Protect and Survive: A Timeline

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

  1. ivfl Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    That is assuming there is still a government left in New Zealand.Most likely the capital would have been wiped off the map by the soviets.There may not be a functioning country left.
  2. BrianD From OTL or ATL depending on your perspective

    Aug 25, 2010
    Free Kentucky
    Macragge, hoping you're doing well. Can't wait for the next chapter to post.
  3. Macragge1 Banned

    Oct 18, 2009
    The Blues No.2

    And all the peacekeeper turn war officer/ Hear what I say

    If no-one asks any questions as to how the Deputy got his hands on a helicopter, then no-one will get told any lies. One might note, if interested, that the sardines, the peaches and more have changed hands once again.

    "So where on Earth are we going?" shouts the Detective over the choppers' whining engine.

    "Some ferry out in the Channel...the-" the Deputy searches through his notebook - "some Townsend Thorensen ship...err.. it got damaged by a bomb taking troops to Europe but limped back here. It's a dead loss except that it floats.... technical shit...technical shit... ah! For the last two weeks it's been a prison ship; probably overflow from all the nonsense we had with the ration riots"

    "Fair enough - so why's our man on it?"

    "Well from what I can get hold of, it looks like he got moved from Redenham after claiming shellshock after he found the first victim. HQ - no, someone else - had him transfered to HMP Free Enterprise; punishment for being too squeamish or something"

    "Is that our ship?" - the Detective points at a shape that's breaking the horizon"

    "Nah, thats the..." - more notes, more searching - "that's the Liverpool, searching for subs apparently - word is that CHANTICLEER are shitting themselves since the Whitby one turned up. In fact, I was doing a little detecting, and they reckon that bomb off Scotland - the one they're not telling anyone about?"

    "Blinded all those farmers?"

    "Bingo - anyway, they reckon it was a Russian sub - fucked if they know where they were trying to hit, or where it is now"

    "Well thank god; for a minute there I thought you'd say something upsetting"


    "Ah. This could get interesting."

    The Detective is not wrong. As the little Wasp makes a pass around the orange hull of the ferry, it's impossible to miss the black smoke that's rising and mixing with the mist. A closer buzz and the Detective can see the anger in the eyes of the prisoners as the rip the lower decks apart.

    "We locked them in the cargo hold" - the first words from the cockpit since the flight began - " a couple of hours ago, we tried to take their fags off them, or some stupid fucking thing like that - bad mistake" - he veers to avoid the missiles bouncing off the craft.

    Two minutes later, the Detective and his Deputy are jumping down out of the wheezing bird.

    "So, you wait here, and we'll be back when we've got out man!'

    "Not for all the fucking peaches in the world! I'll be back in ten minutes - once - miss that and you'll be getting your swimming badges" - the helicopter is up and away.

    "Fuck him and fuck his fucking rotors!" - the Detective is rubbing his hands over his head - "ruining my fucking hair"

    "He is coming back, isn't he?"

    The Detective is about to answer when a couple of ragged figures burst out of the restaurant and onto the deck. One's got a spanner, the other's holding the deadly end of a pool cue.

    "Police! Drop your fucking...weapons!" - the Detective and the Deputy have their pistols up and aiming.

    "None of us are getting of this boat, pig - not us, not you!"

    "Weapons - down - now!"

    "No-one's getting - "

    Blam blam blam blam blam blam blam

    "Fuck's sake!"

    "Why don't they ever..." - the Detective hastily puts his gun away and starts rubbing his face - "just put it down?"

    They slip and slide over the two figures - their blood is going pale as it mixes with rain and seawater. The Detective is pale too as they kick their way into the erstwhile 'restaurant'

    "So where would you be, if you were our guy?"


    The Detective stops dead.



    "You know what? Never mind. Yes, let's go to the boat's cockpit"


    The ferry is wrecked but it's mostly empty as they climb up the decks - any rioters they do see are sensible enough to make themselves scarce once they see the guns and the blood on them. There's a strange bounce in their steps as they go from level to level - the carpets had been replaced by wooden boards when the vessel became a troopship.

    The bridge door is locked; the round window has been boarded up.

    "You ready?"

    The door is kicked into splinters.

    "Police! Don't move!"

    And a reply -

    "Police! Don't move!"

    A plump, moustachioed figure, sweating in a black jumper. He holds a shotgun in shaking hands.

    "You the Sergeant from Redenham?!"


    "We've come for a little chat! You wanna put that down, you'll have someone's eye out!"

    "Oh! Yeah, yeah." - the Sergeant puts the shotgun down on the desk - "there's no fucking bullets in it anyway" - he waves his hand.


    "Anyway, I'm sure you know why we're here"

    "'Course. Look... can we...can we have this chat somewhere else?"

    "We've only got a few questions, Sergeant - the sooner we start, the sooner we can finish"

    "No, no - we can't - can we - we have to do it somewhere else"

    "Now Sergeant, it's not going to help at all if you're going to be this fucking evasive"

    "Just fucking LISTEN!"

    "Hello Camelot, this is Broadsword. We see Pendragon. Say again, we are in range"

    The Sergeant runs over to a side window and starts slamming on it - "there!"

    Looming out of the horizon, the jagged lines of the Liverpool.

    "So they're coming to pick us all up, right?" - the Detective asks.

    "Hello Broadsword, this is Camelot. Open fire, over"

    "No, but, haha, they're coming to pick us up, aren't they?" - the Detective laughs.

    "Tubes one and tubes two gone. Impact in forty-five seconds"

    "We're going to go."

    The three men vault out of the bridge and slide down the metal stairs, taking the banisters in both hands. A couple of rioters step into the corridor in front of them - panic and momentum knocks them down.

    They are running back through the restaurant when the first shockwave knocks them to their knees. They run on their hands and then their knees and then they are back up. There's broken glass on the floor and in their clothes and hair; they barge through onto the deck as the second torpedo tears another hole in the ship.

    The Detective slips on the wet surface and falls sideways, fast - when he blinks again, he's holding on with one hand to a railing. Below him, a snarling, freezing sea; above him, the Deputy and the Sergeant, scrambling to grab him.

    "Hold on!"

    More noise now; to his credit, the helicopter has returned - unfortunately, the rotor-wash makes gripping even harder.


    They pull, and they pull, and, agonisingly, his hands and his feet struggle for purchase until he's lying on his back, panting and crying on the bleeding deck.

    The Deputy and the Sergeant grab him and carry him into the helicopter as it lifts off. Wordlessly, they watch as the hulk rolls over, moans and dissapears forever. The Wasp then darts past the Liverpool; the men are too tired to curse it.

    It takes a while for the Detective to get his breath back enough to shout over the rotors.

    "Anyway, Sergeant - these questions..."
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
    Artaxerxes likes this.
  4. Falkenburg CMII & Bar Donor

    Jan 9, 2011
    Cracking stuff, as ever.:D

    Poor old 'Townsend'. :(.
    It seems that ship was destined to turn turtle whatever else happened.

    One wonders if the Liverpools' Anti-Sub duties were pure mis-information or if there is a genuine possibility of more Russian Subs lurking around. Given the state of the last one to turn up, they'd have to be pretty desperate (or deranged) by now. :eek:

  5. Lord Brisbane Pam Poovey's stunt double

    Apr 8, 2006
    Canberra, South of the Tweed
    A great update as ever. :)
  6. Lemon flavoured British Miami Dolphins fan

    Jun 8, 2010
    Hucknall, Notts, UK
    Nice update as ever *thumbs up*
  7. Andristan Freiherr und Kaisertreu

    Jan 31, 2011
    You'd think that since ships are a (semi)precious commodity now that no-one is building any more, and the authorities would thus be a little more conservative before destroying; a nice dose of Mustard gas would have done the trick quite well.
    On the other hand, escaping the sinking ship was pretty awesome. . .
  8. iainbhx Fold your hands child, you walk like a peasant Donor

    Oct 23, 2010
    Birmingham, England
    So the Spirit of Free Enterprise remains a Ro-Ro-Ro Ferry.

    I must admit that I would have thought that the prison system would have been down to chain-gangs or a quick length of hemp rope by now. No time for mollycoddling and feeding people on hulks.
  9. Lemon flavoured British Miami Dolphins fan

    Jun 8, 2010
    Hucknall, Notts, UK
    I'm guessing it would be a case of trying to show that life was "normal". Chain gangs and hanging would be seen as less normal.
  10. JN1 No longer has the Lurgy

    Nov 16, 2007
    My house
    Well I have to admit I wasn't expecting to see the Herald of Free Enterprise appear here. Good chapter.

    Wonder what Liverpool was using to sink her? A T42's only surface to surface weapons are it's 4.5inch gun, the Sea Darts in their secondary SSM role and the Sea Skuas of his Lynx. It might be able to fire Stingray torpedoes at a surface target but as LWT ASW fish they only have a small warhead.
  11. ivfl Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    What countries are pretty much gone without any hope of recovery?Great Britain has a hope of survival somewhat although in the long term maybe not.But what countries would be pretty much gone forever,never to recover at least not for centuries?
  12. JN1 No longer has the Lurgy

    Nov 16, 2007
    My house
    Germany and the USSR for one thing (well actually two :D). Denmark probably because it would have caught both tac and strategic nukes and Poland for the same reason.
  13. ivfl Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    I guess Holland as well since nuclear strikes would have destroyed dikes and flooded much of the country,France with the loss of Paris and overwhelmed by refugees from the east,Israel being a small country would end up a radioactive wasteland following the soviet attack.
  14. Macragge1 Banned

    Oct 18, 2009
    Might be one of her sister ships ;) ... I suppose we don't know whether the Liverpool really was ASWing or whether she was headed towards the 'prison' the whole time.

    Thanks a lot!

    The point about ships being valuable is true; this ferry in particular, however, was a constructive total loss - it'd sink in dry dock if they left it and they don't have the resources to fix it.

    Strangely, it's probably easier and more cost-effective to just sink the wreck than to use mustard gas; Yperite's got a lot more valuable uses these days than a shipwreck, and no-one anywhere makes it anymore, whereas we've got vestigial ship-building and spare ships dotted around the place.

    Glad you liked the escape scene; I'd be lying if I said I didn't push things around a bit for drama's sake.

    There's still chain-gangs, hangings etc; as you suggest, though, there's a lot of improvising.

    I wouldn't think that the authorities thought for a moment that this was actually going to be a prison ship - it's a big execution for relatively little cost; I doubt the 'passengers' got fed or anything on the way there.

    Something of a dark timeline when torpedoing a couple hundred people in the open ocean is 'mollycoddling'...

    Bit of a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' - the Portsmouth authorities saw a way to deal with an overcrowding problem, and did it. Useless mouths etc.

    Glad you liked it.

    I guess the Liverpool, like everyone else these days, has just been old to improvise; I imagine a couple of ASW torpedos against a stationary, already damaged cargo ship probably wouldn't be too much of a stretch, given the circumstances.

    These, for certain. A lot of small countries, as well as dependencies (i.e Ascencion, some Pacific islands) might also find themselves withering on the vine without outside support.

    Tangentially, spent a nice sunny day in Felton today; looking better than in P&S, for what that's worth.
  15. Dunois Franco-British Patriot!

    Jul 4, 2009
    Again, an awesome update from Macragge!

    Don't forget that France is a large country, while the northeast will be in a poor condition, the western seaboard will be fine and likely almost unscathed in places.
    The loss of Paris will be a huge problem as I have said before, since it might that command and control will be problematic for a while. But if most prefects have survived on a local level (and they likely have in most départements), I can easily see them being granted emergency powers in order to get things up and running.

    I think that a key lesson of the TL can be said that in emergency situations, command and control is probably the most important thing which has to survive. Britain despite being heavily hammered (more so than France and many other European countries on a per square mile basis), is recovering since command and control exists.

    I am tempted to adventure a guess that by the end of 1984 some amount of international coordination will be up and running. Italy, Spain and Portugal will be relatively intact and can act as centres of recovery. Southern and Western Europe will become the centre of the continent for the upcoming decades and probably centuries, with a nothern appendage in the shape of Scandinavia. Central Europe east of the Rhine will be mostly agricultural and in any case heavily underpopulated by TTL 2011 to ever regain its former position of strength.

    As much as the TL is bleak and full of horrors, there is a future for this world and there is a future for Macragge1 Britain's. Britain survived the Black Plague and the loss of a third of its population during the Middle Ages, so it can survive this.
  16. ivfl Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Somehow I see France collapsing in a variety of mini-states,with the north pretty much under the control of warlords(surviving french or maybe even belgian and some german soldiers who no longer take orders from anyone).The Med is a wild card,but Italy probably collapsed with the south becoming an official Mafia state,we shouldn't forget that in the '80 the Mafia was still a powerfull force which had considerable influence on the southern part,it wouldn't be that hard for them to step in if the italian government is gone.Also its doubtfull that many surviving soldiers would take orders from someone in a bunker anymore,especially the ones who saw the worst of the fighting and lived.There is the added problem that surviving forces from the US now that they dont have a country to come back to would probably take over in whatever region they operate or become armed gangs wandering from place to place.Of course the worst of the war will only now follow.Disease and famine will spread like wildfire,what is left of the authorities will probably be swept away by the chaos.
  17. Dunois Franco-British Patriot!

    Jul 4, 2009
    You are underestimating the capacity of remaining authorities to impose order and overestimating the propensity of warlords states to form. In times of crisis most people still follow orders from whatever authorities are left and it is very hard for anyone to step into the vacuum, especially in relatively unscathed areas like France or Italy. Surviving generals and colonels have nothing to gain by becoming warlords and everything to lose. They might be able to scrape a living from the countryside and devasted towns/cities, but this will only last for a while. If they carry on looting killing and raping forever, eventually they will run out of food and will only manage to stir up hatred from the local population. Pushing them into the arms of whatever government remains and ensuring that sooner or later the warlords will be defeated.
    As I have moreover said before in the case of France, the army will have mobolised in all likelyhood so we are talking about three millions soldiers under arms ready to impose oder across the entire nation. Every military keeps huge surplus stockpiles of weapons from ages past (some more than others), and I would adventure a good guess that a fair few WW2 vintage rifles will be distributed to the conscripts. Ammunition will be a problem in the long run, but making bullets is not that hard with minimal equipment. Any workshop in a small town should be able to manufacture some, the quality won't be as good as it was prewar, but bullets will be made and that's what matters. As for food, I can bet you that millions of tons of grain are stored in silos all over France. The silos are never fully empty, since the supply chain to the mills must be maintained all year long, so you can bet that a lot is still available ready to be used. Transportation by rail is still possible, though the loss of Paris will be a problem. France can also still count on her nuclear power plants for electricty (do you know how long it takes to use up all the energy content of a Uranium fuel load? Years), the grid will be ok in western France, the Rhone valley links may have been seriously battered however.

    In Italy the Mafia could end up taking more powers indeed. But let's face it, Italy has not been bombed to the same extent as Britain. Rome is gone, so is Naples, so is Milan and probably a few other cities as well. But the Italian countryside is likely intact and Italy's urban structure based around medium towns of c200 000 inhabitants almost inevitably mean that significant industrial potential has survived.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  18. JN1 No longer has the Lurgy

    Nov 16, 2007
    My house
    If I had been Liverpool's captain I'd have used a few 4.5inch rounds because they would be easier to replace than sophisticated weapons like Sea Darts and Stringrays.
    A lot of places that do maintenance of missiles are now gone. The RAF and RN's Sea Eagles, for example, were maintained at RNAD Crombie, which is gone. OTOH HMNB Portsmouth is likely to have lots of fairly unsophisticated things like shells in storage.

    Btw is the Glen Douglas munitions facility and associated jetty at Glen Mallan still intact? Apparently in 1989 it stored something like 40,000 tons of missiles, depth charges and shells. An important asset if it has survived.
    Not sure how easy it would be to take out a target that is essentially within a glen. Perhaps the only reliable way of hitting it would be via a gravity bomb from a Tu-22M and that risks the attacker being shot down.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  19. ivfl Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Problem is just how many soldiers are still able to fight and willing.Most would be reservists,many would possibly desert to see if their families are still alive.There would be the added problem of people fleeing their homes despite any reason.In the aftermath of war there would be rumours most of them fatalistic about what is going on.Many people would simply leave.Surviving frenchmen would probably flee towards Spain especially if rumours say that the situation there is relatively good.I doubt anyone would believe some local magistrate if he said the radiation risk is minimal for their region,even if it was the truth.Following the war trust in the authorities would be at an all time low.
  20. Mario Rossi ███▐█▌█▌▌▌▌▌▌▌

    Oct 7, 2010
    Italian Ngorongoro Expedition
    Happy Easter everybody! :D

    First of all, I'm glad to see Jack's back; I admit I've feared that one of our finest writer could have orphaned us of P&S :(

    I've fallen behind with the installments, so forgive me if I go back with chapters.

    Very funny reference to "time fans found themselves unable to phone the speaking clock"; it made me LOL, it's probably the last thing I've thought in an imminent war situation, but time fans need love too. More seriously I understand all the government's fuzz about somenthing not so exciting as a microscopic phone grid: something is always better than nothing, especially when you have to persuade your citizens that you're just not watchin' them dying by radiation sickness or forced labour.

    How on the earth you can obtain a group suicide with a claw hammer? You need a hell of a ricochet...

    Goodbye President Pretorious, I wonder what will happen to the refugees, BTW.

    Belgian Government alive, that's kinda surprise: I've thought that BeNeLux has become a wasteland; probably they've already formed a Flemish and a Waloons party inside the bunker.:D

    Very intriguing the hints about surviving Germans and even more intriguing how they could have communicated with them.

    We're back to trains, not so bad; after all, in many post-atomic TL it's a luxury even a horse.

    My compliments for the Controller/Constable scene, it really strikes for realism by any angle you choose to see it. A little bit of curiosity for the new character. I put my 0,01 € on a """resistance""" member.

    Great stream of consciousness sequence; so Belgians were right, there are still German citizens alive. Frankly chilling the usage of the term "huntergatherer"; somehow, somewhere, we're back to sticks and stones.

    Are the "visitors" British?

    I hope we will see more of this small but intense mini-chapters focusing on individuals.

    Small nitpick: It should be "Townsend Thoresen", but we are in P&Sverse who cares about spelling :D (IIRC, even Whitelaw use erroneus words like "Russian" for "Soviet").

    Finally an answer for the flash over the Hebrids, thank you!

    What exactly means "fags"? Maybe cigarettes? I ask you because beside that meaning I knew that fag was a very unpolite nick for "homosexual"...

    Good performance by our guys on the ship, the thugs perhaps thought to be still in the good ol' days of compassionate law enforcement by socials services.

    Apalling show of force by RN; that's a damn cursory way to sedate a riot :D

    As always, keep on Jack!