"What Madness Is This?" Redux: The Union Forever

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Napoleon53, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. Napoleon53 Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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    Republican Union Space Force High Command
    Only about half-done with what is going to be a huge chapter but it'll do until I finish it today or tomorrow. Lol I wrote this while sleep deprived so excuse any errors. It'll get fixed. :p

    POST-WAR EUROPE:
    THE EAST
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    Members of the Moscow Free State uprising

    The state of Russia in the post-war world was dire. Not only had Viktor promised supreme victory and a sack of Paris, famously stating that "Cossacks will ride to Brittany," Russia was kicked out of the League of Tsars forever. For years he had built his own legend, a saga of reincarnation as the Great Khan, who would lead the peoples of Eurasia to peace and domination under a single banner. For years, ever since his return home from the war against Persia, Viktor had craved absolute control. Despite his brutal tendencies, he really had seen himself bringing about a Pax Viktoria, where Eurasia was firmly under his control but also enlightened, free of serfdom, and a stable land for the rearing of future generations. It had been his destiny, or so he had thought. Like the Republican Union, his doctrine with which he entered the war declared that his victory was preordained, and that defeat could not even be imagined. When that defeat came, it hit like a ton of bricks. The Russian people's morale plummeted. They had fought and died, suffering over 5 million combat casualties on the Hungarian and Balkan Front alone, not even counting the Chinese Civil War or deaths from the Plague. It was as if God himself had struck Viktor down. Immediately, Russian citizens began to spread rumors that Viktor was a false savior and only used them for his own glory.

    One of the main reasons for the Russian Civil War that was rapidly approaching was the fact that the former serfs, freed by Viktor himself, were now somewhat educated and worldly, mostly of the so-called "Kulak class." While Viktor had been off rampaging, a silent minority was forming that were educating themselves on the ideals of the Enlightenment. Chief among these was a formerly semi-literate farmhand named Nikodim Maksimov, who now worked in Moscow as factory foreman and had now become a prolific reader. While the situation in Russia continued its deterioration after the war, Maksimov began to aspire to greater things. He viewed Viktor as a blow-hard tyrant and genocidal madman, and viewed his "liberal" reforms as simply a way for him to rally support for his wars. Maksimov's brother Nikolai had been killed at Budapest, at the age of 25. Now, the 29 year-old Nikodim desired revenge. After reading the works of the great minds of the last two centuries, especially Knigge and Nietzsche, he realized he was in agreement with their philosophies. The year was 1914, and Russia was about to implode.

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    Nikodim Maksimov

    The crash of the Berlin Stock Exchange in August had devastated Germania and led to a multi-faction civil war. In Russia, there wasn't even a crash. It was just total defeat. The Allies hadn't needed to sanction or punish Russia for its part in the war. No decades of repayments, no surrender of land. The Allies knew full well the result of a Russian defeat. The economy was absolutely devastated. It cannot be understated how crippling losing the war really was. The entire economy was based around the war, and the defeat spelled economic doom. To pay for the war, taxation was levied to absurdly high amounts and war bonds were also issued. Now, those bonds were as worthless as the Imperial ruble itself. The war had also seen Viktor's implementation of the Army First policy, which saw the vast majority of grain and meat supplies going to fuel the military. In late 1914, millions of unemployed, often wounded, veterans flooded back home, some of the last to be released from Europan POW camps. They arrived in a broken, shattered nation on the cusp of anarchy.

    Maksimov was not alone. Millions of veterans and the poor were out in the streets begging while the rich nobility cloistered in their mansions, patrolled around the clock by armed guards. In late September, when the Illuminist uprising in Germania was well underway, news finally hit that the downtrodden and the lower classes had joined with the philosophers and intellectuals to overthrow religion and the state. Millions across Russia viewed the Warsaw revolt as an amazing, even beautiful thing. In the fires of Illuminism burned hope for the masses of suffering Russians. Their faith in the church and the tsar had been shaken to its core. They viewed themselves as expendable pawns. Now, with boiling rage, they followed Warsaw's example. On October 1, 1914, Maksimov led a general strike at the auto factory he served as foreman at. Ulyanov Motors of Moscow had been the biggest supplier of vehicles to the army during the war, and its CEO, Vlad Ulyanov, was known as "Uncle Cyka" by his employees. When news of the strike reached Vlad's desk, he ordered his company goons to go beat the strikers down. It turned into a bloodbath. Within minutes of the thugs' arrival, gunshots were heard and a riot erupted, leaving some 20 workers dead. Fearing an all out revolt, Viktor ordered General Alexander Kerensky to close down Moscow and declare marshal law. This was the beginning of the October Uprising. For the next month, Maksimov led any who would follow in his revolt. Vlad Ulyanov fled the city under government protection just as the main factory completely fell to the rebels. Declaring the Moscow Illuminist Worker's Free State, they raised an owl flag above the imposing, soot-stained factory and dared the government to come in after them. One of the local police stations was overran on October 20, by Maksimov's men and they raided the armory, finally securing some heavier weapons.

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    Vladimir Ulyanov, in a painting set in front of his personal UMM garage. Ulyanov was one of the richest businessmen in Europe and profited immeasurably from the war, but he was known for treating his workers like dirt.

    On October 31, Viktor ordered Kerensky to crush the rebels. "Proceed, no matter what danger, and kill every traitor you see." It was clear that the tsar very much feared a general revolution at this point. As rumors spread of rebel cells in various regions, from Karelia to Ukraine, Viktor's sanity, or what little remained of it, began to vanish completely, as he sat in St. Petersburg sweating out his fate and that of Russia. Kerensky's assault on the factory was an atrocity, with Maksimov and his men being butchered with axes and bayonets. Kerensky and his men then hung the corpses along the streets of Moscow on the gaslights. What was supposed to be a warning to any potential revolutionaries now became a rallying cry. "Remember Maksimov!" was heard all across the land, his story being told and retold countless times by traveling radicals, each new telling making the legend grow bigger and bigger. In mid-January, 1915, the revolution truly began. Citizens of Moscow, mostly veterans, took up arms against Kerensky's emergency rule and began to assault government buildings. Before long the mobs were upon Kerensky himself. Placing him under "citizen's arrest," the Illuminist-inspired rebels marched him to Krasivaya Square, in front of the palatial Kremlin, and commenced with a mock trial that ended with him being beheaded for all to see.

    When Europe found out about the revolution, panic became terror. First Germania was falling to Illuminism, and now here was its direct neighbor, one of the largest empires in earth's history, also blazing hot with Illuminist flames. Napoleon IV said of the event, "Cheering for Viktor's downfall is foolish. Better the devil we defeated then a wave of of populist Jacobin radicalism." The final clincher was, however, when newspapers ran headlines about Saint Basil's Cathedral. On the night of January 28, radicals set the ancient building on fire, and by morning most of the building was destroyed. In Ukraine, Nadia Holub, a disciple of Otto Werner, the Grand Master of Illuminism, arrived back in Kiev from her exile in the Helvetic Confederation. The 30 year-old had published "Luciferian propaganda" during the war, which were newsletters that called for an end to the war and for the establishment of a true constitution. Now radicalized from her time with Werner, she became "Mother Ukraine," leading some 15,000 marchers through Kiev waving flags and burning the homes of the rich. Churches were looted for gold and jewels before being torched.

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    Nadia Holub, Ukrainian Illuminist and nationalist

    Viktor fled St. Petersburg on March 2, 1915. The situation was hopeless. The entirety of the European portion of the Empire was collapsing even as the Asian half held strong.
     
  2. traveller76 Member

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    Fort Worth, TX
    Oh fudge..
    What about something like the Black Hundreds clashing with the new government? Will Viktor flee and become the leader of a new eastern Empire? Will Central Asia ignite in revolt along with the Caucasus? I can see this Russian Civil War becoming really twisted and that is saying something.
     
  3. Ephraim Ben Raphael Super Writer Extraordinaire

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    Somewhere in the Khazar Empire
    I'm sure the revolutions in Germania and Russia will result in functioning democracies with well-protected freedoms and excellent human rights.:winkytongue:
     
  4. halfcoop Well-Known Member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    I like to think that Kerensky, no mater what his position, no matter the timeline, is doomed for failure.
     
  5. raffaele gaggioli Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2017
    Boy, i am sure that all this anger and dicontent won't spread to either Hungary or Austria. I mean they have no reasons to doubt about Napoleon IV's genious and mental stability
     
  6. raffaele gaggioli Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2017
    Also now Alaska has been probably left unguarded by the Russians. It is Manifest Destinity time.
     
  7. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    now that be a interesting twist
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  8. HIM Dogson Rationally Royalist

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    Oxford University
    This is probably the part where Viktor realizes he can no longer control the Qing and his relationship with Puyi is reversed
     
  9. manacus Banned

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    Jan 2, 2019
    Did someone say manifest destiny edit im not sorry [​IMG]
     
  10. raffaele gaggioli Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2017
    Implying that the RU can only conquer the american continent and not all Eurasia
     
  11. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    are you implying they can’t conquer Africa too!
     
  12. raffaele gaggioli Well-Known Member

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    @Born in the USSA maybe your prediction about the Polish illuminati empire will come out true
     
  13. Zoidberg12 Well-Known Member

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    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    I immediately recognized the photo of Nikodim Maksimov as the real-life Hermann Rorschach, the Swiss psychiatrist who invented the famous inkblot Rorschach test.
     
  14. manacus Banned

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    Jan 2, 2019
    the Americas are for America as the prophet burr decreed and Africa is for the pinnacle men of Africa as Europea is for the anglo tetonic people as Asia is for the pinnacle men of the Nipponese as the prophet decreed do u even AFC bro
     
  15. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    are you forgetting part when the second prophet of god shall come down and unite the 5 tribes of man and spread them across the stars?
     
  16. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    Nov 14, 2015
    And then the Eastern Empire can spawn egoism as a reaction against the class consciousness of the Illuminati! Man Viktor really came full circle for TTLs version of Baron Ungern, huh?
     
  17. raffaele gaggioli Well-Known Member

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    Jul 28, 2017
    Actually if Russia collapse into revolution, either Persia will follow suit or somehow it will start expanding into the russian tertitories. I wonder what will happen to China however
     
  18. Time Enough Nightmare angel of the Tea Rooms

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Nottingham (kind of, depends on the Season)
    Meanwhile in China;
    Oh no, not again.
    Meanwhile in the Netherlands;
    Are we like the only nation that isn't collapsing.
    Meanwhile in Persia:
    Yes the great Satan is dying, ha, ha...we're next aren't we.
    Meanwhile in Korea:
    I sense a great disturbance in the force

    I'm hoping for MonBol Russia here, Viktor's boy decides "I can work this to my advantage" and becomes the Illuminati head.
     
  19. Perfidious Albion Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
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    The North
    Unpopular opinion time:

    I'm hoping Viktor gets crushed like a bug. To be honest, I've never really warmed on him or TTL Russia. The Madness-verse is full of villains, of course, but the other villains, as exaggerations of negative national trends, were memorable and compelling without being so ridiculous that I entirely lost interest in them. Viktor, on the other hand, was so over-the-top he went full circle and it became boring. The idea of Orthodox Russia treating Kaiser Wilhelm's far-more-psychotic ATL self as a literal god-emperor, and loads of people fanatically dying for him, while he goes around declaring himself Khan of Khans… I couldn't maintain willing suspension of disbelief at all, for any instant he was on the page. It felt like he walked out of some cartoonishly over-the-top story much worse than this one, because the relentless Viktor-wankery got on my nerves. Though we're usually talking about the RU, TTL's Russia has actually been treated much more wankishly than the Republican Union ever has been. The Americans have a real fight when they're trying to conquer Quebec, Canada and California, all of which would inevitably be extremely sparsely populated compared to the RU simply as a fact of geography. Russia, meanwhile, gets to devour vast swathes of the most populated country in the world, with a population of hundreds of millions, on a logistical shoestrain (even if he built ten Trans-Siberian Railways it would still be nowhere near the same thing as putting resources in Europe) at the same time as they're waging industrialised war against the industrial heart of Western Europe which they're blatantly unsuited for, a war which in any half-real world they'd be being utterly thrashed, and they get away with it because… umm… Viktor is cool and scary? It didn't feel like anything that would actually happen. It felt like Viktor was only getting successes because of authorial favouritism. Normally the Madness-verse is great when it's showing things (almost always) that are horrifying, but feel like they might have actually happened, and that makes you think and shudder. Viktor never felt like that.

    There are loads of things in this reboot that are more detailed than the original. I think lots of them are great; they make the world more believable and immersive and interesting. Russia—until now—was the exception that proves the rule.

    I say "until now" because this new twist in Russia—Lenin/Ulyanov as a ruthless businessman (heh, remembered that from Classic—loved that one), the Illuminati uprising as an interesting twist on OTL radical ideologies and conspiracy theories while actually being pretty thoroughly believable in an environment where the old order has been discredited by tearing itself apart in a bloody slaughter that nobody in Europe really won—is much more to my liking. I'd go so far as to say that it's much more typical than Viktor is of the Madness-verse's usual level of interest and high quality. So, for the sake of the TL, I'm hoping we get more of the Illuminist revolutionaries and less of Mad Tsar Viktor—who, in-universe, is now a proven failure who's thrown away millions of his subjects' lives, subjecting them to incredible misery, and then got humiliated because he lost the war. Plus Asian Russia was never, is never and can never remotely possibly be a match for the part of Russia that has nearly all the people in it.

    Both from in-universe 'what should happen' perspective (Viktor's regime has not just one but comically many of the sort of things that cause regimes to catastrophically collapse) and an out-of-universe narrative-choice perspective (I could never take him seriously because he was so over-the-top and kept winning for no good reason), I hope/think/want-to-think Viktor will lose.
     
  20. Napoleon53 Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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    I actually always intended for Viktor to be built up as this God of War only to send him crashing down in catastrophe. I wanked him to screw him hard. Lol I thoroughly intended for him to be overextending and throwing away his subjects lives for his own glory. The part where he strangled a messenger in front if his generals was much less "Darth Vader" and much more "lunatic Ivan the Terrible strangling his son while drunk and drooling." He's become a pathetic, pitiable character, and he's literally just fleeing the capital without even trying to stand his ground. He knows it's over.

    My original idea was for some sort of true republic to built in his ashes. Now though, with my invention of Illuminism, things are about to get real interesting. *evil laughter*
     
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