Protect and Survive: A Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Macragge1, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Macragge1 Banned

    Oct 18, 2009
    The Blues No.1

    Somebody got murdered/ Somebody's dead forever

    'The time is six-oh-two a.m. Volunteers in Zone A are to report to the Guildhall Assembly Point by 0630 hours. Volunteers in Zone B are to report to - '

    'Good morning', yawns the Detective into an empty room.

    '- and will be liable for prosecution. And now a news bulletin. Hampshire Police have confirmed that the foreign warship that arrived off Portsmouth yesterday morning belongs to a friendly power. No more information is available at this time. His Majesty King George is set to deliver a speech this - '

    The Detective has to heave his way out from underneath his three heavy quilts; his flat, of course, has no central heating; he stands up wearing two vests and a pair of thermals. He catches a glimpse of himself in the grimy mirror; his three-day stubble growth stands as scruffy testament to the razor-blade shortage.

    'Good grief.' He rolls his eyes as he rubs his face. A splash of cold water later, he is slightly more lucid. It's just light enough these mornings that he needn't waste a candle getting ready. He gets rid of his thermals and throws them on the bulky bed. His shirt first; baby blue and white pinstripes with a white collar; a real nightmare to keep clean these days; next, his trousers and belt, tucking himself in. A red tie; around the tracks and through the tunnel -

    '- now have fifteen minutes to report to their stations. The weather today is good, and fallout is white over the city with light pockets of grey to dark grey remaining in the following areas - '

    A suit jacket, an overcoat and some leather gloves; Spring is coming very late and it feels more like February than April. He's forgetting something - he stands and looks around the room. Ah, of course. Unhappily, he picks up the pistol from his bedside table and hides it away in his coat. Horrible things.

    '- will now go off the air. Turn off your radio now in order to conserve batteries. The next broadcast will be at 0900 hours. Turn off your radio now in order to-'

    Click - 'Your wish is my command', intones the Detective with a little bow to his portable radio. Right. Let's go to work.

    The Detective locks the door of his flat - not that there's anything worth stealing in there, he sighs - and heads down the stairwell towards the block's exit. He smiles apologetically at the beggars that line the corridors and pulls out the lining of his pockets - 'Still nothing, sorry!'. As he pushes open the doors he sticks his hands into his pockets and braces himself. There's a light mist outside that gives one the feeling of walking through powdered glass. For a couple of seconds, the Detective contemplates waiting for the bus; If he's lucky, he might even get to ride on the inside. 'Nah', he thinks, 'I need to get there today'.

    It's a fairly straightforward 25 minute walk to the local headquarters, but he feels quietly vindicated as not one single bus trundles past him. In fact, apart from a couple of army vehicles and one official-looking saloon (doubtless headed up to Charlie in the compound), the streets were completely devoid of motorised transport.

    When he reaches the armed guard at the entrance, he smiles at him and moves to walk past. As always, the rifle is levelled at him.

    'Now darling, must we do this every day?' - he takes out his wallet and his identification - 'It's still me, fabulous as ever!' - he grins and holds the photograph up next to his own face. The guard scowls and lowers his weapon.

    'Same time tomorrow!' shouts the Detective over his shoulder as he jogs up the steps'.


    The Detective steps into his office to find that it's already stale with cigarette smoke. The Deputy is already lying back in his chair, chewing a cigarette and reading a comic.

    'Have we not read that one?' asks the Detective as he hangs up his coat. The Deputy simply shoots him a look that shows how pointless a question it was. 'Are you up to the part where he lifts a whole cow up over his head? It truly is a triumph of literature!'

    The Deputy throws the comic on his desk and smiles sarcastically - 'fuck off you big poof. Anyway, I'm surprised you bothered coming in at all today; you do know that our shift starts at six, don't you?'

    The Detective poses in mock-horror - 'Moi? Late? Gosh, what is the world coming to?'- he sits down and takes a cigarette from the Deputy - 'so what's new?'

    'Well you owe me five pounds, for a start. That ship? South African.'


    'Yours was a nice guess though; still, the Swiss Navy must have been lost at sea, because there's no sign of them so far. Dickhead.'

    Without looking up from his notes, the Detective raises his middle finger at the Deputy. 'Climb it, Tarzan.'

    'I hope I'm not interrupting anything important, gentlemen'. The Chief Inspector, looking like a retired Games teacher in his ill-fitting suit. The red of his face nicely matches his V-neck. 'Some of us do have work to do. You do know you're almost two hours late, don't you?'

    Again without looking up - 'Yes sir I'm so desperately sorry please sir it wont happen again.'

    The Chief Inspector pulls the chair from under the Detective and addresses him on the floor - 'You see you will be sorry this time, sunshine. Because I've got some work for you to do, work that involves leaving this shithole that you call an office and actually doing some investigating. There's been another murder, out by some farmhouse near Awbridge, and you're going to solve the mystery.'

    'If I remember correctly - sir - next door were assigned to that case.'

    'Those two bought it last night driving up there; took about fifty rounds each and then the horrible fuckers set the car alight.'


    'Looters, Communists, Rebels, Martians, doesn't matter - you're on the case now. And if you fuck up - and I'm already counting all these late arrivals against you - then I'll come down on you so hard you'll think you were Maggie bloody Thatcher. Now get out of my sight!'


    They can tell they are getting closer as the roads get narrower.

    'You think he's serious?', asks the Detective as he turns a corner.

    'Are you joking? It was probably him that did them next door in; I did see one of their top buttons undone last week'

    'Fair enough' - they laugh - 'I saw the other one running in the corridor on Friday - signed his own death warrant!'

    'Speaking of death warrant -' They slow down at the cordon and flash their badges. Within a few minutes they're looking at the body, lying in the back of an unmarked ambulance.

    After a few minutes of silent contemplation, the Deputy breaks the silence - 'fuuuuckin' hell - sick bastard took no chances with this one'

    Indeed he hadn't; the man, in his forties, had been split almost in half, a tear running up from his abdomen to his throat, leaving him looking like an overcooked sausage from which the filling has burst. Further inspection revealed that he had no tongue.

    The pair close the door on the cadaver; the smell and the sight of him, or it, is getting too much.

    'So they took nothing, apparently; the guy had twice as much food as he needed, had money, clothes, fuel, the lot - Plod says it's all still there.'

    'That is very interesting...' the Deputy smiles conspiratorially. 'Perhaps we should go and investigate, go and make sure.'

    The pair flash their cards at the bored looking officer at the farmhouse door and walk in. Within moments they are rifling through every cupboard and taking their pick of the contents. It's all preservable stuff of course, but it's still a goldmine.

    'Look at this, sir - Del Monte Tinned Peaches - Sweet and Fruity - a bit like you - '


    'Keep or sell?'

    'What's the market like for peaches?'

    'Well...actually it's not that great since they turned over that truck last week.'

    'We'll have them tonight, then'

    'Champion. Here, sir, when was the last time you saw a tin of sardines in the wild?'


    About half an hour later, the two officers finish their investigation a stone heavier. They slip a couple of tins and a chocolate bar into the sentry's greatcoat as they walk out, tapping their noses mischievously.

    'Right. Down to business', says the Detective as they get back into their car. ' We need some leads on these killings. This is what...' - he takes out a notebook '- the third? We'd better start at the start. Who found the first one?'


    It takes an hour to get back to the headquarters and another two hours to search through the paperwork.

    'Here we are, sir; it was some Sergeant working the beat at Redenham. Poor fucker was stupid enough to request a transfer after he found it; found it all 'too stressful'

    'Oh dear. So can we reach him now?'

    'Depends, I suppose. You reckon we can bluff ourselves a helicopter?'
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  2. Das_Colonel Banned

    Aug 13, 2010
    Ahhh perfect. I was waiting for the Gene Genie to make an appearance


    The thing I love about TTL and your writing style is that it's so easy to visualise and feel the emotion. :p
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  3. JjeeporCreepor Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    I like it! And yes, I was sort of visualising Hunt and the gang too... :D
  4. Dunois Franco-British Patriot!

    Jul 4, 2009
    Very good start Macragge1, looking forward to more!
  5. Jukra Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    Tuborg at Uborg
    Macragge1, this is simply delightful. A much better read than history thesis lookalikes which normally overpopulate this forum! Keep up the good work!
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  6. Stateless Well-Known Watermelon

    Dec 29, 2007
    Who's asking?
    Everyone loves the Clash!
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  7. ivfl Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011

    I wonder how bad are things in Japan following the war.I expect that US military bases were wiped of the map and by extension cities close to them suffered damage.Also the soviets certainly wiped Tokyo of the map in an effort to destroy the japanese government,they probably bombed any japanese military installations on Hokkaido being the island closest to soviet territory.Whatever is left of the japanese government would possibly have fled to the south of the country.The worst would only now come, cut off from any imports the japanese economy would collapse completely,famine ensuing in the long term.Maybe the country goes back to the days when civil war was the norm there.
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  8. Indiana Beach Crow Exile in Wrigleyville

    Apr 26, 2009
    They're the only band that matters, no matter what timeline you're in.
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  9. Wolf Free Kilny!

    Feb 28, 2006
    United States of Ameriwank
    I love it!
  10. JN1 No longer has the Lurgy

    Nov 16, 2007
    My house
    If this is 1984 then the Gene Genie should be with the Met in London, unless he got a transfer after the events of Ashes to Ashes. In TTL there will certainly be a lot of dead coppers for him to ease across to the other side. :(

    To me the two detectives remind me a bit more of the 'Andies' in Hot Fuzz to some degree. Their conversation over the tinned peaches is reminiscent of the conversation over prawn cocktail crisps in Threads.
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  11. Lemon flavoured British Miami Dolphins fan

    Jun 8, 2010
    Hucknall, Notts, UK
    Good update. It'll be interesting to see where this story goes.
  12. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    Nice update:), we get a closer look on the individuals and their lives after the war.
  13. darkblue1893 Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Another good update, did you base the policeman on the one in Soylent Green, who also helps himself to contents of the murder victims home.
  14. Macragge1 Banned

    Oct 18, 2009
    Thanks a lot; I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    There's probably a bit of him subconsciously; the idea of the sort of low-level corruption is just a sort of Third World thing that shows how desperate and unprofessional everyone's become.

    Both very valid statements.

    Gosh, there'd be thousands; It'd be a harrowing image watching Gene have to take in a whole parade ground of lost souls on the day of the exchange.

    I love the two Andies.

    '-and 'cos talking to them's an uphill struggle!'

    Metal bin hits Nick Frost rigtht in the head

    'Fuck off!'

    There's almost certainly a subliminal bit of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes in this, given the period it's set and the fact that I really loved both shows.

    Glad that you're enjoying the timeline.

    Also, I thought I'd throw this in here -

    It's an interesting look at a restored ROC post (there's a lot of good stuff on that site) as it would have been at the time of the Exchange.

    On a similar note; - 1971 docu on the ROC; pretty interesting.
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  15. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    And, if you include American cops, there'd be millions on the day of the exchange.

    He'd need a whole small country to take all those in (not to mention all the cops from other countries that were nuked).

    I am interested in the story. Are you going to have any flashbacks?

    BTW (this has nothing to do with the detective story) the largest skyscraper in the southern U.S. is probably Edison Plaza in Beaumont, which was constructed in 1982 (since Beaumont was spared, unlike every other major city in Texas), which is, probably in this TL, a command center for relief efforts in East Texas (OTL, it was the city of Beaumont's command center during Hurricane Rita in 2005).
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
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  16. JN1 No longer has the Lurgy

    Nov 16, 2007
    My house
    I can just see Gene wondering where 'the bloody hell' all these cops came from. The pub won't be big enough to acomodate them all.

    'My name is DCI Sam Tyler/DI Alex Drake and I was killed in a nuclear exchange. I woke up in 1973/1981...'
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  17. ivfl Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Who is left

    What countries which have been attacked still function more or less?I'm including in this category countries which still have government ministers alive and able to claim authority over their territory even if they have no way of imposing themselves.I imagine many countries might still have a government but next to no army or police still functioning,so de facto they're gone as functioning states.But still I'm willing to include such countries as still nominally there,at least able to make contact and exchange information.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  18. Macragge1 Banned

    Oct 18, 2009
    The prime timeline will definitely be continuing, but there won't be such a strict '1 Prime/ 1 Spin-off/ 1 Prime/ 1 Spin-off system as there was with Prospero. Both will be going on concurrently though.
  19. Mario Rossi ███▐█▌█▌▌▌▌▌▌▌

    Oct 7, 2010
    Italian Ngorongoro Expedition
    It's been a while since I've written here, but I'll like to give props to one of my favourite writers :)

    Let's go to the stories:

    So SAS President Pretorious has arrived; it's in a sorry state, and that's no surprise. Side question: have already been or will be there other ships from Europe or Africa? I remember hints, in early chapters, about somehow survivings authorities in France (en route to South America), Norway and Spain. We are several weeks after the first contacts, still silence from them?

    I join myself in the disbeliefing about cuban/angolan tacnukes driven-SA collapse. It should require a very lucky mix of strategic/tactical surprise by Soviets' lackeys and disorganization by Republic forces. Impossible is nothing, and military history is full of examples of absolutely established concepts crushed by the ugly truth of the real life, however I agree with the others when they say that we shouldn't take everything said by the refugees as being the Gospel truth. Sure enough the Cape Town self bombing story seems very strange, lefting aside a "Samson option", why waste one of your few device over your capital city? Maybe to give a mercyful fate to white citizens? Anyway I imagine too a sort of high power Rwanda style hell on earth situation all over Africa.

    The sub's inspection is one of the most apalling scene ever read; the crew goin' Chikatilo, damn. I remember the surrender of a Soviet Sub in Warday where the only deads found on board were some mutining sailors, but as always Jack likes to take the whole thing to higher levels :D

    The Spook is a fuckin' genius, he should be officially promoted to MI5 Director General, Whitelaw must do it; Can we assume that SU as political entity isn gone? If so, the Officer's guys were right, we've "won" the war, even if I don't know how much we have to celebrate.

    Touching final sequence, God bless all the "John" of this world, wherever they are.

    Happy to see the new installment, should we call it "The Blues?"

    I'll be curious to ear the king's speech about the SA pals, and props for representing OH the "business as usual" OTOH the moral decadence of Police, something that remind me of the Irvine Welsh's cops.

    Keep on, Jack, you're great!
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  20. Shawn Endresen Member. Of everything.

    May 19, 2006
    Others have said it, I'll echo them - this is first-class work, Macragge.

    Forgive some musings on the American situation. Most people have been talking about the National Guard as if they're angels of law and order, going to help knit the country together aganst secessionists. In fact, they're problem #1. Perhaps you're looking at the 2011 National Guard and think they're standup fellows, integrated with the Regular's command structure and often serving more grueling rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan than their Regular counterparts, because no one realized it was necessary to make State laws to protect them from indefinite overseas deployment. Yea, those guys aren't what we have in 1984. A senior NG officer in 84, by definition, was commissioned early-to-middle Vietnam, a fair number of them after Tet - when there was no chance of them being deployed in Vietnam. Simply getting a comission at that point meant you had friends in the Governor's office, liked having a gun, uniform and maybe a tank or jet, but didn't feel like seeing combat against an actual enemy. The Regulars are impressively apolitical. The NGs don't even pretend (some progress has been made since '75, since many of these problems have been identified, but it's been very slow going). You'll find many of them from state political dynasties. The guys willing to lay down their lives for the whole United States of America - mostly did, in the German Wasteland and the Korean Unholiness. The balance of military power in the USA has shifted from the President, wherever he may be, to the Governors. And they're likely to talk back to the Governors in a way that Regular Generals do not talk back to the President. Bad juju.

    I was looking at the 1990 target list, and Vermont jumped out at me. No primary targets. No secondary targets. One tertiary target - the city of Burlington, which is not the state capital. Given the reliability of the Soviet part of the Exchange, I reckon 50-50 odds that Vermont got no nukes at all; it may be the most whole and functional of the States. With the horror that Massachussetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are glass while New York, New Hampshire and Maine are crippled, Vermont is going to have a big refugee problem. I wonder how the Governor will handle things. As close as it is to New York, perhaps that's where our valiant Prospero crew met the Secretary.

    Idaho and Wyoming are nearly as good, and Oregon and Oklahoma not too bad. Nevada will survive the Exchange (an on-target hit at the base isn't going to damage the Strip), but not the disruption to its water supply and the seething mass of hell coming over its western border. Just a different way to die, I suppose. The Mayors of Las Vegas and Cleveland could be interesting viewpoints too.

    Thank you for your work.

    EDIT: Oh, South Africa - yeah, it's gonna be that bad, including the unique concept of victory that involves nuking your own major city. Plan Orange 84 hasn't been written and accepted yet, and this is an Orange situation; the government has no concept of acceptable (white) losses yet, so it's going to throw everything it has at the "kaffir" uprising. Even if the nukes from Angola are retconned, that situation remains. It won't be enough, especially with Johannesburg gone. The refugees are, at least to my mind, probably all despicable...but the things they've seen happen as their nation collapses brings them to the mental state where that's almost normal and tame behavior.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
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