"If I owned Hell and Texas, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell." - General Philip Sheridan Part One (Right below this, man!) Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five Part Six Part Seven Part Eight Part Nine Part Ten This is my first timeline here, so sit back, be kind, and don't forget to rewind. Texas! The Lone Star State. America's America. Everything's bigger there. Before magnanimously allowing itself to become the largest of the US states (unless you count Alaska, which I DO NOT), Texas was the ONLY state that was also an independent Republic - unless you count Vermont, California, Hawaii, the pre-Confederacy Confederate States, and West Florida, which I DO NOT. The world was undoubtedly robbed the day Texas joined the US, and indeed a Republic that continues in its independence is as common to Alternate History as zeppelins and President Hitler. Of course, in those alternate histories Texas is too often pretty much the same size, shape, and culture as it is today, because nothing says "stability" like a mid-19th century Republic bordered by Comancheria and a chaotic revanchist Mexico, riven with debts, and packed with slaves in a time where the Peculiar Institution was becoming decidedly out of fashion. It's in this period that our stage is set. Come with me on a journey into the fledgling Texian Republic in the year of Our Lord 1841, when a peculiarly pickled protagonist and a pack of precocious pork presses play on our particular piece... THE STARS AT NIGHT: A TEXAS TIMELINE Part One POD: Pigs of Departure The Republic of Texas, 1841 Dateline: AUSTIN, REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. 1841. TUESDAY. A vital hinge point in the web of time. Sometimes history swings on the actions of great men, or lucky arrows, or fortuitous weather. And sometimes, more often than one might think, it all comes down to drunks.  One such man, whose name and cocktail of choice are both lost to history , is the true architect of our modern world. Because tonight, stumbling down the streets of Austin, he will seek out a place of warmth. A comfy bed, a feather pillow, a complimentary bathrobe. And such a fine establishment he will find! Unfortunately, it is 3AM, he has no money, and he can barely talk. But, with the enterprising spirit of the truly hammered, this man finds a viable alternative: the pigpen. When you're drunk enough this is a pretty acceptable situation. Let's not throw stones. We've all been there.  However, our enterprising spirits enthusiast did not have the manners to close the gate to the pigpen upon entering. An action which would normally solicit questions about whether one was raised in a barn, although in this context if anything that would mean he would be more familiar with pig protocol. Upon the break of dawn, hotelier/pig owner Richard Bullock is horrified to find his beloved hogs have been replaced by (or possibly turned into ) a filthy drunk man. Taking a long moment to contemplate the situation, Bullock finally settles on the most reasonable course of action: viciously beating the man with a stick. Historical reproduction of what the pigs in question no doubt looked exactly like. Upstairs, hotel tenant Jean Peter Isidore Alphonse Dubois, Comte de Saligny, French Charge d’Affaires, watched these plebeian affairs diffidently. Someone beating a filthy man in a pig pen with a stick was about par for the course with his experience in Texas. But nevertheless, this new country offered a wealth of opportunities for la France. JPIAD (CdS [FCd'A])'s enthusiastic letters were finally convincing the boys back home of that. Just a little bit longer, and he'd really get the ball rolling...   The Drunk Man theory of history.  I'm going to assume a comically large jug with XXX on it.  Drunk, in a pig pen, in 1841. I can't count the times it happened to me!  A reverse Circe. Reverce.  OTL, Bullock's pigs broke into Saligny's room and ruined his shit, leading him to leave Texas in a huff. This actually happened.