Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Macragge1, Aug 20, 2010.
See also The Controller running away in a previous update.
Mind you, if they were going for the capitalist bankers, they should have targetted Zuerich. They've also left the Bank for International Settlements standing in Basel. That must be practically the only International Institution still standing, since Geneva, Washington and New York have been destroyed. I guess that it depends upon whether Vienna was hit. If it wasn't then the IAEA would have survived as well, which would be ironic.
Not even the Soviet Union will mess with the Gnomes of Zürich
Seriously, what use are the banks now in a world where money is fairly useless. Although, the Swiss do have a lot of gold (the Swiss Franc was 100% backed with gold until at least 75%), which might be useful later when trade moves off barter.
If i know the Soviets, they probably have messed up at launch with something like this:
"Comrade General, in accordance with the orders of the Party, we just launched our infallible missiles at Berne and Geneva, headquarters of the major banks owned by capitalist pigs."
"But the banks are in Zurich, Comrade Major."
"Damn, are you sure?"
"Oh, come on, don't give me that look, some bank will exist also in Berne, don't you think so?"
True but in fairness I doubt that nuclear armed France would want to lose any square centimetre of its territory. The post strike environment does offer huge opportunities for territorial expansion for some and for settling scores. But the long term consequences of this might be very severe and inflame tensions and even outright hate between some nations.
Nooo, not the Palace of Nations!
They don't have to be mentally deranged. As an analogy, I remember a story from the Iranian revolution in 1979, where a man with a score to settle simply murdered his victim while the country was in chaos. Eventually questioned by the new regime, he said, " That guy I killed? Oh, he was a counter-revolutionary!"
Somebody who thinks that they are going to die in a few weeks might decide to dispatch a few people for previous slights.
This also might escalate into feuds, or town against town, like Jericho
The last chapter suggested multiple murders with all the hallmarks of some sort of psychopath, not someone taking the advantage of the chaos post-attack to settle scores.
XVI - Twenty Four Hours
Excessive flashpoints beyond all reach/ Solitary demands for all I'd like to keep
Life goes on for some reason. There is some solace now, for most, in the numbness of routine. It follows at this point that we should have a look at the new nuclear family.
The father is a 'volunteer'. From when it gets light to when it gets dark, he does as he is told. He works with his hands and he works with his back; clearing rubble, debris, corpses. The latter is light work; by now, there is little left of most other than bones and hair. It is not a good life, but it is a life; the man will eat.
His wife works too; clothes are at a shortage, and the days are cold. She will get to the bodies before her husband does.
Their son and their daughter are too young and too weak to 'volunteer'. They find food any way they can.
In the misty dawn of the 5th April, a quiet black shape appears off the coast of Whitby. In the bad light, it's hard to make out the red flag.
The Lieutenant and the Controller pitch in with the burials. It's not easy for either of them; the Controller is missing an arm and the Lieutenant fears for his mentor. Even so, once the bulldozer's engines stop roaring, he is the first to say it -
'I-it ends t-tonight.'
In a blue tunic, he's eyed with suspicion as he makes his way downstairs into the bunker; still, he's got to say what he's got to say. He was hungry enough before he had to share his rations with the fucking Fenians. Before his family had to share. The Sergeant doesn't thank the balaclavas that hold the door open for him.
It's a mess of papers and empty poly cups on the tables and the floor, but the Sergeant just steams through to where the Officer is sitting.
'There's more of them'
So this is as many as we're going to get. About thirty blues and greens, sat in a semicircle round a doll's house. The Controller stands at the side whilst the Lieutenant fights his tongue and runs through the plan in eight volts of light. The pace stick is dragged through grey dirt. It is circled around little army men and tapped on the windows and doors of the wooden house. Is this the best plan we've got is it really but he doesn't let his doubts leak from his brain to his face; he battles the words and he stands up straight and he wishes them luck at the end.
'React, React, React!' and the Constable is awake. As he leaps up, he leaps a couple of steps and pivots - he's forgotten his gun - it's not habit yet. Stuffs it in his belt and runs out into the car park. There's a thin blue line around the station - what's all this about?
He can't see the figures opposite for the lights from the lorries, but he hears the loudspeaker ultimatum. They've got an hour.
Who told them?
Even in town, it's properly dark at nights now. They've got rid of the vans; too loud in the silent dust. The Civic Centre's got lights on and it sits like a beacon. Split into groups - the Controller's bringing up the rear - this is his mess, after all. A few figures rubbing their hands and smoking as they guard the battered building. There's no radio signal.
A wordless wave from the Lieutenant and it's too late now.
There's too many of them and they've got the station surrounded. Half of the cops are keeping an eye on the soldiers - they're from the Officer's own regiment and they're devoted.
There's not enough bullets to fight them off, but there's enough to save the kids and the birds. The whole of Etal has heard about what went on with the men up in Gosforth. They'll be saving them. He keeps telling himself this as he slips the rounds into cold magazines. It'll be worse for birds. We'll be saving them from that.
Striding up the path with weapons drawn. A silent salute from the soldiers on the door. The Lieutenant returns it with a relieved sigh. So far so good.
Through the corridors and down the stairs - it's not apparent at first, but the pace is picking up as they head towards the bunker.
The lights go out exactly the right time.
When they sputter back up, we're in the bunker. The Lieutenant's men have their guns in the ribs of their opponents. The Lieutenant strides in and looks around.
What's the Controller doing?
There's a .455 in his ear.
'S-sir! You c-can't do this!' - with all his strength, he aims his gun at the Officer and his hostage.
'No. You can't do THIS!' - the Officer waves his Webley around the bunker - 'I did what I had to do - I was the only one who could do it - look at what this dolt' - he shakes the Controller - 'managed to turn us into'.
His volume control is shot and his voice is cracking - 'I was there - I saw their faces when he gave the order - when he let them die.'
'S-sir, y-you've got to stop. H-Hexham know. W-W-Whitelaw knows. You know w-w-what they'll do to you. I...we can protect you. You can survive this. P-put the gun down, sir'.
The light goes out of the Officer's eyes. For a moment, his hand shakes as he grips the weapon. With a scream, he throws the Controller towards the Lieutenant.
'Now the gun, lad' pants the Controller.
Another strained look. Another sigh. He sees them in his mind and he feels them in his heart and he knows they wouldn't want this. So, so slowly, he bends down and places his weapon on the floor and gets back up.
He takes off his hat and runs his hands through his hair again. There's tears in his eyes. He opens his mouth to speak and a soldier puts fourteen bullets in him.
Thirteen minutes later, a troop of the Special Air Service makes it across the Newcastle city limits.
Slowly, the Constable and his partners walk towards the cells. As slowly as possible. Nothing but the echo of boots on lino and the creak of neglected doors.
God forgive us.
Fumbling for the keys. No. No. No. No. This one. Into the cell block lock. Open.
The policemen cock their weapons. They can hear the kids playing in their makeshift creche. Laughing.
Oh jesus. The Constable is crying and he feels sick.
His weapon in one hand, the door handle in the other. Handle down.
A voice screaming down the radio 'Abortabortabortstop! Hold fire, repeat, hold fire! They're turning back...they're fucking off!'
A silent smile as the Constable's heart dances. Handle back up.
They'll never know how close they came.
Just thought of something else related to East Texas. It's home to the East Texas Oil Field, the largest oil field in the U.S. outside of Alaska. This might provide a strong economy for the successor state of East Texas (assuming the oilfield itself wasn't hit and those who know how to drill for oil weren't all killed in the nuclear strikes).
I am also thinking of the timing of the nuclear exchange. Did it take place in mid-afternoon on the 21st (early-to-mid-morning U.S.)?
I have had to do quite a bit of research on the Newcastle area to understand everything here. Essentially does it means that the policemen are essentially preparing to mercy kill any "Irish" woman and child left alive in the Officers gaols, in case the operation fails?
Sort of - the police are preparing to mercy kill the 'Irish' women and children that they've hidden in protective custody at Etal Lane police station for fear that the soldiers will take them up to Gosforth Park Racecourse where they'll suffer the same brutal fate as the men.
Wow, that was quite something. I was expecting the Controller and Lieutenant's counter-coup to fail right up until the final part. I do hope someone tells THEM that THEY are no longer needed.
Interesting little hint of something with a red flag off Whitby.
Red Ensign, or Red Flag? One could be better news than the other.
Glad to see that little counter-coup went well, even if I didn't totally understand what was going on.
I assumed it was a submarine, which would make it a red flag.
And so it seems that life goes on, albeit in a very tough way for everyone.
Great curiosity to see if the Red Ensign is a red flag or a Soviet flag, although I seem to recall that the Soviet Navy had a white and blue flag in which only the star, the hammer and sickle were colored red.
Really, my compliments for the description of the assault and the subsequent restoration of order, it kept me in suspense up to the 'execution' of the Officer. I wonder now if there will be consequences such as those we had previously assumed, i.e. the removal of The Controller.
An excellent work. I look forward as always to reading the next developments.
The Danish flag also has quite a bit of red in it.
So does the Chinese flag, I suppose, but China is definitely too far away to send anything to Britain of all places.
You're right in both the cases
I'm not sure if the Danes have enough resources to send to the UK after all they would have been hit during the exchange.
The Officer's fate was tragic but, under the stress they are all feeling and the fact that the Officer was making things worse than they already were, it was hard for him to stay alive.
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