Ok, this is is wonderful. There's also people who sustains that the night is dark, and full of terrors?Eh, overall, dark stuff like this isn't usually my forte, but I was trying something new. I'm glad that it seems like you enjoyed it however
Latin America pretty much made it to around the development that Poland is at now, but between a "coup cycle" appearing and overall domestic improvements being unprofitable, things never got much past that. Africa is basically a resource-depleted playground for the great powers to waste the last bits of their military on. Australia is rapidly desertifying and a lot of people have left for America, China, Indonesia, or Japan. New Zealand is a stagnant but stable state. Europe pretty much is tensely staring at Russia, even more so with the EU collapsing but the defense pacts remaining. India never had their big nuclear war with Pakistan, and overall feels more and more pressured by China every day.
Also, quick, an extremely early WIP to cheer everyone up!
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It all began in the imagination of a child. Thomas Weller, age 6, wrote a letter to his state representative in the fall of 2005 asking for a bill that would make his beloved Kentucky Wildcats the official team of the state. His representative received the letter personally and took a lot of joy in it. He sent a personal response in return politely declining in politician speak, but he also made a show of the paper to his colleagues. Discussions over the course of the day went from whimsical enjoyment of the dreams of children, to ironic joking, to hesitant half-hearted suggestions, to growing assurance, to final agreement.
In February of the following year, the General Assembly passed a bill stating that the 2007 statewide elections would include a ballot initiative to decide the official sport of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In that busy session between passing a biennial budget and battling over right-to-work legislation, many legislators from the center of the state thought that the bill would bring a welcome air of bipartisan comity. Bipartisanship came, true, but the comity broke on the rock of choice -- which sports would be included on this ballot? Those from the Bluegrass and Louisville didn’t need to think about it: thoroughbred horse racing and basketball were the obvious candidates. It didn’t occur to them that other Kentuckians might enjoy hunting, football, fishing, or even baseball more than those two sports. Much wrangling ensued. By the end of the session, the two houses could agree on three options alone: basketball, thoroughbred horseracing, and football.
For all its reputation of loving horses and basketball, Kentuckians followed football just as fanatically as the rest of the nation. Kentucky school children played that sport more than any other in both middle school and high school. Regional rivalries between high schools were settled more often on the gridiron than on the court. Residents of northern Kentucky hoped year after year for a decent season from the Bengals; eastern Kentuckians could rely on the Steelers to be contenders every season; Kentuckians in the south had memories of an unstoppable Titans team. And, of course, college football was a good as religion for some of them. The fall of 2006 would see the University of Kentucky have its best season in several years, capped off with a victory over Clemson in the Music City Bowl. The University of Louisville likewise would go 12-1 and topple Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers could also stand tall then. There was a feeling for football in the air across the Bluegrass.
Enter Tim Couch. He was a legendary quarterback for the University of Kentucky who had been in contention for the Heisman in his final year with the program. He went number one overall in the 1999 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns. Many in Ohio hoped he would be the man to turn things around for their team.
He didn’t live up to the hype.
By the summer of 2007, Couch had not been properly on a team for four years. He had accepted that he wasn’t cut out for the NFL, and it was time for him to seek a new career. In his mind, the ideal position would be as a football analyst or color commentator, but he knew he had a lot of competition for those kinds of gigs -- it was common for players who couldn’t compete at the top level to move into the booth. In order to stand out, Couch needed to demonstrate his speaking prowess. He and his closest confidants thus hatched a scheme for an extended audition. The 2007 Kentucky campaign season was fully in swing, and with the Governor’s race absorbing much attention, the ballot initiative for the official state sport had fallen out of the spotlight. The vacuum demanded someone to fill it, and Couch would gladly step in to become an advocate for his old sport.
The plan was simple: travel the state in the fall to host huge tailgates and watch games on the high school, college, and professional levels to excite Kentuckians enough to vote for football. Couch arranged for several trucks and plenty of barbeque to follow him wherever he went. His agents alerted the press to his imminent parties and assured Couch of plenty of TV interviews. He brought footballs to hand out to kids and enough pens to sign something for every person in the state. It was a one-man football carnival.
Couch’s tour also seemed to be touched by a little magic. On September 15, a newspaper columnist in Lexington noted that the home team for all four games Couch had attended at that point had won; the columnist went on jokingly to say that this meant UK was assured a win in that day’s Battle for the Governor’s Cup against the University of Louisville. Turns out that the columnist was right -- Kentucky toppled the 9th ranked Cardinals 33 to 21. The pattern continued the following weekend in Couch’s hometown of Hyden, Kentucky, where his alma mater, Leslie County High School, defeated their heavily favored opponent, Middlesboro. Folks had taken to calling Couch “The Hometown Hero.”
In the meantime, something special was happening to the two preeminent football programs in the state. UK went on to win three straight after trouncing Louisville, including a harsh trip to Columbia, South Carolina against the 11th ranked Gamecocks. Kentucky entered week seven ranked third in the AP poll with top-ranked LSU coming to town. Louisville, for its part, bounced back from its loss to manhandle Syracuse, NC State, and Utah before returning to the top ten. The Cards faced a stalwart Cincinnati team on the Bearcats’ turf in week seven. Couch chose to attend the game at the school that made him famous that week, but by now his magic for the home team seem to have rubbed off on both schools. Kentucky defeated LSU in a triple-overtime thriller to seize the number one rank in the nation for the first time since the 1950s; Louisville resisted Cincinnati until the end to shoot into the top five.
If Kentuckians had had a mere feel for football when Couch’s tour began, by mid-October it had become a blistering fever. High school football attendance reached new heights as the people fed their hunger for more. College games at even the smaller universities began to sell out regularly. The neighboring NFL teams saw boosted viewership numbers and ticket sales coming out of the Commonwealth.
Couch spread the love with trips to Pike County in the east and Owensboro in the west. His final two trips before the election were even in Louisville to see the college team and a match up between two eventual state champion high school teams. Still, despite the crowds and excitement palpable everywhere he went, Couch never really thought he had a chance. The only poll issued on the initiative showed football losing to basketball by twenty points.
On Election Day, Couch chose to relax with family in Hyden, shutting out the news of the day. He saved his thoughts of applying for broadcasting positions for the day after. All of the travel and interaction with the media had left him ready for a break. He only turned back to the world in the evening when the election results rolled in over the radio.
Thoroughbred horse racing had performed even more poorly than prognosticators had expected, pulling a mere 4%. Basketball, too, had a poor showing of only 47%. With 48%, football became the official sport of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Couch arranged for an impromptu campaign victory party in Lexington the next day. The beer flowed like water and next to mountainous piles of barbecue. Everyone wanted Couch to shake their hands, sign their backs, hug them. Unbeknownst to Couch, he ran into the boy who had made this all possible. The dreaming Thomas Weller, now a sprightly 8, was a convert to this new Kentucky cult of football. He wanted to be like Stevie Johnson when he grew up, but for now what he wanted most was to throw a football around with The Hometown Hero.
How did this happen?Been a couple hours since a post. Have a good (or maybe not so good) ol' map
admittedly, my eyes are burning from looking at it again. It's one that clearly rushed when making the map itself.
An idea where there's two major intellectual species on earth: Humans (Homo Sapiens) and a Magpie-like bird (Pica Callidus). This map shows at what point these two species start to co-operate instead of compete in different locations. And usually, where this co-operation starts, advanced civilization quickly follows. Here in the description you'll also see some q's-and-a's on how society run in this timeline
Question 1: Why did these species come to cooperate?
No ones quite sure. The popular theory is that members of both species came to realize that they could benefit from the other; Humans were great at building stuff, given the fact that they have opposable thumbs, but, despite their intelligence, they weren't quite as innovative as the Magpies. The Magpies are quite innovative and clever, but can't do much with it because of their lack of hands. The Magpies can also fly, so that's a plus.
Question 2: How do these species communicate?
The shared language between these two tends to lean towards Magpies, where chirping is almost the single sound created, but words/letters are differentiated by the pitch and length of a note. It's not surprising than that language sounds similar to music (granted, these 'songs' are not very beautiful by our ears), and the first written languages often looked like sheet music. It's also not surprising that humans had difficulty with this, and eventually created the first instruments to aid them (something similar to a flute, recorder, or such).
Question 3: How is their society set up?
Cooperative Human-Magpie societies tend to act differently from place to place. Monarchies are rare in cooperative states, unless one species is considered dominant over the other (in which case is it really cooperative?). In China there has developed a Diarchy, where there's two monarchs, one from each species, ruling. But in most cooperative states, a republican, democratic, oligarchic, etc. governments of some sort is usually what comes out, or even theocracies and even a single technocracy.
The Magpies also tend to act as the intellectuals, the strategists, and the organizers, while Humans tend to act as the labor, although isn't to say Humans can't be intellectual or the Magpies can't be labor (although the latter is rare).
Question 4: Is their any conflict between the two?
Yes. Most of it is in the non-Cooperative states, but there is some tension in the Cooperative states as well. It should be noted that racism (if it even should be called that in this case) exists from both sides: The Magpies often consider Humans as barbaric and warlike, while the Humans often consider the Magpies as thieves, kleptocrats and kleptomaniacs, always trying to steal when they have a chance.
There's some truth to both of this. The Humans are by far the more warlike of the two species (but it should be noted that the Magpies barely had a concept of war before Cooperation), and Magpies are naturally just want to grab things to build their nests, and so they're often found stealing shiny objects from stores, even though they tend to be the richest among society.
That's not even mentioning the non-Cooperative states.
Question 5: What about religion?
It's of no surprise that religion of the Cooperative states tends to be based around a creator god that was part Magpie and part Human. From there, religion is all over the place, with some saying that the creator god divided into many gods, with the most powerful being the god of Humans and the god of Magpies. Others say that the Creator god was actually two gods from the begining, the Magpie god and the Human god. Yet others say that the creator god never split, although it's uncertain of why their's two creatures than.
Humans tend to be the more religious of the two species, as the Magpies are (ironically) a bit more down to earth. That is not to say the Magpies aren't religious, it just tends to be mild. But the Magpies are still capable of being the crazy religious nuts that we all know and hate.
Question 6: What about non-Cooperative states?
I should mention that they're 3 main classes of societies when it comes to the relationship between the Magpies and the Humans: Cooperative states we've gone on and on about, but their's also Dominant states (where 1 class is the clear dominant over the other) and Separated states, where one species is completely cast out of the state. The latter is rather rare and considered devilish even by the worst racists.
Oddly, although Humans are the greater warmongers and in a physical battle has almost every advantage over the Magpies, most of the Dominant states are actually ruled by the Magpies. The Humans are treated as slaves, being forced to do all the labor that the Magpies can't do at the threat of their eyes being torn out or even killed. Humans do recognize this is the most the Magpies can do, but having one's eyes being torn out is never a pleasant experience.
Human dominated societies tend to be less cruel towards the Magpies (again showing this oddity when it comes to the Dominant states). In the Human societies, Magpies are basically just pets, or pieces of entertainment. While less physically cruel, it is rather demeaning towards the Magpies.
Any more questions? Ask and I may add them!
Admittedly, the scenario wasn't as well thought out as I believed when I first posted it. And I don't really have much of answer for that. The best I can say is that the Magpies also got weapons of some sort (anyone else here read the Guardians of Ga'hoole books? With the special talon-weapons? That's the sort of thing I imagine) that can help them fight, but they wouldn't give them much of an edge unless they had guns or something.Why didn't humans turn against the Magpies the first moment that "chirp chirp chirp" actually meant "surrender or be enslaved?" You talk a lot about how Magpies are theoretically weaker (you make it seem significantly so) than Humans, and yet they still enslave humans. What's stopping someone from blatantly going on a rampage against the Magpies even if they were going to be attacked?
Really, I feel like globally Humanity would end up being by far the more dominant specie, since being clever really doesn't help you when the other guy has invented weapons and are clever enough themselves to figure out how to hurt you with them. I mean not to mangle your setting, but at least from what I can gather, I feel like it is more likely that Humanity would have hunted down most of the Magpies the moment they became a shadow of a threat, and then what little is remember of them either are children's stories or suspicious glances at birds when they do something a little too smart.