Reds fanfic

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by E. Burke, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Ravenclaw Jewish Socialist

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    Interesting that they avoid the "Reed Richards is Useless" trope, though I think if his technological advancements keep improving society, eventually there'll be no need for heroes (or it will at least be too far estranged from the real world)

    I'm not sure if Natasha would have the last name "Romanov", given that it was the name of the Tsarist dynasty.
     
  2. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    The Eighth Wonder of the World!

    King Kong
    (In memoriam to Merian C. Cooper)
    Directed by Merian C. Cooper/Ernest B. Schoedsack
    Cast:
    Fay Wray as Ann Redman
    Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham
    Bruce Cadot as Lewis Driscoll
    Noble Johnson as Captain Englehorn
    Distributed by Universal Film Collective (originally produced by RKO)
    Released on August 4th, 1935

    Plot:
    The film opens with director Carl Dunham at the docks, hoping to catch a boat for his new project. He charters a boat called the Venture, but needs a leading actress. He wanders New York before coming across Ann Redman, a young up and coming actress. He hires her for the new film, despite the supersitions of first mate Lewis Driscoll. After a few weeks journey, Denham admits that they are heading towards the mysterious Skull island, somewhere off the coast of Africa. Here, there is a mysterious creature called Kong by the natives, that Denham wants a shot of. When they arrive, they find a friendly village of natives, with a large wall in the background, who eagerly welcome them. However, they warn Denham and his crew of the dangers of the island, particularly Kong himself. Undeterred, they travel into the island. There, they find the island infested by prehistoric creatures,like Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Pterosaurs. Ann, who stayed behind in the village, sees a large gorilla like creature emerge from the wall, which kidnaps her. When the crew briefly return, the natives tell them that "Kong" kidnapped Ann. When they go to rescue her, many of the crew are killed by an array of prehistoric creatures,(in one horrific scene, with giant insects). Meanwhile, Kong kills a Tyannosaurus, whilst Ann looks on in awe. Kong takes Ann to its cave, where she fights attempts by Kong to play with her. Driscoll track the creature to the cave, where he saves Ann. They return to the village. However, Kong follows them to the village. Here, Denham, and a group of natives take down Kong using a gas bomb. Denham decides to take Kong back to New York, to promote the "Eighth Wonder of the World."
    However, at Kong's premiere at Time's Square, Kong, disturbed by the flashes of the Camera, escapes. He kills Denham, by literally crushing him. He then heads out in search of Redman. He finds her at her apartment with Driscoll, who tries to fend off Kong, but is also killed. Kong then takes Ann, and rampages across New York, before the Red Army is called in, who proceed to kill Kong. He falls, and Ann is safe. Whilst looking over the dead beast, Ann comments, when a reporter says the soldiers killed Kong, "No, it was Beauty that killed the beast."

    Background:

    King Kong was primarily filmed in 1932, and was scheduled for released in March of 1933. However, after MacArthur's seizure of power on February 1st, and Hollywood largely paralyzed by the outbreak of civil war, it sat on the RKO shelf for a few months, escaping the fate of other Cooper/Wray vehicle "The Most Dangerous Game," (presumed missing until a copy turned up in Nottingham, England in 1966). In the meantime, Merian Cooper, the director, was killed by stray fire in April of 1933. After the end of the war in September, and the establishment of the UASR, producer Ernst B. Schoedsack tried to release the film. However, the WFPL found the film "unsuitable for release" in its current form. Hence, he was forced to reshoot some scenes, and cut some parts out. Luckily, most of the original equipment for Kong, and the models for Kong and the dinosaurs largely survived undamaged. Willis O'Brien was brought in several times to re-animate some scenes of Kong in New York, and create new scenes on Skull Island (as some of the original film with the models had been damaged in storage). Originally, the Skull Island natives were brutal savages who attempted to sacrifice Ann to Kong. However, given that this was based off a bourgeois, racist image of native peoples, the scenes with the natives were reshoot to show them in a more positive light, helping the protagonists out. Ann's various screams throughout the film were either removed or muted. She was remolded into a stronger character, who tries to soothe (and, if necessary, fight) Kong, rather than just scream. (To appease Eastman's Law, a scene was added early in the film, featuring Ann and her friend talking about drying up acting jobs) A cut scene, featuring Kong unpeeling Ann's clothes, was replaced in the film. Most controversially, both Denham and Driscoll were killed in the final cut. In the original film, both survived. However, Schoedsack recalled, "the man from the WFPL said that Denham had exploited nature itself, by taking Kong out of its natural environment and into New York, and deserved punishment for it. Okay, fine, I had no problem with that. However, he then said Driscoll assisted him, and he deserved death too. I tried to argue with him and the committee, but in the end, they still said that Driscoll needed to be punished as well. I still have no clue what the hell they were even talking about!" By the same measure, Kong was turned into a more sympathetic character, which had wanted Ann as a playmate, not being driven by sexual desire. When it was finally approved and released in 1935, it got high box office, and received generally good reviews from critic. However, they did note its origin as a Breen Code, pre-revolution picture, and noted at times it seemed heavily edited. Bertold Brecht, in his review for the Daily Worker, while calling it "A very entertaining thriller, one which will keep you on the edge of your seat," he also noted, "it's abundantly clear they took this picture from some storage place it had been resting in, and decided to re-edit it for the radicalized masses. It sometimes feels like it had been severely detached from its origin. It does raise the question: Will we ever see the original?"

    There were rumors that David O. Selznik, the RKO executive producer, had taken a copy of the movie as originally filmed, with him when he fled to Cuba. Whilst unconfirmed, a copy of King Kong which was to be released in 1933, did turn up in a Havana storage area in 2000. The finding received wide movie press coverage, and a screening took place in Los Angeles, with Fay Wray in attendance. It was received fairly well, though some took issue with the initial characterization of Ann, and the savage natives.

    The film's legacy was far-reaching. Willis O'Brien got many job offers after Kong, including animating the tripods in War of the Worlds, and creating new Dinosaurs for the epic documentary on life, Evolution. Many of the actors went on to have excellent careers. And Kong's rampage through New York was homaged many times, particular in 1954's Gojira, where the titular monster rampages through Tokyo, before small People's militias start to battle it.
     
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  3. E. Burke Monster God of Joisey Banned

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    "He fought in the defense of the city, losing his right leg to a fascist mortar towards the end." She said with obvious pride

    "Wow, he must of gotten a medal for that!" Tommy exclaimed.

    "Yes, The Order of the People's Servants(1)."

    "What happened to him after that, he obviously couldn't fight anymore?" Tommy asked

    "Well, he spent some time as a medic during the Southern campaign, said that he should have died but the doctors saved him, so he had to pay them back. After the war he used his veterans status to become a doctor, and moved to the New York Commune. He said that Chicago had to many memories, to many buried comrades. As you know he ultimately the Chairman of the New York Commune Medical Committee. "

    "Must of been a big change, from working class Irish kid to one of the countries most respected physicians." Tommy said, wryly.

    "It was, but he wasn't the only one. The revolution gave all kinds of people the chance to make something of themselves. Millions of workers whose biggest hope had been to avoid death in a factory suddenly found themselves with a chance to advance to the commanding heights of society. 'To better yourself is not just an opportunity, it is your revolutionary duty.' That was the slogan."

    Tommy smiled, seemingly lost in dreams of the revolutionary epoch. He sat back and took a few bites of his waffles. He chewed thoughtfully before asking his next question:

    "What was the camp like Grandma?"

    End part 2
     
  4. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    (So, following E. Burke's example and reading about this guy:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagat_Singh, I decided to briefly write this. This is based off a variety of conversations I had with my mother. However, I should note that the events I'm about to describe did not happen to my mother in any way, However, It is somewhat based on her experiences.)

    I was watching the television, when my mum came home from shopping. I was watching "Mystery Science Theater 3000: It Came from the Ground!" One of those 50's Red Scare films, that featured these ludicrous, oddly sexualized mutated mole creatures, which were created by American atomic blasts. A male scientist was trying to fight them off using a gun (even though it was previously established that guns had no effects on it.) Crow was imitating the scientist's voice "These things are immune to guns. Let's shoot some!"when my mom came in.

    "Are you watching that TV show?"
    "Yes, I am watching MST3K, Mum.

    She just shook her head and laughed. She mostly tolerated my viewings, so long as I attend to my studies, (which I did), and not watch anything too offensive (which I didn't). Actually, I was waiting for her to come home, because I wanted to ask her something.

    "Hey, Mum?"
    "Yes, Chela?"
    " Do you know about a fellow named Bhagat Singh?"
    I was browsing the internet, when I read the history of the Indian Worker's Communist Party. Here, I learned that, during the Indochina war, apparently a small faction of the party became para-militarized (as it were), and began to protest the war (even though India had marginal involvement in the war.) I was intrigued by the organizer behind this. Bhagat Singh was apparently a member of the old independence movement, who had turned to socialism, and joined the " Hindustan Socialist Republican Association". He had apparently bombed the Imperial Assembly, and was sentenced to several years in prison. After being released, he became one of the founders of the Indian Socialist Congress, and helped found the opposition to Dominion Status, allied with Subhas Chandra Bose. He apparently worked tirelessly to oppose British (and Congress) interests in the 50's, before leaving and joining the newly founded Communist Party. He still retained a militant opposition to the British, especially in the 60's and 70's.

    If I knew so much about him, why did I ask her? Well, just to see if she was familiar with him.

    "Oh, yeah, yeah, he's... one of the heroes of the socialists in India. My Dad was familiar with him, and I saw him once speak."

    "Really?" I responded

    "Means, I saw him. I never actually met him, per se. My dad was a Socialist, but he always favored the Socialist Congress over the Communist Party, because the Communists had a bit of a reputation. Some members of his union were, though."

    "Were any of them persecuted?"
    "Christopher Lee! No!" Tom Servo yelled, as one of the scientists was consumed by the mole people. I paused the telly, to hear her speak.
    "No, the Indian government is more tolerant of communists than the British are."
    I had already knew that, given that noted communists fled there, like JBS Haldane, and even non-communists, like Arthur C. Clarke, fled there, due to persecution.

    "Anyway, they had invited him to an anti-war meeting somewhere in Thiruvananthapuram (they were living in Kerala at the time) This was 1971 72. They said that Socialist and even some Congress people were going to be there. He had been rather vocal about opposing the war, and especially letting British and French planes land in India. He didn't protest, because he was concerned for my mother and us, especially if he got into a conflict with one of the British guards at the Air Force Base. However, he decided to attend, and brought me and my sister. There, we sat, and watched the local head of the Communist Party chapter come out, a local celebrity, and give the opening speech, denouncing British imperialism. He said something like the British should stop using India to exploit our fellow revolutionaries in Vietnam. He then introduced Bhagat Singh, as a major figure in the fight against imperialism. I knew him somewhat from school, and somewhat from reading"

    "Do you remember the speech?"

    "No. I remember it was this old guy. He had this beard, and this army style uniform, with a gun. He just talked about how the British corporations and the military kept India down, and that we, those who oppose British interference, should raise up and fight to control their own destinies. He also said that they should not let the British oppress our Vietnamese comrades. I think some of the few Congress people there cringed, but otherwise, it was a huge success."

    "Hum. Interesting. Did you ever see him again?"

    "No. He died sometime in the mid-70's.."

    "1974"

    "Yeah, anyway, he lived to see IndoChina liberated."

    "That's interesting. Another thing, did your father ever have anything else to do with the communists?"

    "Well, he did start to attend their meetings, and even got to meet some American representatives. Of course, he had always had some associations with Communists. He was a major figure in the union, and organized the May Day Parade every year. However, I don't think he ever decided to leave the socialists and join. I think it was a more of a flirtation. He always wanted to visit America though. Remember when we went to UASR when you were young?"

    "Somewhat"

    " Yeah, that was the first time he had ever visited America, and got to see the collectives in action. He was impressed."

    "Interesting story. Thanks, Mom"

    I thought about the story for a minute. It's interesting. In the 70's, the communist parties were underground, and they had to resort to the militancy of Singh and others. Now, it appears that it has paid off. The People's Alliance was going to fall soon, and we were about to live under the same conditions as my mother did in India. Maybe I should attend one of these meetings.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have no plans to continue, although I could provide more India centric material if you like.
     
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  5. E. Burke Monster God of Joisey Banned

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    That was cool
     
  6. E. Burke Monster God of Joisey Banned

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    You should do Casablanca?
     
  7. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    I might.

    I haven't seen Casablanca, though.
     
  8. The_Red_Star_Rising Homestuck Trash

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    Rise and Revolt: Blue Alert!

    The prequel to the original Rise and Revolt game: Tiberian Dawn, which posited the then near future scenario of a fanatical religious cult known as the Brotherhood of Nod sparking a world war with the People's Global Defense Initiative, with the Brotherhood being lead to power by the mysterious messianic madman Kane who promised a future under the alien material Tiberium for all mankind. Largely credited with truly popularizing the Real time Strategy genre of video games, R&R: TD nevertheless left some questions as to how the world got to the way it was before the arrival of the first Tiberium meteor in the river tiber.

    Blue Alert reveals that the current make up of the world is due to the works of the famed scientist Albert Einstein, renown for his contributions to the American-Soviet Atomic Bomb program and his writings in favor of socialism, hoping to create a better world by inventing a time machine and removing Adolf Hitler from the picture. However, he returns to his native time only to find the world at war. Though not with Hitler's Germany, but rather Oswald Mosley's Britain, united in a great imperialist alliance with Petain's France, Franco's spain, Mussolini's Italy, Salazar's Portugal, an unspecified Dutch despot, and Hirohito's Japan, with other fronts including the "Union of La plata" and Brazil.

    Though not considered a truly serious work of alternate history due to the relevation of much of the timeline being the results of the machinations of Kane and the Brotherhood behind the scenes, the game is well known for further refining the Rise and Revolt formula pioneered by the Westwood Strategic Gaming Collective as early as their adaptation of Star Trek into a strategy game. The player can control the heroic International Comintern or the brutal Imperial Alliance, with the former relying heavily on lighter forces to evade and maneuver around the heavy juggernauts of the Imperial Alliance; including their infamous mammoth tanks.

    Known for the often bombast acting of its live action actors, especially that of Mosley's actor, it's tight (if perhaps dubiously balanced at times) gameplay, lengthy and content rich campaigns, and it's secret giant ant campaign, Blue Alert has even managed to find some fans in the Franco-British Union despite official condemnation from the ratings board in the country.

    While the Imperial Alliance campaign ends with Mosley celebrating his victory in D.C only to be poisoned and then shot dead by the Brotherhood once they no longer need him, this ending is considered non-canonical. The Comintern campaign ends with a Comintern assault on Britain itself after a long, grueling world war even more devastating than the historical one, with virtually all of Mosley's resources and superweapons dealt with, the British Tyrant holes up in London for his final stand. Once defeated, Mosley is found by a pair of American soldiers nearly buried in rubble and calling for help. Initially prepared to take him in to stand trial, they are ordered away by the Greek general Nikos Stavos, whose comrades suffered cruelly at British hands. Stuffing some paper towels into Mosley's mouth and burying his head, Nikos privately celebrates the end of the war as a new world is born.

    Blue Alert is noted for being one of, if not the first real time strategy game to combine air, land, and sea operations, albeit heavily abstracted for reasons of simple and easy to pick up gameplay. Both factions have full rosters of air, land, and naval units to carry out the battle on any front imaginable from the frozen cold of Arkhangelsk to the hot jungles of the Congo to the sandy dunes of the middle east and the Black Forest. Allied vehicles are generally heavier and slower, with the "Heavy Tank" having literally twice the firepower of the Comintern medium tank (the former anachronistically represented with a double barrelled Wellington tank and the latter by an also anachronistic T12 Joe Hill despite this second world war taking place in the 1950s) and the monstrous mammoth tank first seen in Tiberian Dawn hugely outweighing anything seen in the Comintern's ground based arsenal. In the air, the Allied Air Force seems to hold the edge, however as much of it is geared towards anti-structure and anti-infantry purposes, this gives the Comintern's more plentiful tank busting aircraft (including a rather anachronistic helicopter gunship from the 1990s) an advantage in ground support, especially given the Allies' inferior anti-air capabilities (the technology to simulate air to air battles wasn't quite there yet). At sea, the Allies' focus on big guns and powerful surface combatants is met with the comintern's armada of submarines, escorts and carriers, providing largely balanced naval combat from the pacific to the Atlantic to the Indian ocean.

    Both sides utilized technology based on pulp fiction and conspiracy theories of the time, with the Allies using laser (or more correctly "prism") weaponry, seismic shockwave producing MAD tanks, the Iron Curtain which could render vehicles or structures invulnerable temporarily, cyborg warriors, and primitive exo-suits for their "Bright troopers" who carried prism cannons. The Comintern primarily utilized chronotechnology which could be used to teleport vehicles across the battlefield, Tesla weaponry to try and slow down the enemy advance, and GAP technology which could allow the comintern to hide and cloak its weapons of war.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  9. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    Saga from the Stars

    One more Comic based update. I decided to speculate on the series described in this update:https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=6311017&postcount=1608 (which I mentioned in my "official" contribution to Reds). I decided to create a history of the series through the decades. Here goes:

    Star Squadron
    Star Squadron was a science fiction comic series created by Joe Shuster, and released in 1939. It ran until 1948, and had revivals in 1964 and 1990. It revolves around a distant future, where space exploration has allowed humanity to expand throughout the universe. The series revolves around members of an elite squad called "Star Squadron," who are the main explorers of this new world. The series was forgotten until Alan Moore revived the series in 1990, (after a failed revival in 1964 by Jack Kirby), but largely praised for its scientific accuracy, its epic storytelling, and its optimism. It was published by Red and Black Publications, and its successor, Marvel Comics Collective.

    First Run: Shuster (1939-1948)

    Joe Shuster, after creating the tremendously popular character Superman and writing him for several years, left Syndicated Features, and began freelancing. He first hit upon the idea of Star Squadron after reading through an issue of Spec. Worlds, and coming across an article describing current rocketry research, including that of Robert Goddard. He also came across a retrospective of Konstatin Tsiolkovsky's work around this time, and conceived of the idea of making a series based of the vision displayed in both areas. He took this idea to Red & Black, and he was commissioned to write a story to test the waters. All-Star Comics debuted the first story of the series, "Star Squadron" in 1939. The story revolved around a research mission to a desert planet gone awry. The description of the rocket launch, (a multi-stage rocket) and functions of it, are lifted straight from Tsiolkovsky's work. The society portrayed, (an intergalactic country called the Star Federation) was also dogmatically socialist, with only realistic science. The series became popular enough to warrant its own series. Here, Shuster was able to use the series to explore the future of space travel, and shows a variety of planets, creatures, and civilizations. It was an anthology series, each story exploring one Star Squadron (a futuristic scientific/military force a la Star Trek). His stories ranged from observing a race of beings evolve into a space fairing society to initiating a revolution in a distant world. Concepts explored included human survival in space, robotic probes, and the nature of alien beings. He was helped by a number of correspondents, who would advise him on space science and rocketry. These included, among others, Jack Parson, Chemist, and future head of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After writing it for 9 years, the series was canceled due to declining sales. Still, as one of the first hard science fiction comics, it helped bring many new concepts(previously restricted to Spec. Worlds, and other such publications), such as hyperrealistic space flight, missions to other planets, and even hydrogen fusion, to a wider audience.

    Second Run: Kirby (1964)

    Over 16 years later, after R&B merged with Timely Publications to form Marvel in 1957, Marvel Editor Julius Schwartz (a former science fiction editor), after reviving several characters from the old R&B and Timely collection, decided to bring back Star Squadron for the space age. However, Shuster had largely retired, due to his declining eyesight. To replace him, he chose prominent artist (and loyal communist) Jack Kirby to write a new series. This series would last 6 issues, which would be expanded if successful. Kirby's run was more whimsical. The realistic science aspect was downplayed, and Kirby added mystical elements. His signature art style exploded in each issue, turning the Star Federation into a bizarre, scientific(-ish) paradise. The short lived revival revolved around an intrepid team in the Star Squadron, who explore the universe, even in the face of opposition of the fascist Union of Planets (a Green Lantern reference), who try to exploit the planets they hope to preserve. The military aspect of Star Squadron was also emphasized over the scientific goals (though those goals were never ignored). Ultimately, the series failed to pick up, and the revival ended within the year.

    Third Run: Moore/Starlin (1990-1996)

    In 1986, English writer Alan Moore announced that he had teamed up with Marvel to produce a new Star Squadron. His series was drawn by Jim Starlin, who also helped write the series. Moore largely restored the original scientific accuracy of the series, and even added new elements based off of new advances in space technology. He also returned to the more anthology elements of the series. However, he also occasionally referenced Kirby's book, including the "Space Force," (a link between all forms of life through the universe), and the occasional appearance of Kirby's team. However, going with Moore's darker works, like Suprememan (a reboot of a British Superman rip-off) and Watchmen, the series became an exploration of the genre. Here, the aliens were grotesque and incomprehensible (in an homage to HP Lovecraft), and technology has allowed humanity to advance their evolution, becoming new species in some cases. There was even an issue, which revealed that a planet they had explored was in fact inhabited by hyper evolved humans, who had transcended their forms. The series became critically acclaimed, and is listed among the best comics runs of all time. There have since been several more series by Marvel.
     
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  10. E. Burke Monster God of Joisey Banned

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    Captain America would be interesting because he's often been a symbol of liberal patriotism. Like he's often been a symbol for the "loving your country means questioning it" idea. Not always but often. I'll try to think of something interesting.

    One idea have:

    No super soldier serum, they are just a group of kids who gets caught up in the fighting and answers the call marvelously (pardon the pun.) They become a symbol of the revolution and often struggle with being used as symbols for things she doesn't support. The shield is still made but The Captain is a title that is passed down from from generation to generation.
     
  11. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    The serum could still work. After all most, heroes are advanced by science and technology. However, your comment has merit. What if it's a group of soldiers given the serum, and the Captain is their designated leader, ala the 90's Spiderman series.
     
  12. E. Burke Monster God of Joisey Banned

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    I like the idea that it's ordinary kids who "have greatness thrust upon then" by the civil war. Like they have to defend their town from fascists. They could have a serum, but they don't have anti aging aspect. They have topaz it on from generation to generation. They look for promising recruits in each generation of soldiers. A big controversy comes when they choose a non soldier.
     
  13. Derekc2 Marxistball 9

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    But I like Captian America as he is.:(

    Also the reason he didn't age from what I understand is because of the fact he literally became an human popsicle who was frozen in time for a few decades who was then woken up.
     
  14. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    Well, the serum plays a part in that, too. Apparently, it helped preserve his body. Because I think even Lee understood that freezing and defreezing doesn't resurrect a figure.
    I love Captain America, but his OTL characterization wouldn't hold up well in socialist America.
     
  15. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    Game on!

    Alternatehistory.com Discussion Board: Non Political Chat: Favorite Video Games (Part I)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That's the first part. If any of you want to add to this, feel free.
     
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  16. E. Burke Monster God of Joisey Banned

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    fdadsafssadsdas
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  17. E. Burke Monster God of Joisey Banned

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    addstrfffffghgg
     
  18. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

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    REspond as needed.
     
  19. The_Red_Star_Rising Homestuck Trash

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    Rise and Revolt: Blue Alert 2!

    Recognized as the game that really set Blue Alert apart from Tiberium and later Generals, Blue Alert 2 continued the first game's story with a setting placed in the early 70s; some decades after the second world war in the timeline presented by the first game. Blue Alert 2's backstory is presented in both it's installation process (as is standard for Rise and Revolt games) and its thick; content ladened manual and art book. These further explain the story beyond that which is presented in the campaigns themselves, revealing that after Mosley's defeat in the second world war, a fork in the timeline occured by another act of time travel.

    Continuing on from a plot thread left by the game Tiberian Sun; where the People's Global Defense Initiative pursues the fanatical; revitalized Brotherhood of Nod whose dark messiah Kane had somehow returned to life to plague the increasingly Tiberium poisoned world in 2030 after his apparent disintegration via Ion Cannon in the first tiberium war in 1999-2003, to its den in Cairo for the final battle of the PGDI campaign. In the race against time to prevent Kane from launching a Tiberium ladened missile to corrupt the entire planet with the substance at once, a quick, hidden cutscene only obtainable by doing a secondary, out of the way objective shows Kane speaking to his psychic aide Geoffrey; played by the respected actor Udo Kier. In the cutscene, Kane reveals that while he hopes for victory, he recognizes the ascendancy of PGDI in the conventional conflict and thus has a contingent plan, revealing a chronosphere from Blue Alert to his aide.

    In the expansion pack Firestorm, if the player had unlocked the cutscene in the PGDI campaign from the main game, after defeating the rogue A.I C.A.B.A.L with either PGDI or the Brotherhood of Nod, at the end, the ending credits will include a stinger of Geoffrey having repaired the chronosphere with a cadre of loyal initiates, smirking at the camera as he heads back in time to prevent the PGDI from ever forming. In the installation screen and manual, it is revealed the Geoffrey's alterations include starting up an Imperial psychic corps where he manages to quickly become a trusted aide of Mosley and the other fascists thanks to his psychic abilities, and manages to soften the peace deal with the Imperial Alliance in the wake of their defeat. The Allies are allowed to keep their prior governments but have "puppets" installed onto their heads and have a nominal number of restrictions placed on their military and even managing to let them retain their empires by making the decision to go independent subject to a plebescite all too easily manipulated by the master psychic.

    The premier of the Allies, Jack Cromwell, serving under Empress Elizabeth, soon proves to be a much less pliable man than once thought, as Geoffrey's psi-corps helps the Allies rebuild and sneakily use the political instability of countries on the periphery to build up their "World Capitalist Alliance" with the hopes of taking revenge. Knowing full well about the threat of Comintern nuclear warheads to the Allies' plans, Geoffrey assures Jack that all will be taken care of and the invasion of the USSR, America, China, and Japan will take place as scheduled. With the covert development of cloning technology to expand the Allies' population base and the deployment of a large number of troops into Allied territory bordering Comintern states with the pretext of containing terrorist violence (all staged with the help of psychics and cloaked by psychic illusion technology), by 1972; all preparations are ready.

    The game's intro treats the audience to the American head of state; Dugan, to a hurried call from NORAD by Marshall Carville, whose thick Texan accent informs him of the rather not so insignificant situation of enormous Allied fleets and swarms of aircraft approaching America from both coasts and a massive allied army pressing downwards from Canada. Similarly, vast columns of Allied forces are pushing towards the Soviet union through the eastern european comintern states who are buckling under the surprise offensive while similarly desperate situations are appearing in Asia and Latin America. Mikaela Dugan then calls Jack Cromwell and furiously asks him what the hell he thinks he's doing and to call off his forces or face the wrath of the comintern's nuclear arsenal. Jack scoffs at the threat and hangs up, asking Geoffrey to handle the situation. And through the usage of mind control, the Comintern's nuclear arsenal is entirely wiped out; destroyed in it silos, with the psychic message being sent to the phoneline of a North Dakota nuclear facility being the one focused on.

    With the Allies now having complete nuclear dominance, the Imperials press on with their invasion. The sight of Louis bomber airships lazily drifting towards and through the skylines of Warsaw, New York, San Francisco, Santiago, Leningrad, Beijing and air raid sirens being sounded as the Allied air force launches its attack remains stuck in the head of gamers. Following this initial terror, missile ladened dreadnoughts, Prism weapons, legions of paratroopers, Vengeance missile launchers, landing craft, Mastiff Heavy Tanks, and the nightmarish Apocalypse Tank storming comintern weapons are shown in a montage of invasions and devastations; with even the statue of liberty crumbling as a storm of missiles tears her apart like so much tin foil. The opening cutscene closes on Apocalypse tanks followed by Prism tanks, mastiffs, Flak tracks, and V3 launchers barreling towards a sign saying "Drive friendly, the Maine way!" before crushing the sign beneath their tracks and firing into the screen.

    A number of early to mid missions are canon in both the Allied and Comintern campaigns, including the Allied seizure of the Pentagon; even overwhelming the Tesla coils set up to protect and defend the Pentagon via massive air assault including dropping Mastiff tanks from the air; and the Comintern defence of Leningrad from naval invasion (including the destruction of Hermitage by V3s when Dreadnoughts fail to do the job with Jack Cromwell boasting "look at your heritage, in ruins just like all you commies should be in!" before bursting into laughter). At one point, the situation becomes so bad that the UASR government has to flee to Mexico, but the campaigns diverge in the battle for Eurasia. The Allies have the Eurasian members of the Comintern cowed into inaction by demonstrating that they cannot defend anything of theirs from their attacks by turning St.Peter's Basilica into a prism powered engine of lasery death, while the Comintern campaign has the Eurasian Comintern redouble its commitment to the war and reversing enough of the Allies' gains for aid to start going to America.

    Whereas the Allied campaign has the Allies break into infighting as Geoffrey makes his grab for unlimited power; opposed by the player commander who after finding out that Jack Cromwell's death was staged, launches a counter-coup against Geoffrey and after defeating him; launches an invasion at Hawaii to deal with the Comintern's last chronosphere to secure world domination. But the canonical ending is Operation: Chronostorm, where the Allies, still possessing huge armies, are defeated through the surprise teleportation via chronosphere of a number of Comintern troops; including an MCV, to within London to set quickly seize buckingham palace and take Cromwell prisoner (famously finding Cromwell in his underwear and hiding under his desk), though notably Geoffrey is nowhere to be seen.

    In the expansion: Geoffrey's revenge, it is revealed that Jack Churchill was just a puppet for Geoffrey's real ambitions. As Dugan is called to a Red Army meeting for a crisis situation, she's briefed by Lieutenant Eva on the Geoffrey's ultimate plan, finding that a number of strange towers had been set up across the world in the midst of the fighting and that while the Allies and Comintern beat each other into a pulp; he had constructed a secret army all of his own, with one of these devices being built on Alcatraz Island. When asking what kind of device had been set up, she was quickly interrupted by Geoffrey himself hacking into the transmission and informing Dugan that the devices were called Psychic Dominators, made to enslave the will of the entire planet to his own. After rejecting pardon and even the offer to lead the FBU which still was in search for a leader after Jack Cromwell's arrest and imprisonment under international law; Geoffrey began the activation process of the machine, forcing the Red Air Force to scramble to try and stop the device set up near California; while similarly the FBU Air Force scrambles to do the same to a dominator set up on the channel isles.

    Both air strikes fail, but they manage to cripple the power supply of the two dominators, buying them only brief respite as Geoffrey activates hundreds of other devices; including those set up in Cairo and Antarctica, to enslave the will of man; leaving only terribly lonely specks of free-willed beings against the fascist hordes enslaved to the will of Geoffrey. The Comintern campaign's first mission has the Comintern attempting to defend Einstein's new time machine built in San Francisco that will hopefully cast the player and his/her staff back in time to avert the disaster, while the Allied campaign is about a desperate mission by the last of the free-willed Allies to try and steal the time machine. Once back in time, the player manages to warn the world of Geoffrey's schemes, forcing Geoffrey to start going loud much sooner than anticipated, altering the third world war in a series of desperate missions against Geoffrey's often mad schemes in battles from the Pyramids of Giza to the wastes of Antarctica, to the very surface of the Moon and to the forests of Geoffrey's ancestral home in Transylvania.

    In the end, Geoffrey is defeated and either consigned to a psychic isolation chamber for life, or attempts to seize the time machine when his forces are defeated and is cast back into the cretaceous when the machine is overloaded with energy; to be promptly eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Comintern campaign has the new big alteration to the timeline being the return of Carville (who was killed in the base game's campaign) and a new age of peace, while the Allied campaign ends with Allied hegemony and the expansion of the Allied Space program.

    Geoffrey's army was noted for being extremely bizarre; with relatively few conventional weapons. Instead of artillery such as rockets, prism tanks, or large HE slinging cannons, Geoffrey's army; the Epsilon Cadre; instead used a floating vehicle that could fire a massively powerful magnet to literally tear the metal out of structures or lift enemy vehicles in the air. Rather than Flak or Missiles, anti-air was dealt with via gatling cannons. And his basic soldier, the Initiate, did not have the G.I's submachine gun/GPMG or the Tommy's Assault rifle, but instead utilized pyrokinesis to burn the enemies of Geoffrey alive. Even the anti-tank/anti-air solution was strange, utilizing a hulk-like genetically engineered monstrosity known as a brute to punch apart tanks and another genetically engineered monster wielding a superheated bow and arrow that could track aircraft rather than the Tesla and Rockets of the Comintern or the Flak Cannons and Prism rays of the Allies. Mind control featured very heavily throughout Geoffrey's army, some would argue to the detriment of game balance.

    Ultimately however, Blue Alert 2 is widely remembered as one of the greatest hits of the RTS genre, with a charmingly pulp fiction esque plotline that knew when to take itself seriously and when not to, incredibly solid gameplay and further expansion of the Air-Land-Sea battles that Blue Alert 1 pioneered, and continuing hidden features like a fully functional giant ant army and campaign being buried in the code as a little easter egg. This is of course, not to dismiss the legendarily hammy acting of Blue Alert 2, with virtually everyone seeming to be in a race to consume as much of the scenery as possible. The number of world war 2 analogues is also noted, as the Comintern and Allies have to work together to save the world from Geoffrey's attempts at making all of humanity bow to a single man for all eternity.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  20. Mr.E The Man that Time Forgot

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    The Mountainous Democratic Republic of Colorado
    Excerpt from Scientific American, May/ June 2013: Review,The Scientific Rebel by Freeman Dyson. Article by Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Science and revolution have always been intertwined, from Copernicus and Galileo overturning the geocentric model of the solar system, in favor of the heliocentric model, to Einstein overturning Newtonian physics for his theory of relativity, to the Manhattan Project building the foundations for nuclear power. Science revamps previous assumptions about our world, and is an ever changing process. That is why I think socialism and science are so compatible. Both are concerned with the overturning of previous assumptions, and the makings of new ones. The greatest scientific advances have come from the cooperation of many scientists all over this country and the Soviet Union. Of course, scientific rebellion can occur anywhere. That is where we begin today. This is the memoir of a scientist on the other side of the Atlantic Curtain, and his own rebellion, not just against the assumptions of his day, but also against the capitalist-military complex under which he operated.
    The scientific accomplishments of Dr. Dyson can't be understated. He was the first to truly appreciate the Feynman diagrams, which so famously encapsulated the inner workings of the relatively new field of quantum mechanics. He also created the mathematic "Dyson series," and the role of Prime numbers in quantum mechanics. He helped Quatum mechanics and electrodynamic theory. However, you may know him better as the man behind concepts like the "Dyson Sphere," a concept where the power of the sun is collected by large artificial structures orbiting around it, and giving energy to interplanetary societies, and the Dyson Tree, an artificial lifeform which grows out of a comet. However, he has also worked extensively for the British government and military, having had a hand in the first FBU bomb in 1949. Later, he would make contributions to "Project Orion," a program to develop a nuclear rocket, which would be faster than the chemical rockets, a concept later perfected by the Secretariat of Aeronautics in 1977. However, it is this work with the British defense force which sets the scene for Dr. Dyson's book.
    [...]
    After discussing his childhood, as the son of composer George Dyson, and his early curiosity for science, as well as his RAF wartime service, he soon goes into various stories about his experiences in the FBU Civil Defense. This is the bulk of the book. Dyson discusses seeing the first FBU Bomb go off, not realizing the full implications at the time. He says about nuclear war:
    "I am convinced that to avoid nuclear war it is not sufficient to be afraid of it. It is necessary to be afraid, but it is equally necessary to understand. And the first step in understanding is to recognize that the problem of nuclear war is basically not technical but human and historical. If we are to avoid destruction we must first of all understand the human and historical context out of which destruction arises"
    (That said, he was also very critical of the idea of nuclear winter, stating that it was " a sloppy piece of work, full of gaps and unjustified assumptions.").
    There was also his work with the Orion Project, which would cause him to butt heads with, among other people, Dr. Werhner von Braun, who would later use his clot in the British space program to get the project cancelled, and promote the V-2 based rocket program (Dyson would later blame him, and his subsequent followers, for the fall of the FBU space program. More on that later.) He also found himself at odds with the military during the Indochina conflict, where he wrote, in his capacity as a military adviser, a report, which stated that, even from a military point of view, the use of nuclear weapons was detrimental to the cause of the war. This would cause a tense discussion between Dyson and the British and French generals in charge of the war
    [...]
    Along with his interactions with the military, there was also his interactions with various prominent British and American figures from academia. There is Dr. Fred Hoyle, who was one of the members of the team behind the stellar nucleosynthesis theory, but had since sunk his scientific reputation by pushing forward the Steady State Theory. At first opposing him for his scientific views, the two later worked together to stop the blacklist of scientists during the 70's and 80's. There is Sir Patrick Moore, amateur astronomer who debated Dyson in 1984, due to his heavy support for the anti-communist movement. There is Stephen Hawking, a major scientist in the field of Black hole studies, helping find the positive energy released by a black hole. Arrested in the aftermath of the Quebecois Missile Crisis for protesting the government crackdown on dissidents. Dyson recalls talking with Hawking after his release from prison, and discussing what would be become the Scientists Against Censorship. There was also his extensive correspondence with Richard Feynman and Julius Schwinger, which allowed him to present the QED theory in a way, other physicists could appreciate. This led to Robert Oppenheimer offering him a position in the University of America, Princeton. He wanted to go, but the brewing Cold War fears prevented him from going. He also had correspondence with Carl Sagan, who discussed with him the possibility of a UASR-USSR-FBU Mars mission.
    [...]
    In the final chapter, he discusses the state of affairs in the FBU, starting with space program:
    "The once great Commonwealth Space Program has been reduced to one large vanity project. The government doesn't want to concede that the UASR and the USSR have beaten us. Instead, they still follow Von Braun, and his approach that massive projects are needed to advance the space exploration. These project aren't to explore space or advance science, the way the Soviet or American program have. Instead, they spend billions investing in faulty projects, which have so little success. Their supposed Venus mission is nothing more than posturing, without any actual prepareness.
    [...]
    I suppose this is indicative of the problems of the FBU, particularly defense. The FBU has decided to spend all of its government money both trying to maintain the welfare state, and also trying to maintain the bloated defense system they've set up. And it is clear neither, even with Mr. Blair's help, can hold it up for long. Their inability to keep the economy up, will lead to their inevitable downfall."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So, yeah. Freeman Dyson is a real man, inventor of the Dyson Sphere concept. However, the inspiration for this was actually this book, by Soviet Astronomer Iosif Schlovsky, about his experience in the Soviet Union:http://www.amazon.com/Five-Billion-Vodka-Bottles-Moon/dp/0393029905. I thought of the idea of the experience of a scientist in FBU, a state which is almost like that of the OTL USSR. An authoritarian state which is on the verge of collapse, due to poor economics and military spending. And given Schlovsky had a penchant for strange ideas, I though Dyson would be a nice counterpoint.
     
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