furiously amidst the throng of Vinlanders, turning the surf red with their enemies' blood.

Einauga then looks at the huddled group of terrified refugees and hurriedly waves the eight or so able-bodied men over to him. He is abrupt. "Two men for each wolf. The first takes it on his shield, the second attacks from underneath. Do you understand?" The men gape at him, as if certain that he is mad, but they nod. They are farmers and tradesmen, not Vikings, but each of them knows he cannot refuse his bidding. Einauga smiles fiercely. "Good! And fear not, should we fall, we will feast in Valhalla ere this day is out!"

They hurriedly form up a line protecting the refugees. "Remember!" Einauga shouts, standing before them, "The lead wolf is MINE!" With that, he whips off his tattered gray robe, revealing a shirt of glimmering chain-mail. He casts down his staff and draws his sword, which blazes in the early morning light, revealing the runes etched in its blade.

"Come Fenris!" he roars, "Come great wolf! My sword thirsts for you!"

And then the wolves are upon them. Shrieking in terror, Ottar, a tanner, feels his forearm snap as a great wolf, fangs gleaming to tear his throat, and smashes into his wooden shield in mid-leap, its fore-claws slashing at him around the edges. Bjarni, a turkey farmer, masters his trembling limbs long enough to dive under the wolf and plunge a borrowed shortsword into its belly. The wolf falls to the earth. Drenched in the beast's hot blood, Bjarni struggles to his feet, holding his weapon aloft and yelling in surprise and triumph.

And so it goes. The least - but in the end the greatest - men of Vinland, drive off and kill the remaining wolves. The berserks are eventually overwhelmed amid heaps of their slain. With the time bought they bought, the last of the Norse refugees struggle or are carried through the surf to the ships and are gone.

As is the grey-bearded, one-eyed stranger, last seen grappling with the greatest of the dire wolves amidst the chaos on the beach, is gone. From the safety of their ships, the Norse scan the shoreline for any sign of him or the wolf. But there is none.

The last boats to leave Vinland behind catch a fair wind, and are on their way south.


[FN1] OK, lets try this again. Originally, to the extent that I envisioned the TL as a whole, I was thinking about a fairly small collection of Norse settlements, with a population of maybe 50k by 1380, with a minimal impact upon European history and that of subsequent explorers. After the initial responses, I took a second look and decided to make it somewhat ... bigger.

[FN1a] The sagas describe it as wild wheat. More recent scholarship indicates it could have been wild rice. I am going with wild wheat.

[FN2] No kidding. Hop. There are varying theories about where it was. I am going with OTL's New Brunswick. At some point, should I get ambitious, a map of Empty America, including Vinland, will be posted along with the TL on www.althist.com.

[FN3] Over time, 'Vinland' comes to refer not only to the area initially settled, but also to all of Norse-occupied North America.

[FN4] Not a formal, legal affair such as took place in Iceland, but a reference to the settlement itself.

[FN4a] Later research places Vinland settlement likely in New Brunswick, possibly on the shores of Fundy Bay. So, I am going with that. So it is: Early Vinland (New Brunswick/Northern Maine/Nova Scotia), Markland (Newfoundland).

[FN5] Credit for the Saxon emigration idea and details goes to John Ruddy (jruddy98PLUS1@hotmail.com).

[FN6] OTL Massachusetts Bay Colony area.

[FN7] Alas, poor Warren Z.

[FN7a] "Vinland" here is shorthand for the entire colony, including Markland.

[FN8] By European standards, but it is the greatest construction project in the New World at the time.

[FN8a] The largest stone house in Vinland at the time, by far. Most Vinlanders continue to live in their wooden longhouses, which now tend to be subdivided into individual rooms, and wood shingles have replaced thatch roofs for most prosperous farmers.

[FN8b] An important distinction between Vinland slavery and OTL's slavery in the U.S.A. is that slave status was not hereditary. The children of an Irish slave laboring in Vinland were free.

[FN8c] Like all truly civilized people, the Vinlanders like their beer.

[FN9] Yes, Christians as well as pagans are Norse, but I am going to use the term as shorthand for those who are adherents to the Norse religion.

[FN10] Like spices in OTL.

[FN10a] March, 1075.

[FN11] Thanks to Chris Williams for this idea.

[FN11a] Including not only OTL's Massachusetts, but also Long Island and southern New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Their claims are much larger than the area actually occupied.

[FN12] In the area of OTL's Maine.

[FN13] Chieftain-priest.

[FN14] Homespun wool.

[FN15] Properly tanned, the skin of a mammoth is extraordinarily tough.

[FN16] One thing is for sure - the helmets did NOT have horns.

[FN17] "custom"

[FN18] From the Old Norse - "Forestland." i.e. North America.

[FN19] We are not talking about a LOT of organization here. This is no
D-Day with precise timetables, it is very ad hoc and chaotic. Whenever a
sufficient number of ships are full, they depart.

[FN20] OTL's Long Island.

[FN21] Of course, OTL's Hudson River.

[FN22] A river in Iceland

[FN23] "Judgment-seat Land." Hey, you'd not be too cheery, either, under the
circumstances ...

[FN24] "Ring of Doom"

[FN25] Officials who (in the Saxon colonies) serve military function.

[FN26] A king's council, but here without a king.

[FN27] Raiding base.

[FN28] The preferred Viking battle formation, called "the boar." I picture it like a Zulu impi - a great mass in the middle, with "horns" of flankers on either side.
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