I'll be honest. At first, I was a little skeptical about Mussolini and Adolf's new roles in the TL. Then, after seeing how things are playing out, I can say I was wrong. Now, things are more interesting. Instead of uniting and facing the American juggernaut, Europe is tearing itself apart. Ancient dynasties crumble, and whole nations drown in blood. Man, I can't wait to see what happens next!
 
Yeah, I bet Japanese cuisine would be very different here.:p
Goofs aside, it probably would be pretty different since Steele has been more hardline in RU-fying Nippon. Beef is still probably rarer in the Nipponese diet than in the RU - Japan just doesn't have the vast grasslands to supply cattle herding on the scale that OTL/TTL America can. Fortunately, the old New England diet already incorporates a fair amount of fish, so that probably stays constant.
 
Goofs aside, it probably would be pretty different since Steele has been more hardline in RU-fying Nippon. Beef is still probably rarer in the Nipponese diet than in the RU - Japan just doesn't have the vast grasslands to supply cattle herding on the scale that OTL/TTL America can. Fortunately, the old New England diet already incorporates a fair amount of fish, so that probably stays constant.
That could work to to bind Nippon to the RU further though, get the populace addicted to having beef in their diet (they can actually do this like the Opium trade, seeing as RU itself is drugged out of their minds) even though they can't domestically produce it all that well, thus ensuring they will have to trade with you for it to meet demands.

I'll admit to not having a lot of knowledge on this topic though, so I might be wrong.
 
Are we going to see more trench warfare in the Rhineland, or will someone launch a version of the Blitzkrieg? I'm sure the idea exists ITTL. Ironically, France might be in a better position to wage mechanized warfare than the Germans, since they're likely to be more industrialized than either Austria or the Bund.
The whole Blitzkrieg/Motorized Warfare came about IOTL due to the heavy manpower losses Germany suffered. I figure all the European powers have developed their own versions but may but limited due to resources and funds. However, with war coming every idea may be approved to get everyone in fighting shape.
 
I read the last chapter yesterday.

It looks like things are coming to a climax in this world. I imagine that Europa and the New Holy Roman Empire will go to war during this world's next world war. My guess is the next world war will start in one of two ways; Holy Rome annexes South Germany or Holy Rome invades Bohemia.

Speaking of Bohemia, I imagine there would be a SuperCatholic movement there stirring up trouble and that wants to be annexed into Emperor Adolf's New Holy Roman Empire.

Heres a new map of 1936, this time with Italy under Holy Roman rule and Sicily as a Europan puppet state.

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/what-madness-is-this-redux-the-union-forever.451900/page-383#post-19642546
 
I also find it interesting that Sicily is now a Europan puppet state. I imagine the Sicilian language will be promoted as the official language over Italian.

Here some ideas of mine on some potential Prime Ministers of Sicily.

One idea is Andrea Finocchiaro Aprile, the leader of the Movement for the Independence of Sicily, a Sicilian nationalist party that existed from 1943 to 1951.

1580676160913.png


Since this is the Madnessverse, a more insane (and more appealing) idea is "Don" Calogero Vizzini, a prominent mafia boss who was also a supporter of Sicilian nationalism and the aforementioned MIS. I could see the Europan government supporting his corrupt and terroristic government in exchange for different favors, including monetary favors, and for keeping Sicily safe from both SuperCathloics and Illuminists.

1580676330405.png
 
I kind of wonder what version of the SCP Foundation would resemble in this universe. I can imagine some version of SCP Foundation would be secretly made by the RU to contain, secure, and protect the Pinnacle Men at all cost, while kidnapping Infees as Class-D subjects used in dangerous tests.
 
I kind of wonder what version of the SCP Foundation would resemble in this universe. I can imagine some version of SCP Foundation would be secretly made by the RU to contain, secure, and protect the Pinnacle Men at all cost, while kidnapping Infees as Class-D subjects used in dangerous tests.
If this were an ASBTL that would be Tobias’s Castle
 
IN A "SAFE" PLACE
I believe this will ABSOLUTELY go down on a lot of people's favorite chapters lists. It was incredibly fun to write. Over 4k words in three hours, straight from the hip. It's hilarious, it's sad, it's madness. I was actually laughing aloud writing portions of this. I loved writing this chapter.

IN A "SAFE" PLACE
winston churchill.jpg

General Director Churchill meets with his supporters in London


Winston Churchill woke with a gasping, labored breath. It was the morning of March 1, 1937. He had really tied one on the night before with the members of his cabinet. They had been celebrating the grand opening of the new Britannic Capitol Complex in London, a major landmark event showcasing the city's rise to prominence once more despite the lingering effects of the Anthrax issue in the English Channel. The portly Director General realized he had never even gone to bed, falling asleep in his overstuffed buffalo-hide reading chair, a present from an American ambassador years ago. His undone bow tie was slung sloppily around his neck and stains of some sort adorned his pinstriped vest, buttoned wrongly so that he was one button askew all the way up. He panicked for a brief moment before finding and fondling his precious pocket watch, a last present from his beloved wife Loretta Hendrick, which had fallen into the cushion from his vest pocket. He carefully opened the clasp on the watch and looked at the face. "Damn. Nine in the morn already," he muttered to himself before clicking the watch shut, putting it back in his vest pocket, and forcing himself to rise from his leather seat. The first step he took was a doozy, sending him reeling and grasping for any nearby object to steady himself with. He tripped over something and went hurtling to the floor. "Confound it!" he cried out in his jowly baritone as he hit the floor and felt the agony of his potato-sack body hitting the hardwood.

Then he saw it. The body. THAT body.

Just in front of his chair laid the body of Phil Kent, Director of Propaganda, a paper in his bloody hand. The young Lutheran's corpse was white as a sheet, the lips just beginning to turn blue. Dead, glassy eyes looked up at an uncaring ceiling fan.

"Oh, bugger."

Churchill's mind, still heavy with alcohol, tried to remember what had happened. He had partied in the new Capitol Ballroom with the cabinet and a gaggle of NatPar officers late into the night. They had drank and sang and ate till their bellies were near to bursting. Propaganda Director Kent, however, seemed aloof and far away. He had never liked that man, but couldn't deny that he was a genius artist in the field of media mind control. He had even been the one who formulated the entire "Uncle Winnie" persona. Now Uncle Winnie picked himself up and stood over the body, still trying to sort through the mental fog to remember what had befallen the late Mister Kent.

"Oh. Oh fuckin' 'ell."

It finally came back to him. After the party was officially over, Churchill, Kent, Deputy General Director Attlee, and Sawyer, the Director of the Armed Forces, moved to Churchill's new office for a few cocktails and more private conversation. An after-party, of sorts. Once again, Kent seemed distant. By midnight, everyone headed home, except for Kent. The Propaganda Director hung around later than anyone else, saying he wished a word in private with Churchill. When the two men were alone, Kent pulled an envelope out of his suit jacket.

"Your excellency, I need to ask you about something that concerns me greatly."

"Certainly... Deputy Direc-, uhm, I mean Propaganda D-d-director," Churchill slurred through his scotch.

"Order 78. I found it among your papers while... straightening your desk, shall we say. You bastard. You would hand over our country to damn Yanks?! How could you betray our nation like this? 'Direct rule from Philadelphia'? Not in a million years would any true Englishman allow such a diabolical betrayal of his country to a foreign power. You disgust me."

Churchill's eyes grew wide as he realized, even in his intoxicated state, how much shit was about to hit the fan. "You whelp! You rifled through my desk?!"

Kent scoffed and waved the envelope in Churchill's face. "THAT is what you are concerned about? Not the idea of handing over your own country to another nation? Unbelievable. To think, I was largely the one who kept you in power, you fat imbecile."

The General Director threw his cocktail glass as hard as he could across the room, hitting a red papered wall with a violent shattering noise, though he didn't lose eye contact with Kent the whole time. "You DARE talk to me like this? I ought to have you drawn and quartered at noon for this, Kent! I always knew you were lacking in proper fluidation, but now I am certain."

Much to Churchill's horror, Kent pulled a small knife out of his tweed jacket and lunged at him, finally ready to kill what he deemed a disgusting traitor. "Death always to tyrants!" he shrieked, thrusting the knife against Uncle Winnie's beer-belly. Smiling, he watched Churchill's face crease in pain. He had done it. That was when he realized there was no blood. And it didn't feel like he had hit flesh.

A drunken Churchill grabbed his wrist and wrenched the knife away. "Do you really think I am s-stupid enough to not w-wear armor at all times? I always wear a stab-vest j-just in case one of you boot-licking, groveling cowards finally drops his balls and has a go at the ol' throne!" As Kent stepped back, past a record console and toward Churchill's buffalo chair, Churchill met him, step for step, smiling evilly as he drunkenly swished the dagger through the air in front of him.

"You're mad, Winston," Kent cried out, pointing a shaking finger at his foe.

"I'm mad? No, no, no," Winston chided. "I'm not mad. I'm a Pinnacle Man, and you are a bug on a w-w-windshield, Kent. A distant screech in the thunderous chorus of my greatness. I'll use your guts for garters, you snake!"

Kent frantically grabbed a nearby scotch bottle to defend himself with as all 300 pounds of the Director General jiggled and wiggled his way, knife raised. In a moment they were in arm's reach. Just as Winston shoved the tip of the dagger between Kent's ribs, the Propaganda Director smashed the bottle across the side of Winston's head. As the younger man collapsed to the floor, blood pouring out of his wound, Churchill saw stars and stagger-fell into his trusty American chair.

Churchill thought back on all of this with horror in the present as he stared at the dead body of one of the most powerful men in his entire administration. There he was, dead as a door nail, pissed himself to boot. Churchill tip-toed over to the door of his office and peered out into the hallway. A young man in a khaki NatPar uniform stood guard. The guard made awkward eye contact with him while trying to remain at attention, rifle shaking just a bit as the rumpled and hungover dictator stepped one foot out into the hall, still steadying himself on the door frame. The smell of pickles, pimentos, and alcohol hung heavy on the fat man's breath as he asked, "Soldier, how long have you been on duty?"

The young man still looked straight ahead, trying to avoid making more eye contact. "Sir, since last night, sir. 10 o'clock."

This wasn't good. The after-party started at 10. This soldier had been on guard ever since. He had to have heard everything. On a side note, Churchill wanted to congratulate the man on his bladder-control. But more importantly he wanted to know what to do with him in general. What if he had heard about Order 78? What if he heard the struggle, and the dying moans of a member of the cabinet. "Son, did you hear anything? Anything at all? I... can't seem to remember much of last night."

The soldier kept looking straight ahead. "Sir, I heard some commotion or other but did not leave my post, sir. Celebrations can get a little rowdy if you do them the English way, sir."

Churchill snapped his fingers in a gesture of "You got that right!" and put a hand on the soldier's arm. "You can go now, son. You are relieved of duty. I am safe. I will listen to an album or two and sleep off this bender."

The soldier finally turned his head in surprise. "Sir, I am supposed to escort guests from your office. Is Director Kent ready to depart as well?

He snapped his meaty fingers again, much less confidently, and stammered, "Uh, you see, yes, uh, Director Kent is, well, he is rather 'indisposed' at the moment. English celebrations, am I right? And I am! Yes, you can run along now, son. That's an order."

The guard still looked confused by saluted promptly, clicked his heels, and strutted down the hall, rifle slung over his shoulder.

"Piss out my arse," Churchill muttered, slamming the door. He quickly wished he had not done that, as the sound set his head to pounding once more. He scanned the office floor to find what he needed. The envelope. As he picked up Order 78 and tucked it in his vest pocket, he was growing more paranoid by the second. Had Kent acted alone? Had he told someone else about Order 78? He couldn't simply say Kent had attempted to murder him without raising more than a few eyebrows in the cabinet. He could say it was a drunken party gone wrong, but that was still most suspicious. What he needed to do was find all of Kent's friends and family interrogated about any knowledge of Order 78. Yes, that was it. He would dispatch his private goons to track them down and scrub any memory of Order 78 from the minds of everyone except Churchill and Steele. And maybe Patton, if Tamerlane Junior was let in on the scheme.

Now, now he had the beginnings of a plan. But it wouldn't work if Kent's compatriots knew he was dead. They might activate a cell or rebellion or make another attempt at his life. No, Kent had to "go away" on a surprise vacation to New England, compliments of a mirthful Director General on the day of finished construction on the new Capitol Complex. It was perfect. Yes. Now he just needed to find some way to get rid of the body. He thought about chopping the corpse's limbs off to feed into the fireplace but that would take a long time and would be very, very messy. No he needed a way to get rid of the meatsack without dragging the mangled corpse of one his right-hand men down the hallway of the capitol building.

A snap of the fingers. He found his answer.

Winston stepped back over to the body and felt the pockets up for anything useful but found nothing. Then the portly murderer grabbed Kent's ankles, fashionable in plaid socks, and tugged. He dragged his victim into his personal chamber, a large bedroom overlooking the gardens of the new Capitol Complex. In the corner, by an oak table of cigars, snack cakes and pastries, refreshed every morning, was a large gun safe. Churchill was a fan of skeet shooting and hunting, and the architects of the new Capitol thought ahead for his every need. Grunting and straining, he picked the body up, grabbing one wrist and throwing the dead man's arm over his shoulder. Carefully and gingerly, he packed the deceased Propaganda Director's corpse inside the vault, standing upright, Kent's tweed jacket collar hoisted onto a shotgun hook. Churchill patted the dead man's chest and pretended to adjust the bloody black necktie to spruce him up. "That's right, Phil ol' boy, you stay right in here for a while until Uncle Winnie decides what to do with your bloating remains. Ta-ta for now, Phil. Do remember to write." Churchill closed the heavy iron door and spun the mechanism a few times. He could hear the air vacuum out of the safe, which made him feel better about the wondrous smells and scents that would come soon enough.

After washing up in his private bedroom and changing his clothes, Winston wiped up the blood on the hardwood floor of his office with a bath towel before chucking the evidence into the fireplace. From up on the mantle, a marble bust of Christ looked down on him, flanked on each side with pictures of his late wife, Loretta. "Don't look at me like that, you two."

***

To say that the period of time following the murder of Kent marked a noticeable change in Churchill's mental health was to state the obvious and the understated. He became obsessed with rooting out anyone who might now about Order 78 and torturing them, beating them, or purging them, sometimes all three at once. Though he lacked evidence that Kent's conspiracy engaged anyone else, he was solidly convinced that there was a greater plot at hand. For the next month, Churchill brutally sought out any leads and put them down like dogs, despite the general lack of any and all evidence.

The opening of the new Capitol Complex in London was supposed to mark a new era for the Britannic Union. A final leap into the modern era. But instead, Churchill began to rarely show himself in public for fear of being assassinated by allies of Kent or whoever might know about Order 78. He spent increasingly large amounts and stretches of time walled up in his personal quarters, mumbling to himself and throwing items. He also made repeated calls to Dr. Finch, head of the Operation Cromwell chemical weapons program, inquiring as to the progress on the man-made bio-weapon. Soon, he would deploy it against the Irish Papists and finally achieve victory over the ancient foe of all Englishmen.

But as he isolated himself further from the people and his government, so to did he isolate himself from reality. He began talking to "Sam in the Safe." He would spend hours, usually intoxicated, sitting in his buffalo hide chair, often nude, conversing with the safe in the corner of his bedchamber. No one had any idea what was going on, but it certainly wasn't good for morale among the cabinet members. When Kent failed to come back from his "vacation," things got even worse. Many assumed he had defected to America or been in some accident. As morale continued to decline, the number of those purged increased, and many began to wonder just how long the country could function with a paranoid lunatic holed up in a bedroom, allegedly relieving himself in his nightly under-the-door dinner bowls after his meals.

On June 1, 1937, Deputy General Director Attlee had had enough. In agreement with the rest of the remaining cabinet and Dr. Finch, who worried Churchill had no idea what he was messing with with Operation Cromwell, they decided it was finally time to remove "Uncle Winnie" from power by reason of insanity and inability to carry out his duties. Attlee took it upon himself to visit Churchill and tell him the decision. He knocked several times on the door of Winston's office before a distant voice said, "Come in." Slowly, he turned the knob and let himself into the inner sanctum of insanity. For a new office, it surely was showing signs of neglect and squalor. The large mahogany desk was covered in utensils, notes scribbled in frantic handwriting, and general trash. Empty scotch bottles were stacked high all around, some filled with what appeared to be piss. A horrible aroma hung like a cloud over the entire office, a smell too rotten to only be urine and stale food. It seemed to emanate from the right corner of the room, just past the fireplace, in Winston's bedroom. A bedroom no one had seen inside for over a month.

"D-director General? Are you there?" Attlee said loudly but in a cautious, hesitating tone. His thin arms hung straight down, braced for whatever Churchill would bellow and whatever other horrors the disgusting locale had to offer him next.

"Yes," came the quiet, calm tone of Churchill. "Of course I am here, you damn fool. Stay where you are, I am not decent."

Attlee shuddered and could only imagine. "As you wish, sir. Ah, Master Winston, I come to discuss something of great import with you. It is very serious, and I feel it is my duty as your right hand to inform you."

"Is it OpCrom, Clement?" Churchill's voice seemed to show a brief moment of excitement. "I can't wait to wipe out those Irish creatures once and for all! To taste the sweet nectar of victory! A taste sweeter than a fresh Turkish delight. What a day it will it be. Sam in the Safe agrees. Sam in the Safe agrees with me on a lot of things. He tells me things. I trust him. I trust you, too, Clement. Sam in the Safe trusts you. That is why you remain. That is why you have survived my purges."

Attlee took a handkerchief from his pocket and used it to wipe the increasingly high levels of sweat from his forehead. Then he used the cloth as a glove to pull out a nearby chair. After wiping off pieces of unknown detritus, he carefully sat down. "Ah, thank you, sir?" he shouted back from the office, nervously realizing his continued existence on the mortal plain this entire time had depended on the whimsical mutterings of an imaginary creature living in a gun cabinet in a dictator's bedroom. "But, ah, no, it is not about OpCrom."

A moment of silence hung heavy and Clement could hear Churchill's stocking feet move closer to the door separating the office from the bedroom. "What's that you say, comrade?" Churchill asked, his voice betraying the fact that he knew he was about to be told something he would definitely not like."

Clement regretted sitting down immediately. He did not realize this would escalate so quickly. He gulped and lit a cigarette, raising it to his quivering lips, and took a long drag. "Uh, well, sir, you see you have been rather... indisposed... as of late. The country has needed you greatly. We have needed you greatly. "

"Do you miss me, Clement?" Winston asked, monotone. The light betrayed his movement as much as his voice. Shadows under the bedroom door showed the General Director was standing directly on the other side. A quiver came from his voice. "Oh, Clement I have missed you. I have missed the Party. I have missed the people. But it is not safe. There is a conspiracy afoot the likes of what you will not believe. They are conspiring on the beaches, and in the trees, and in the walls. They are conspiring, and they will not surrender. We must stamp them out. Sam in the Safe told me such."

Clement's feelings of anxiety skyrocketed as he lit another cigarette. He was dual-wielding, one in each hand. Closing his eyes and resting his head back trying to keep his composure, he prepared to speak, but he was cut off before he could say a word.

"Clement," Winston continued. "Can you feel it? It's like the tentacles of some sort of black creature are engulfing our homeland. From near and far they plot. The Loomies. The nonconformists, damn them. The Anarchists, and the Beutelists. Even... even those in NatPar. Clement, there is a vast, far-reaching conspiracy to sap and impurify our bodily fluids. They have put their poison in the water, which makes people... cloudythink. Clement, I know. It's all part of their sneak-plots. Sam in the Safe tells me many things. It is he who has opened my eyes to the diabolical machinations of the scions of Satan that currently are running amuck in our precious country. Clement, I am pure. I have remained pure. Don't drink the water. I have sustained myself on scotch alone. It cleanses the mouth, the palate, the guts, and the orifices all. It is a gift from God. Scotch is my friend, Clement, just as you are my friend. My oldest friend. I love you, and I love scotch. I love scotch so much. I just had some earlier with a side of fava beans." A slight, throaty whimper could be heard from the bedroom, and cigar smoke drifted up under the door. "'Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding: Yet do not go away: come, basilisk, And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight; For in the shade of scotch I shall find joy."

It was at this point that Clement almost felt sorry for Winston. A shallow, pathetic shell of a once-great man stood on the other side of that door. A shell of a leader that had inspired and rallied millions to his cause. "Now, now, Winston, I, ah, love you, uh, too. The people love you, as well. And, uh, I'm sure scotch reciprocates your feelings. But I do have something very important to tell you still."

"Have you come to take the scotch away, Clement?" Churchill's voice broke as he began actively sobbing. "I know they say I'm a drunk but I need it to think. It's the only way I can hear Sam in the Safe. IT IS VITAL TO NATIONAL SECURITY, DAMMIT!"

Attlee took a puff off his left-hand cigarette before replying, "No, Winston. You shall remain free to imbibe scotch at your leisure, in fact more than ever!" he answered, reluctantly trying to put a positive spin on what he was about to say and in a voice like he was talking to a small child.

The crying stopped instantly. Clement's heartbeat increased rapidly. "Why is that, Clement? What HAVE you come here to tell me?"

"You see, now, Master Winston, I am merely here to-"

"Don't patronize me, Clement! In the words of the immortal Bard, 'Hide not thy poison with such sugar'd words; Lay not thy hands on me; forbear, I say; Their touch affrights me as a serpent's sting!"

Clement rose from his chair, snuffing the cigarettes out in a nearby ashtray overflowing with cigar stubs. A resolve to finally leave this room and madman made him finally jump to brass tacks. "Winston, NatPar has decided to remove you from power effective immediately!" he proclaimed in a loud, bold tone. Silence followed. Nothing but silence. Then the sound of Winston's immense weight shifting on the other side of the door. Attlee braced himself for whatever would come next.

Nothing could have braced him enough, however. Ten seconds later, the door to Winston's bedroom flung wide open, revealing the wild boar of a man inside, completely naked except for a pair of black socks and garters holding them up to his chubby knees. In his hands was a small dagger, and on his haggard, bearded face was the most sincere and true expression of wild-eyed peak insanity Attlee had ever beheld in all his five decades on earth. "'THOU BALEFUL MESSENGER, OUT OF MY SIGHT!'" the fleshy blob of an Englishman shrieked as he raised the dagger over his head and charged into the room, straight at Attlee. Attlee leaped to one side to avoid the barrel charge and raced to the exit as fast as he could. Behind him he heard the drunk nudist collide into a pile of scotch bottles. "Piss!" came the cry of rage behind him. Just as Attlee was reaching the door to leave the office, he heard the bounding steps of Churchill behind him, closing in for the kill.

The final moments of Winston Churchill were as inglorious as could possibly be for the leader of a major power and supposed Pinnacle Man. Attlee scurried out of the room just in time to miss a swipe of Winston's knife. The naked man followed him into the hall, still bloodthirsty and ready to give chase, until he realized what was happening. Most of the top dogs in the government were waiting outside. Their faces filled with horror at the disgusting sight before them, but they acted quickly. They all raised their pistols and submachine guns and opened fire. The bullets slammed into Churchill like a freight train. Over 30 in all went into his large frame, sending him flying backward back into the office. The door frame was splattered with blood and bits of flesh as the NatPar officials stepped over the corpse and into the disgusting office.

"Blimey," said General Adam Williams, a man who lost a brother to Churchill's purges. "Looks like a bloody homeless camp in here."

Attlee followed the others in. "Indeed, it's fit to burn. But before we drag His Majesty's corpse out of here and call in the renovators, let's see what's in that safe of his. I have had a hunch for a long while, and I'm afraid I'm about to be a grade-A detective...."

Five minutes passed.

"OH MY GOD."

A wet thump could be heard from the bedroom by all. The smell began to make them throw up. It was finally over. Phil Kent was back from vacation.
 
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Stuck in The Middle with You plays as the scene fades to black and white then to black
This was amazing. Order 78 was on his death the RU takes over England, right?
 
A small sprout of Sanity from NatPar there, but how long will it last against The Madness? Eager to see how Attlee handles his new General Directorship. He seems a little timid but I guess anyone would be in the face of a mad Churchill.

Also, I’m picturing the new Capitol Complex looking rather like Senate House in Londen, seeing as it was supposedly the inspiration for the Ministry of Truth in 1984
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