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About Deviant Member Bruce MunroMale/United States Group :iconalternate-history: Alternate-History
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This account is a storage spot for my alternate history maps. I also have started putting up "Alien Space Bat scenario" (fantasy settings) writings in a seperate "ASB" folder, and more recently some doodles.

PS - to see all the map deviations in my gallery, hit "browse": for some reason some don't show up otherwise, although they aren't in seperate folders.


Have neglected putting anything here, so I thought I'd start adding: alternate history maps by others, some Anime pics, odds and ends...


The Grasshopper Lies Heavy by QuantumBranching
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy
The world within the book within the Nazi-victory story "The Man In the High Castle" by Philip K Dick: the world which is in fact supposed to be more real than the Nazi-victory world, and possibly more so than ours. Woooo. 

I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire. – Winston Churchill, 1942.

It is 1962. More than 17 years since the fall of Nazi Germany. 16 since the Soviet civil war and the US and British “intervention.” Ten since President Stevenson began a speech with: “as I speak, an iron wall is being erected between Europe and America…”

In this world, the US under President Rex Tugwell and the British under Churchill brought down the Nazi and Japanese Empires as OTL, but unlike OTL, after the wall the British Empire did not go grousing into that good night. No, it survived, and co-opted the creation of a European Union, using the one to reinforce the other: while the Great Enemy of our world, the Soviet Union, collapsed into civil war at the very frontier of victory.

Of course, there were some odd divergences before the outbreak of war. Roosevelt was rather more successful in some of his policies, and in response Britain embraced a technocratic program of “industrial mobilization” which combined with the work of Turing on automated and cybernetic systems greatly enhanced British productive capacities by the time of the war. And then there was the Regrettable and Entirely Accidental death of that “half-naked Indian fakir…”

The war went worse than OTL for the Soviet Union – Stalin’s death early on and the resulting unedifying struggle for Top Spot didn’t help at all – and even UK help sent through Turkey and Iran only just allowed the Soviets to stop the Germans at Stalingrad. Simply driving the Germans from Moscow was a bloody slog, and the British and Americans were on German soil while the Soviets were still struggling through the Ukraine. Soviet forces would have no part in the capture of Berlin, or the final running to ground of Hitler in East Prussia: and when Soviet forces finally pushed through a collapsing German army into Poland, Soviet observers were invited to witness the power of the US’s new atomic device: Tugwell and Churchill had decided that while the Soviet Union would be allowed some “border corrections”, there would be no place for a Communist dictatorship and former German ally in Eastern Europe.

The civil war between the “we wuz stabbed in the back” and the “it was all Stalin’s fault” factions (and several others) broke out not long after the unreported-to-westerners cholera epidemic began to ravage central Russia. The UK and the US, remembering what happened last time they let a Russian civil war proceed to its natural conclusion, moved in with full metal. (The US later decided that they had been cheated in the post-war division of territory: they had done most of the heavy lifting in pacifying “undemocratic” factions, but the British ended up with most of the population. The British meanwhile point out that the US got most of the land and much less off a terrible reconstruction problem to handle.)

So the three (Eh! Vive La France!), sorry, three and a half policemen – US, British Empire, China, and some guys – would maintain world peace and develop the planet and end poverty etc., etc., world without end. Unfortunately, certain difference in approach soon manifested – Rex Tugwell and his successors were not as anti-colonialism as Roosevelt, but they did tend to look down on British methods, and felt that “old Europe” would in the future follow the lead of young, vibrant America – something not exactly aimed at assuaging European pride. And Churchill, oddly enough, would not be removed from power in post-war tides of change – indeed, leading an expanded political coalition (including the “New Liberal” party, which oddly looked a lot like a party created specifically designed to siphon votes from Labor) stayed in power, and stayed, and stayed…

By 1962, a new game of Great Power competition was in full swing, as a Europe unified and rejuvenated under British leadership and a unified European sphere of colonies, puppets, and overseas territories challenged the US for global leadership. The US, which had largely withdrawn from European affairs post-war in pursuit of its more “traditional” sphere of influence in Latin America and the Pacific, was to some extent left a bit baffled by the rapidity of the change in circumstances, and many Americans grumbled loudly about idiot politicians which had abandoned Europe to the sneaky King George-loving, dusky-people-oppressing, tea-taxing British and their smarmy, mustached French sidekicks. Europeans in turn muttered about the money-mad Americans trying to conquer the world with cash and poisoning European youth with their icky mass culture while at the same time constantly seeking to undermine Europe’s entirely beneficial protectorate of the weaker, less developed peoples.

And by this time it had gone far beyond grumbling. The US bomb in 1944 was followed by the British one in 1948: the first US rocket in orbit in 1950 was followed in 1952 by the first British one, thanks to the combined efforts of Von Braun and Quatermass. It would not be too long before someone had the bright idea of putting one on the other, and then of course it was not long before some British missiles were pointed at the US and some US ones at the British: just in case, you know. And then someone built an atomic-powered submarine…

As of 1962 the two great blocks aren’t quite existential enemies, but they don’t get along at all. The skies are full of spy satellites, and atomic-powered bombers patrol endlessly. And both sides are having some trouble keeping those cats marching in straight lines.

The British long struggle to keep India in the Empire is heading into end game, and the outcome doesn’t look too good. Co-option, compromises, political divide and rule – the socialist “wing” [1] of the Indian Congress Party has taken over three of the major political divisions of India (which in turn forms a sub-section of a more federalized Empire) in spite of confident predictions of a win for conservative forces in the north by electronic brain-jockeys, and is now calling for the union of all three as a single full dominion – or else. British leadership of the Empire depends on keeping rapidly growing and developing India politically divided and outside the direct line of federal control: otherwise, in the long run Britain will become Little Buddy to India within the Empire and only one of several leading nations within Europe. Radical surgery may be required: worse, British talking heads have been blaming the Americans for deliberately stirring up trouble in India so long that some of the politicians have started believing it themselves.

They’ve blamed the US for continuing unrest in Malaysia since the start, and in that case they’re half right, since both the Chinese and the Indonesians want to draw Malaysia into their sphere. 

In spite of these issues, British power remains massive. Although America is still substantially richer, much of the Empire, and Europe as well, is growing _faster_ now than the US, under a mix of free market economics and open borders with technocratic development and high-tech research pushed from above, although some skeptics point out this is just because they had a much lower place to start from. Europe is a Franco-British co-production, with help from Poland, the Czechs, and an Italy which timed its defection from the Axis better. (The Franco regime was kicked over in 1946 as a final bit of anti-Fascist tidying up). Germany has been divided into multiple states, although the open borders and economic integration means that political fragmentation has not led to economic disaster. Africa remains mostly secure, although the policy of encouraging large scale resettlement of peoples dehoused and displaced by war on lands requiring a firm (white) hand had probably stirred up as much unrest as it has suppressed. There is some talk of more African semi-dominions in the future, and the French are almost-boldly forging ahead with a federal Empire, although they are facing a crisis of their own in North Africa which needs resolving one way or the other. The Middle East is mostly under the British thumb, but it remains another “hot spot”, with the Saudis making the call that the Americans are safely distant and less colonization-happy than the British, and various angry nationalist groups multiplying faster than their leaders can be co-opted or die in entirely natural ways. Beyond the Indus things start getting hairy, and although a lack of Red Chinese and Soviets and some British aid allowed the French to reestablish themselves in Indochina, a fresh rebellion has broken out, and the Chinese are widely suspected of secret support for it. 

The British are far superior to the Americans when it comes to intelligence and subterfuge, which makes up a bit for some of their other weaknesses. Mi6 and it’s “licensed to kill” agents defend British interests in the shadows over two thirds of the world, and British infiltration of US intelligence is embarrassingly thorough, while the still sizeable “Unity among Anglo-Saxons” wing of the US WASP community provides a great supply of useful dupes. 

The US, meanwhile, dominates Latin America economically, culturally, and politically. US distribution of dirt-cheap TVs with tiny nuclear batteries (utterly safe, unless your kid tries to open them up or something) to the impoverished masses of Asia and Latin America not only provides free how-to information beamed by satellite to everyone (largely replaced by less patronizing local broadcasts as soon as the locals managed to get their own broadcast stations) but also brings US propaganda (“vital political information”) and opens bridgeheads in people’s heads for an endless flood of US products. People use US products, work in US factories, watch American TV and listen to American radio. Nativist forces exist and struggle against the flood, encouraged by the British (who have their own TV satellite broadcasts to compete, although as yet they don’t have quite the same volume and quality of crap to sell). Canada is currently struggling to keep up customs barriers against a floodtide of smuggling and public unrest against the “For the good of the Empire” line. 

The US is not quite as overwhelmingly dominant in East Asia, but the economies of the area remain to a substantial extent subordinate to the US. The main price the US extracted from China for kicking out the Japanese (which required sending US forces into Manchuria) and helping them with their little Red problem was fully opening their markets, and the Chinese are getting a bit fed up with the difficulties this places in the way of developing their own modern industries. Sure, as incomes have soared the US has outsourced some of its cheapest, dirtiest and crappiest jobs and industries to China, but the Chinese have no intention of remaining makers of plastic sandals and fake doggie doo forever: they intend to become a great power, damn it.

The Japanese, of course, were not given a choice in becoming a subsidiary of US, Inc., and the fact that a more thorough political house cleaning has led to a Japanese government several shades pinker than OTL has not helped. 

Russia was supposed to be reunited as one democratic regime after the US and the UK finished “restoring order” and “promoting democracy”, but while both halves of Russia have had reasonably clean elections and other such signs of a not-wacky society since the mid-50s, neither the UK nor the US can agree on a formula for unification. In fact, neither wants to risk the reunified Russian state turning to the other side, and both fear a unified neutral Russia might go all revanchist: the British sometimes question giving independence to Belorus and the Ukraine, in spite of that “Holodomor” thingy. The US at least kept the Kazakh steppes unified with east Russia (the US at the time was rather skeptical about the viability of a Kazakh state: they now feel this was a bad idea, given the Turkish peoples’ British inclination). The Russians, meanwhile, are getting more and more fed up with their “protectors” excuses – not to mention the nuclear missile launchers on their soil…

British society is hierarchical, technocratic, obsessed with the “white heat of technology”, and looks to an ignorant outsider more than a wee bit fascistic, with its abundance of snappy uniforms, rather sinister poster art, universal surveillance (“the innocent have nothing to fear”) and colossal new building projects, not to mention that the same political coalition has held power for a generation. The seemingly eternal Churchill is finally fading, and reportedly will not run again for prime minister, but there are young, hungry men waiting to step into his shoes. When people aren’t talking about India they are talking about the new Mars project: will the government ignore US claims that space “belongs to all mankind” and stake out claims on the Red planet? 

The US, with a so far somewhat less expensive cold war and a continued commitment to internal development on a massive scale is actually even richer than OTL, and has seen the continued survival of the New Deal coalition, through hook and more than a little Crook, but things are looking a bit sticky at present. Although there is no Vietnam or (as yet) much of a Culture War to divide the nation, and the Left remains more respectable without a Commie-Capitalist cold war [2], a lot of people in the government will admit in private that the post-war move to “end racial inequity” in the US was perhaps a somewhat premature project. So far, only the divided nature of the Right (currently three parties) plus the more “solve the not-equal bit before getting to the separation thing” approach to black advancement has prevented someone from riding a successful White Resentment train to the White House, and now the damn ungrateful black people are starting to make a fuss about how slowly things are changing in spite of a decade plus of the “equal society” line. What do they expect, miracles?

Technology has progressed faster than OTL, some might say improbably so. Nuclear power is not too cheap to meter, but it is cheaper than OTL, and used on a substantially greater scale. There are bases on the Moon, and Mars will be reached soon. Great projects to make deserts bloom are underway, and only the fact that certain carping critics keep talking about “horrible superheated salt deserts” have prevented a project to dam the Mediterranean from getting underway. New laboratory-created super-plants promise to green the arctic and the deserts as well. And Westinghouse promises a robo-maid in every house by 1970. 

The Sino-American split is less than five years away.

[1] Which many Indians claim is the only _actual_ Congress Party. 

[2] Although the fall of the USSR has taken some of the heart out of the Left, it hasn’t been as devastating as the total failure of OTL. The Nazis, US, and UK can all be blamed.

Posleen Post War by QuantumBranching
Posleen Post War
A somewhat modified take of John Ringo's Earth Vs the Posleen.

First, the Very Long background...

The Aldenata were great and powerful, and great and powerful dicks. Not only did they conquer and enslave their enemies (and those they suspected would eventually be their enemies) but also genetically reengineered them to be incapable of violence, incapable of violent rebellion in the future.

The Darhel were slender humanoid beings, vaguely elf-like and somewhat smaller than humans, but rather stronger per pound, and with empathic abilities that made them masters of manipulation. Their sharp teeth reveal their past as a predatory species (the Darhel were omnivores, but preferred meat). Their civilization was a mighty one, and they resisted the Aldenata more strongly and cleverly than any other race they encountered. The Aldenata were never able to entirely remove the capacity for hatred from the Darhel, and for their stubbornness they were made into obligate vegetarians to whom any deliberate commission of violence against animal life and intelligence would bring brain death.

The crab-like Tchpth were brilliant scientists, but had not developed far enough to save themselves. The Aldenata were fully successful in removing their capacity for violence, and narrowed their mental focus to create a race of usefully obsessive nerds. The Indowy, short teddy-bear like, blue-skinned creatures covered with green fuzz (actually a plant symbiote rather than fur) were another success as a galactic labor force, although they never were as unskilled in plotting as the Aldenata, and later the Darhel, believed. 

Over time, the Aldenata embarked on a larger scale project, to create a galactic “perfect” society, with themselves at the top. The technically skilled and creative Indowy would be the builders and manufacturers, and the brains of their best would serve as organic computing elements in the nanotech assembly plants. The Tchpth would be philosophers and doctors [1] and scientists (the Aldenata were of course superior technologically, but didn’t have the sheer enthusiasm of the Tchpth: they were happy enough to let properly tamed races handle the tedious bits), and the Posleen – a race of tough omnivores with a hive-like social structure – would be the warriors, to fight off any outside threats not needing the Aldenata’s personal attention. The Darhel would be, essentially, middle management – handling all the details of day-to-day planetary management without actually holding any real power, which would always remain in the manipulatory appendages of the Aldenata. 

The “perfect society” was still very much a work in progress (the Posleen even more so – not ready to interact with other subject races, for one thing) when the Aldenata stopped answering their phone calls. Upon investigation, their planets (the Aldenata did not mix with their subject races at home) were abandoned, their great cities mere shells, all of their more advanced technology deliberately broken down by nanomachines, and the Aldenata themselves were nowhere to be found. What had happened to them remains a mystery till today: some claim the Aldenata had fled in funk and shame at all the damage they had done to other races, but most consider that wishful thinking. Others think the Aldenata had found some way to transcend to a non-physical or at least non-biological form and abandoned their planets (and their subject races) as no longer useful to them. Still others, parsing certain obscure research topics assigned to the Tchpth not long before their departure, think they discovered something amazing in distant galaxies, and left to seek it out – or in another version, discovered something so terrifying that even a hundred thousand year plus head start [2] wasn’t enough to prevent them from fleeing at top speed in the opposite direction. 

As a result of the massive disruptions arising from the disappearance of the galaxy’s absolute rulers, the Darhel were able to take over the financial and legal systems of the galactic society, and combined with their control of much of the managerial functions of the galaxy [3], became effectively the new ruling class. Stability and steady growth (through colonization and multiplication of inputs rather than increase in individual output) became the watchword for the new “Galactic Federation” for the next hundred thousand years: technological growth was carefully kept to a minimum to avoid disruption, and an utterly hierarchical and top-down social structure was encouraged for all other species, with the aid of elitist “1/10 of 1%” collaborators. Not everyone was happy, of course, but Darhel rule was less crushingly arrogant and casually ruthless than that of the Aldenata, and eventually things became Just the Way Things Are, even as the majority of the Indowy race descended to essentially the status of slave labor. [4] A couple races died out as Surplus to Requirement: for instance, the Toloren, which the Aldenata had created as a race of priests to preach the glories of submission, the superior nature of Aldenata morality, and the holy nature of Aldenata rule found themselves without employment, and in the “work or starve” society that the Darhel created, most of them did the latter. (A few reportedly survive on Tchpth worlds as combination research subjects and sources of entertainment). 

Things were slightly shaken when the Himmit, a race of chameleons resembling frogs with heads at both ends, made themselves know to Galactic leaderhsip, claiming to be a race that the Aldenata had engineered for their purposes not just as pacifists but also paranoid experts on concealment. [5] With their own internal economy and the location of their home planets carefully concealed, they never really came under Darhel control, but they did various services in return for certain payments, and were useful enough to the Darhel for their presence to be tolerated. (Not that the Darhel were likely to be able to keep them from sneaking around if they decided otherwise).

Meanwhile the Posleen, six-limbed crocodile-centaurs, remained confined to the worlds they had been placed for experimentation, a crude and unfinished project, a race where a tiny percentage of “officers” as intelligent as humans (Kessentai among themselves, to be known to humans as “God-Kings”) ruled over vast hordes of barely sapient troops (the Oolt’os). In some ways they were a remarkable achievement: successfully reengineered to live off almost anything organic and shake off any poison or chemical toxin, successfully made fearless, capable of genetically passing on useful learned knowledge, and automatically obedient to the commands of Aldenata minds. On the other hand, they were a race with their previous complex hive hierarchy brutally simplified, their capacity for common sense mutilated in the name of fearlessness and aggressiveness, and with minimal capacity for technological progress. A race so compulsively fertile and incapable of solving that issue that on long settled planets most of the young were either allowed to eat each other or eaten by the Kessentai simply to keep the population under control. Unfortunately for everyone else, one of those worlds happened to have an overlooked Aldenata automated war machine factory buried under a mountain range, and eventually an earthquake uncovered an entrance. It took thousands of years for the Posleen to figure out how to talk to it and command it, and even then they never really understood how it worked. But what they learned was good enough for them – and bad enough for everyone else. A hundred thousand years after the Aldenata departed and abandoned their experiments, and about 150-175 years B.I. (Before Internet) the Posleen exploded across the galaxy. 

Not every intelligent race in the galaxy had been re-engineered by the Aldenata, of course. A few fought to extinction rather than be modified, some were let be since for physical and environmental reasons they were extremely unlikely to ever become technologically advanced space travelers, and in a couple cases aliens were so biologically strange that the Aldenata ended up exterminating them due to being unable to figure out how to change them. And of course, with so very, very, very many stars and planets, the occasional species yet to advance beyond “pointed stick” in the arms race were just overlooked. Humanity was in fact discovered about 3000 B.I. by the Darhel, who carried out a slow and cautious mapping of the unknown parts of the galaxy through the beautifully stealthy Himmit. There might be emerging space-travelling races _not_ genetically conditioned to pacifism, after all. Humanity alarmed the Darhel – they were almost as fierce as the Darhel themselves had used to be, and making steady, if pre-scientific, technological progress. But they were also potentially very useful if the Darhel found a race that could fight back – so from before the rise of the Roman Empire on, humans in positions of authority found voices speaking to them from the darkness, promising great things in exchange for small favors…

Fighting the Posleen was fundamentally difficult for a civilization composed of species genetically engineered for non-violence: even “push-button warfare” tended to kill the Darhel, would only be done by the Himmit if the Posleen would have no way of knowing where the button-pusher was, and was in any case very hard under any circumstances for their peaceful natures (COUGH COUGH),and was so profoundly repulsive to Indowy and Tchpth as to require deep conditioning to detach the user from an understanding what they were doing, which did not exactly lead to combat efficiency, or "sanity". Artificial intelligences were not workable either: not because (as humanity was told) A.I. will inevitably swing into Destroy All Biologicals mode, but because AI designed to defend the Galactic Federation and smart enough to win wars with the Posleen would invariably come to the conclusion that the worst enemies of the Galactic Federation were internal ones.

There was also the problem that the Aldenata machine factories of the Posleen operated on a full scale automated mass production principle, while the fine quality machines of the Galactic were assembled piece by piece with slow-acting nanotech in such a specialized and precise manner that they were essentially “hand-made” by innumerable Indowy specialists. Mass production as a concept was not something that the Galactics could not grasp – indeed, it was in use for the simple galactic equivalents of bricks and mortar and underwear - and when the mature principle was introduced to them from Earth the Tchpth could easily work out how it might be adopted to Galactic technology, but aside from the resistance to changing their way of doing things by the conservative elite of the Indowy, there was the fact that the adoption of such techniques would fundamentally change the galactic economy, and quite possibly destroy the Darhel’s control of the Galactic Federation.

Humanity would have to be the solution, the warrior race the Aldenata had planned for their galactic society but never managed to complete. Of course, not too many humans; just enough to stop the Posleen advance, which in time would lead to the collapse of Posleen society as the rulers of overcrowded and resource-depleted worlds turned their guns on eachother. A whole planet of them was seriously surplus to requirements. A whole planet of them, armed with technology nearly up to Galactic levels, would be even more dangerous than the Posleen. Humans would have to lose their home planet. 
Of course, making sure that humanity lost the battle for their home planet while making it look like the Galactic Federation was doing its fumble-fingered [6] best to help would be tricky. But the Darhel had by this point considerable experience in manipulating humans, and humans were well known for their ability to rationalize the most chuckleheaded actions if personal ego, defense of identity, greed, religion, or nationalism were involved. It really wouldn’t take very much to get the humans to make all the wrong choices, all the while thinking they were doing the Right Thing and It Was Someone Else’s Fault – certainly never coming within leagues of thinking they were betraying humanity. 

Unfortunately, some of the Indowy had been on to the Darhel for a very long time. And they - along with some of the Tchpth, and certain sub-groups of the Himmit - weren’t going to let an opportunity like this pass. 

************************************************** *****

2015: a bit over five years after the return of the Fleet and it smashing the Posleen forces to scrap.

The five years of the Battle of Earth had killed off more than 2/3 of humanity, but had failed in its objective from both Posleen and Darhel points of view. Over a billion and a half survived.

Some 20 billion Posleen had died. (Only 2 billion had actually _landed_ on Earth, but Posleen breed – and mature – fast). Some tens of millions survive, now the ones hiding in the hills and the forests of those nations they successfully depopulated: reduced to little more than smart animals in the case of the troops, to Crazed Survivalists in the case of the few surviving ruling or “God-King” class Posleen

Aside from behind the scenes intelligence help and tech transfer from Galactics quite fed up with Darhel rule (working with some very old anti-Darhel secret human organizations, some existing from well before any Indowy conspirators were sneaked to Earth on Himmit spaceships), humanity had also benefitted from various natural weaknesses of thePosleen – their lack of experience in fighting skilled opponents, the low intelligence of the bulk of the species, and their poor adaptability to certain climates and terrains. 

One would think the four-legged Posleen would be better, not worse, than humans on mountains, but their centauroidal build actually made them top heavy and prone to going ass-over kettle on steep slopes. They also tended to sink in swamps and were very unhappy with cold weather – “clothes” other than combat harnesses and gear was essentially an alien concept to the Posleen, and while warmblooded their at best improvisational efforts to deal with northern hemisphere winters tended to lead to a lot of frozen to death Posleen. Indeed, the Posleen were very reluctant to try and invade such areas as Canada and northern Russia, and avoided invading the Scandinavian Peninsula entirely, on the basis of it being too cold and lacking in useful resources while being too thinly populated to ever become a lethal threat to the Posleen hold on the rest of the planet. (Sure, it would be cleared of its human population eventually, but not until after the more vital parts of the planet were conquered. )

The United States came out of the mess the best, with “only” something more than one third of its population killed, having managed to create a fairly secure series of redoubts out of the rocky mountains in the west and the Mississippi-Tennessee river- Appalachian line in the east, combined with manufacturing and high tech advantages that made up for the fairly nugatory trickle of Galactic supplies being sneaked by the Himmit past Posleen defenses to island bases in the Pacific. Of course, the very fact that it was the strongest opponent also meant that in the later years of the Battle it received more thorough and personal attention from the most powerful Posleen leaders than anywhere else. The US northern plains were also never permanently secured by the Posleen due to their horrid winters, but the flat country’s vulnerability to attack made much of the area a no-man’s land rather than a place safe for refugees. Canada survived as “America’s backstop”, the difficulties of pushing through the Coastal Range and across the St. Lawrence, combined with the need to concentrate on the US and the fact that Canada was such a frozen hell sparing most of the country from occupation. 

The Chinese seriously pissed off the Darhel by figuring out how to force them to pay for a rather larger share of the world’s defense budget than they had planned (the Darhel’s influence in China, after a century of radical political change, was rather less than they would have liked). The Darhel in turn made a special effort to make sure Chinese military strategy was misinformed and based on incorrect assumptions: for one thing, the Chinese were caught by surprise when rather than landing right on the coasts as expected, the initial Posleen landing was right smack in the middle of the north Chinese lowland plain near the Grand Canal. The mass use of nuclear weapons [7] to try and slow down their advance wasn’t helpful, either: planes and missiles both were easy meat to Posleen air defenses, with only miniscule percentages getting through: a great swathe of China was left contaminated by a fine powder of plutonium from bombs destroyed mid-air, through which the cancer-proof and cockroach-radiation-resistant Posleen marched on. But China’s very rugged geography, and a principle of “deep defense” going back to Mao’s day, came to the rescue: the Chinese were finally able to stop the Posleen advance in the rugged borders of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and points west, and in the surprisingly hard to get into interior of Manchuria, where they were able to hook up with the Russians and the Koreans, albeit at the loss of more than two thirds of their population. 

The so-called “Asian block”, although due to many historically irreconcilable differences never a truly unified Bastion of Humanity, can be seen as the largest continuous area of human survival on the planet, including Russians, Indians, Chinese, and Koreans, and in many cases assistance given by one or another of the major powers was able to save another’s bacon. Korea benefitted geographically, being in constant geographical contact with the Chinese holdouts in Manchuria and with Russia, and geographically in being small, rugged, and cold enough that no efforts were made to invade until near the very end of the war. It also benefitted from the fact that Kim-Jong-Il took the whole “alien invasion” thing very seriously, and scrabbled for every bit of alien and foreign aid he could get to make his fortress state into an even better fortress. North Korean troops died in huge numbers on the Manchurian border to make sure that the Posleen would not reach the Yalu: in the end, the fact that those who returned alive, including a lot of rejuvenated Korean war veterans [8] looking for 50 years of progress, all noted that a rump Manchuria under alien monster siege was still much better off than North Korea was perhaps a major reason in Kim beginning serious reunification talks in 2007, leading to the reunion of 2011. 

(The Posleen finally tried an invasion of Korea in 2009: their forces were contained in the rugged countryside and successfully destroyed with some Russian and Chinese help, although at the cost of turning nearly a fifth of South Korea into an irradiated wasteland. Thanks to years of tunnel-digging and training, only about 3.5 million South Koreans died in the process.)

It is to be noted that the Chinese were the first nation to successfully employ chemical warfare against the Posleen: the Posleen being immune to pussy stuff like nerve gas, the Chinese raised the stakes by producing the sort of chemicals that make concrete burn and remove your hand bones and all if you are careless enough to dip it in a bucket. Difficulties of the “all our production staff died and the building is still burning after three days” , plus the whole “poison your farmland for the next century” thing prevented them from ever using these on a scale sufficient to deal with the Space Centaur problem, but in those cases where they were employed often proved useful, Posleen soldiers with their skins and eyeballs melted off being of limited combat utility. The Russians, the British and the Indians would later duplicate these methods, the US preferring to stick with tried and true Ridiculously Wanked Artillery.

Russia as historically was protected by sheer size and General Winter, withdrawing as much of their population as possible beyond the Volga and creating defenses along the rivers and the mountain ranges, and rebuilding the industrial centers of the east. Russia also gained some time thanks to the Posleen simply not bothering to invade northern Russia at first, simply pushing west across the Ukraine to join up with their landings in Western Europe. Northern Russia (and, by implication, Siberia) really only were invaded at all because the Russians were proving a serious Threat in Being, not as bad as the Americans, but being a pain over a line of thousands of miles, supporting forces in the mountainous bits of Central Asia, and backing the Chinese and Koreans in the east. Not until a little over a year before the return of the Fleet would the Posleen break the Volga line, only to be unable to follow up on their victory as a brutally cold winter moved in and forced the Posleen forces back south. By the time they returned next late spring, the line had been rebuilt and reinforced with Chinese help, and of course there were still thousands of miles of Russia beyond the line: the “invade Russia north through central Asia and split Siberia in two” project didn’t work too well, either. 

(One might note that the borders on the map are as at war’s end: the Russians held more of European Russia before the 2008 offensive).

Russia “only” lost a bit under half of its population, not counting refugees, a large percentage to food shortages in the third and fourth years of the war: the corruption and incompetence (to be fair, heavily Darhel-engineered incompetence) of the Russian leadership led to certain violent political changes spearheaded by rejuvenated veterans of the Red army. The present Russian Socialist Republic isn’t exactly the USSR, but it _has_ reoccupied the mostly depopulated Ukraine and Belorus, and has made something of a client state of the new “central Asian federation” arising from the mountain holdouts. (Russia’s total population is somewhat inflated by the refugees from Ukraine and Belorus which made it to Russia territory ahead of the Posleen hordes: they grumble about the direct incorporation of their homelands into Russia, but quietly).

India, invaded along its coasts in the second year of the war, suffered terribly, in part due to inability to create an effective joint defense plan with hostile neighbors. (The Taliban rulers of Afghanistan kept shifting between claiming they would fight off any invaders with Allah’s help and claiming the whole thing was a lie created by the international Jewish conspiracy to fully subjugate Islam to a world government). In the end only rumps of Pakistan and Afghanistan would survive within the common defense zone, and nearly thirty million Indian conscripts would die to buy the time to build defenses along the Ganges to save a vital strip of agricultural land. More than three quarters of the population of India would die: years later, India is still a nation in mourning.

Europe put up quite a fight in spite of all Darhel efforts to sabotage them, and for three years bled them terribly for every foot of ground, but lacked extra territory to swap for time, and much of its population and industry lay in lands stretching mostly flat to the sea. France’s efforts to hold the Masif Central proved unavailing in the face of the endless numbers of Posleen troops. The Ukraine and most of Poland fell to landings north of the Black Sea. For a remarkable time German, French, Polish and other troops held along the Rhine and the Vistula, but central Europe did not have the vast manpower of Asia to burn nor the vast continental resources of North America to drawn on, and they were slowly worn down no matter how many rejuvenated Nazis they sent to die horribly. The great agricultural basin of Hungary fell when the 
Carpathian defensive ring was breached: and in 2008, the Rhine and Vistula frontiers were breached. There was an evacuation to the south and north into Scandinavia, and a rump European defensive sphere struggled on till the Fleet returned in the knotty alpine core of Europe, with a stubbornly held “tail” in the rugged Balkans, still repelling whatever the Posleen could throw at them, but no longer able to seriously affect the course of global battle. Denmark managed to survive on some of its islands, with the aid of the Swedes, Danes, Finns, and German refugees. Scandinavia took in so many refugees the most stringent rationing was needed to get through the winter of ‘08 and many later estimated that if the fleet had not returned in the fall of 2009, mass starvation could not have been avoided in the following winter. Over 30 million Germans, 35 million Frenchmen, and 45 million Italians died: the death tolls among Belgians, Dutch, Poles, and some of the Balkan peoples do not bear mentioning. The Pyrenees Bastion’s mere survival is considered a miracle. 

A rump Britain survived in the north through a combination of technical skill, heroism, bloody dumb luck, and godawful British weather. A large percentage of the population was successfully evacuated to Ireland, which had some food production to spare, allowing losses to be kept to under 60% of the population.

The Goddamn Swiss, of course, got out fine, although they grumbled about the short rations and all the refugees crowding up their country. 

Another curious little survival was the Caucuses. Initially meant to anchor the southern end of Russia’s defenses, the Caucuses were cut off when the Posleen in the Ukraine linked up with those in Central Asia. Joining forces with the Turks and the Persians, this land of mountains managed to survive even as the Turkish and Persian territories were ground down to almost nothing, having managed to reach the “more trouble than it’s worth/too small to be a real threat/nasty in winter” sweet spot. The long siege by man-eating monsters actually has managed to create enough of a sense of closeness to create a Federation, perhaps aided by so many Azeris dying horribly in the lowlands around the Kur river, which has made the Armenians much more forgiving. Currently their many foreign policy problem is a conflict with the Russians over their dubious talk about “previous borders” in reference to a number of northern mountain areas the Caucasians kept out of Posleen claws.

Japan took a strictly defensive/let’s wait for the fleet to come back approach, and with an extraordinary national effort including the development of massive hydroponic systems, clever use of alien antimatter power sources, adaptation of alien nanotech [9] managed to create a food production infrastructure which could operate entirely underground: rather than face the Posleen in open battle, the aliens would face an endless network of heavily defended underground bunkers, where even if they made it through the formidable outer defenses and broke in would have to fight their way through layers and layers of lethal traps before encountering Japanese citizen one, choking access with their own bodies, while hidden “sally ports” would allow violent surprise attacks by power-armored troops. [10] It worked: although the islands were overrun, the majority of the bunker system survived the war, although some parts of it were wrecked by Big Rocks From Space (see below) and since projections about the food supply situation had been somewhat optimistic (the Darhel had their fingers in that too) the last two years had a lot of Japanese (slowly, politely) starving. In the end, though, more than two thirds of the population of Japan would survive, although almost all children born in the last two years of the war would suffer long-term damage from infantile malnutrition. 

Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East were hit the hardest, with horrendous zombie-apocalypse-type death tolls, and there remains much bitter debate on what else could have been done. The share of alien hardware given to the poorer parts of the globe was definitely not allocated on a per capita basis, and in spite of some foreign efforts to build up their capacities, when war came most of these nations had very little ability to build their own high-tech equipment or repair what they had received. They did get a lot of obsolescent first world equipment which would slow the Posleen but little, and (often under the table) a number of nuclear weapons which could really only be used as a sort of giant-scale suicide bomber. Nor was the first world willing to open wide the gates of immigration: resettling the poorest and the weakest was usually nixed on the basis of being largely unable to feed their own population if the Posleen did take the coastal lands. At best extra immigrants with vital skills or high level combat experience were allowed in with their immediate family: the Chinese and Indians took in a few million extra immigrants because they were relatively speaking a drop in the bucket. (The Chinese tended to rather strongly discriminate in favor of overseas Chinese, though). 

(The story of those who escaped from the Posleen across trackless wilderness or by entirely inadequate boat across stormy seas, is an epic in of itself. The surprising number of people who escaped death in Latin America, Africa and SE Asia after the invasion and somehow made it to human-held territory is, depending on how one looks on it, either a triumph of the human spirit or so cripplingly sad.)

The things which happened along the US-Mexican border between the first landings in October of 2004 and the invasion of North Mexico by Posleen forces in April 2006 became at the end extremely ugly, and are generally swiftly glided past in the self-wanking accounts of the north American theatre by produced by the bulk of US historians. It remains unclear whether the attempt to create a unified Mexican-US defense line connecting the Rockies and the Sierra Madre was ever meant to succeed or was mostly propaganda to delay Mexican efforts to decamp north en masse. 

It is certain that the Mexican remnant based out of the Yucatan jungle feels Mexico was betrayed by the US, and wants both the US out of its “reconstruction” mission in Northern Mexico and the (US-dominated) United Nations “stabilization” effort in central Mexico gone, as of right now. 

Huge areas of the world are now under the control, more or less, of international forces under the somewhat vague aegis of the UN, looking for survivors and important human relics (art, etc), hunting down Posleen God-Kings in hiding and Posleen “regulars” gone feral, exterminating Posleen-imported plants and animals (see below), taking Posleencities apart for useful materials, and trying to adjudicate the claims of the various “survivor” regimes – those states which have emerged in hard-to-reach areas where humans held out more due to the Posleen not being interested in taking the trouble than their remaining combat abilities. Many of these states do not get along at all well either with each other or the representatives of those asshole big powers which left them to sink or swim on their own. 

The eastern lowlands of Latin America were overrun, with some remnant states surviving in the mountains and jungles on the basis of being no threat and a pain in the ass to actually get to. These remnant regimes are now attempting to reestablish control over the former area of their states, often with only a fraction of their former population, and often with more than one regime claiming to be the “proper” successor, or in some cases claiming to be the successor of multiple states, such as the Central American jungle remnants who have joined forces to claim to be the proper inheritors of most of central America. The Brazilians at least have a clear enough grasp of their limitations to let the international forces manage most of their formerly enormous country. 

Africa is also a charnel house, although a surprising number of nomadic people managed to survive in the Saharan wastes, where the Posleen found little to eat or loot after the few cities of any size were destroyed. The Alliance of the Sands has perhaps the most chutzpah in terms of territorial claims of any people on earth, claiming all of north Africa as their “heritage.” A few warlord states are causing headaches for UN forces in the central jungles, while a surprisingly functional remnant of south Africa survived in the mountains in and around around Lesotho, and has expanded its influence across much of old South Africa. (Leaving most of the Cape region be: it’s mostly desert, after all). The New Holy Empire of Ethiopia, which ascribes its survival to possession of the Ark of the Covenant as well as mountainous inaccessibility, is pushing for its pre-1991 borders and perhaps beyond. In the meantime, some members of the larger US and European African diasporas have started a colonization effort to reconstruct their shattered and depopulated homelands. 
As in the case of the Sahara, some Arabs managed to avoid the Posleen and survive by holing up in the most desolate areas of the peninsula, although the smaller size of the peninsular desert means that there are fewer of them. Quite a few of these people are in fact Jewish. The surviving international Muslim community is rebuilding Mecca and Medina, and the Holy Kaaba stone has been recovered from where the faithful hid it (although there are the nay-saying jerks who claim it is a duplicate). 

The former territory of Israel is under international control, and given the way the last time went, most the remaining world powers would really prefer if it stayed that way. 

SE Asia and the islands are a somewhat intermediate case, with successful holdout regimes in the mountains and jungles of the north backed by the Chinese and the Indians, but utter devastation further south. There are a few holdout regimes in parts of Indonesia, and one in the mountain-circled north of the Philippines, where the Japanese, perhaps feeling a touch of historical guilt and wondering if concentrating entirely on saving their own skins made them look bad, dispatched forces to help. (They also offered to send some to Vietnam and its neighbors, but were turned down). 

Australia was overrun, although the deserts of the west were never really occupied due to a lack of edibles, and Tasmania was simply overlooked.

It is at this point I must introduce the Lucky Bastard category of surviving nation, those that through sheer insignificance and geographical isolation the Posleen never bothered to invade. The feudal-type society of the Posleen requires land for status, both for the local Top God-King and the lesser ones who are his allies and dependents. Fiefs must be distributed, so to speak. Small islands not next to something valuable are not going to contribute much to ones status. As a result, a number of small islands, and some bigger ones, simply lucked out and were never conquered by the Posleen, the most notable cases being Tasmania, New Zealand (middle of nowhere, no real industry to loot, thinly populated, looks wet and miserable) and Ireland (claimed by the Posleen God-King heading up the invasion of Britain. Bled his forces white trying to take the big island, never got around to conquering the small one. Eventually he was killed and his conquests became an appanage of a God-King centered in France, who concentrated his efforts in Central Europe and generally neglected further conquests in the isles). A lot of Pacific islands belong in this category, although in a few cases a Posleen God-King observed a satellite shot of one of those lovely Pacific land-and-sea-scapes and said “I want that.” Hawaii avoided conquest for a while, but sometime after the Posleen came to really hate the Americans they found out that Hawaii belonged to them, and leveled the place out of sheer spite. 

The Lucky Bastard category should be distinguished from the Too Bloody Cold category, which includes Iceland and the south polar continent. There remains some debate as to whether the Scandinavian countries belong in Too Bloody Cold or Lucky Bastards, so to prevent angry debate they are merged in one category on the map. 

The planetary environment has been somewhat negatively impacted by a Posleen population peaking at over 12 billion: during expansion stages the Posleen tend to forage for their meals, and are not picky. Most of the larger African mammals are now extinct outside of zoos in the better off human nations, and similar conditions prevail in Latin America and much of SE Asia, although the skill of jungle life in Not Being Seen means that canopy species at least have survived. Large areas of forest have been cut down to make more farmland, although the fact that Posleen can live off grass at a pinch, combined with their ability to go essentially sessile and live while eating very little when there is no fighting, planting, or building to do means that they have not converted quite as much of the occupied planet to farmland as you would expect. 

After settling in, Posleen tend to take over local agricultural practices, supplemented by fast-growing edible “weed species” from their home planet and food animals which breed with little Posleen supervision, including such charming creatures as the omnivorous Abats, which look like a rabbit-sized cross between a rat and a pillbug, hop along on a single rear foot, and attack en masse with savage rat-teeth anyone who gets too close to their eight-twelve foot high nest-mounds. Or the Grat, an Abat predator brought along to keep the Abat population in control, which resembles a three-inch long wasp and combines a sting more lethal than a black widow spider with an even more protective attitude towards its nests. Or the Wub, or as humans call it, the “Crocohog.” Displacement and competition from these species have done further damage to the environment, and some despair of ever fully restoring Earth’s ecosystem to normal, at least in the tropics. 

The world was colder for a while, although temperatures are now beginning to rebound: the various atomic detonations and the many burned cities contributed their bit, but the biggest contributor was kinetic bombardment: the Posleen do not use atomics, since it poisons the land they intend to feed off, but on occasion have used guided Big Rocks [11] From Space as weapons, Posleen God-Kings, in spite of cultural similarities, being more imaginative than Race commanders. Fortunately for human defenders, the Posleennever got very good at _aiming_, the Aldenata ships lacking an easily used app for that sort of thing, and the Posleen eventually gave up on the practice, but not before kicking enough crap into the atmosphere to ensure the winter of 2008 was particularly nasty, probably sabotaging their effort to kick the Russians east of the Urals. 

Then the Fleet came and used a shitload of kinetic weapons against the Posleen forces on Earth. 2009-2010 was a _nasty_ winter. 

There is a tremendous lot to do. Most of the planet needs reconstruction. New technologies to be put to the uses of peace rather than war. Further wars to plan for: there are still trillions of Posleen out there, and they are not unaware of what has happened on Earth. And the ongoing war, the secret war, the one against the internal enemy and their Darhel puppeteers, is just starting to heat up. 

[1] Not genetic engineers, of course. 

[2] Something Unspeakable hasn’t shown up yet…

[3] The lower level stuff was mostly outsourced to the Tchpth

[4] And the Tchpth who didn’t wander off into the vague immensity of philosophy became glorified catalogers, as funds for truly innovative research dried up. The Darhel expended a fair amount of effort in keeping the Tchpth equivalent of deeply conservative Professors Emeritus buttered up, and were always happy to fund research into the fine details of effects of environmental conditions on sand formation on a random sample of ten thousand or so water-ocean worlds. 

[5] They were lying

[6] Humans were meant to think fumble-fingered, rather than actively malevolent. 

[7] Rather a lot more than China had in 2000. But then pretty much everyone increased their nuclear arsenals with the run-up to the invasion, and often smuggled atomic weapons to third-world nations in hopes they would kill a lot of Posleen with them (hey, if they become radioactive wastelands, mores the pity, but better them then us, right?)

[8] One of the ways the Galactics helped out was with a limited supply of rejuvenation medication [a] which would allow experienced veterans from former wars to return to combat rather than "assisting" with long rambling stories from wheelchairs. The return to active duty of tens of millions of men (and some women) with political ideals sometimes decades out of date had a variety of effects, not all good. 
a. A weaker form of which has been in use for centuries as the ultimate bribe. 

[9] Galactic nanotech food-making machines proved curiously hard to maintain and keep operational on Earth. We’re not sure why, but we’re working on the problem, the Darhel kept reassuring.

[10] Yes, the Americans have them too. 

[11] Not “Impact” big, just ones capable of making big-ass-nuclear-explosion level blasts without all the fallout
I thought to myself: cover of OttoVonsud’s “Recent annexation of Mexico”…  or “Hundred Days”… ?

Why not both?

OTL, as usual, means Our Timeline, the world we normally stumble around in.

In this world, the anti-reformist coup of 1898 fails to come off thanks to some greater luck in the way of allies for the Emperor, and the Qing Empire manages to reform, slowly and with difficulty, but enough to avoid the 1911 collapse. Japan still manages to bring Korea under its control, that China was not up to challenge them on this had been made clear in 1894-95, but at least the Russian sphere of influence in Manchuria was limited and further attacks on Chinese territorial integrity held off.

A *WWI still took place, Germany having gone too far down the path of Disruptive Overpowered Asshole under its Kaiser by that point to easily change course, and Russia still had a hard-left revolution, the basic doctrine and cast of characters being in place by 1898. The Allies managed to win the long, slow drawn-out slugging match without direct intervention by the US, but were too exhausted to do much about the Russian revolution (the Chinese managed to regain some of their lost territory while Whites and Reds were slugging it out) and the effort to break Germany up into several smaller states kept apart with the help of the Poles and Czechs didn’t go too well. The Chinese later fought a bloody war with the Japanese over Korea, which they didn’t entirely win, but made expensive enough for the Japanese that the peninsula became neutralized and the Japanese essentially accepted that any invasion of mainland China without allies was a losing proposition. The 30s proceeded without the hard-line militarists taking control of Japanese foreign policy (having lost a lot of face in Korea badly weakened their influence, and the public was in no mood for more military ventures)

Spain had an alt-civil war and nobody came. The successful Struggle for German Reunification (and the consequent failed French Coup) in the early 30s led to the War of German (and Hungarian, and Austrian…) Revenge in the mid-40s. The US was eventually drawn into the war in Europe by German attempts to choke the UK through unlimited submarine warfare, and the Chinese sent troops as well to demonstrate their arrival as an important player. Although the Germans still managed to overrun France, fought more intelligently in the East, and weren’t burdened with Italians (Italy sensibly sat out this round) they still went down, and with a relatively later US intervention the Soviets got a bit deeper into the Balkans and central Europe, with continental Greece going Red, although Serbia-Croatia ended up on the allied side of the line. 

Although the German nationalist dictatorship was quite exceedingly vicious, Hitler's rule had been butterflied (Hitler The Hideously Maimed War Vet never did break into politics except as an Exhibit A for French Evilness), and the Jews weren’t massacred in an organized way (if legally marginalized and often murdered for having disagreeably-cut jibs): the war in the east was mostly remembered for enthusiastic massacres of Slavs. Israel never became as _pressing_ an issue, and although Zionists still got a promise of a homeland during the First Great European War in exchange for supposedly getting the Jewish Conspiracy on side (the British upper classes, folks), the state of Israel was never as successful a project as OTL, and nowadays is largely a US protectorate (on the positive side, international image-wise, while it never had the Miraculous Creation of Holocaust Survivors vibe it long had OTL, it actually gets some underdog cred in 2015).

The Soviet Union was from the start even more paranoid and fearful than OTL, with a growing and quite Communism-unfriendly, still Imperial, China and a still militarily formidable Japan in the East plus a US-allied Europe to the west. Trying to keep up with the Joneses militarily both in the East and the West,  plus a more expensive space race than OTL led to bankruptcy by the 1980s and collapse of the regime, although the disintegration was slower and more partial, with Russia managing to maintain control of at least part of the old Soviet empire into the 21st century. 

Without the Warlord period, a war with Japan largely confined to Korea and a few coastal areas, and sans the crazier excesses of Maoism, China became a major economic power and a competitor for influence with the US by the 1960s, when US pundits and politicians recognized an almost inevitable long-term problem: if China did (as it seemed to be well en route to doing) converge economically with the US, it would, given its huge and increasing population (higher than OTL at the time) inevitably dwarf the US in the way the US was now dwarfing the individual states of Europe. While the Europeans could to some extent make up for this by moving together as they had begun to do, the US had no peer neighbors. What to do?

In some ways, the fears were exaggerated - China would eventually hit demographic transition long before the immigrant-friendly US stopped growing – but they spoke to US anxieties and old “yellow peril fears”, and China did not help things by starting to effectively challenge the US for leadership of the anti-Communist block almost from the same day China tested its first atomic bomb. The ancient Empire of China had bounced back, and wasn’t going to play Asian Houseboy to the upstart US. The so-called “Sino-American split” was never as bad as the Sino-Soviet split of OTL – there was no chance that either would join forces with the Soviets against the other [1] – but by the 70s there was a clear split in the anti-Communist alliance between a “Chinese block” mostly of right-wing juntas, traditional monarchies, and post-colonial states hostile to the West but not really happy with the idea of a Soviet alliance and the more developed and democratic block centered on the US and western Europe. The Soviets, meanwhile, looked contained if still dangerous – the US was successfully crushing leftists in Latin America, while Chinese influence had kept conservative regimes in power in SE Asia (the French are still annoyed at China taking Indochina “under protection” after the fall of mainland France), with the Soviet only achieving sporadic successes in the Middle East and Africa (leading to the very messy, if ultimately successful, US Congolese Intervention and some fine War is Bad movies re the same).

One way to deal with the demographic deficit was to open wide the gates of immigration, which did occur, but this was not seen as enough by many. A radical idea was proposed in the 1970s, and in the end would be supported: expand the USA. By peaceful means (and a certain amount of underhanded arm twisting and bribery, but let’s not mention that) other nations would be invited to join the US, at first as territories in the case of poorer states, but with a fast-track of government-funded modernization and convergence on US quality of life, while maintaining local language rights and certain other local privileges (until and unless the local population voted otherwise, of course). The US was going to export the Empire of Liberty. 

Over the last three and a half decades, the great program has moved forward, with occasional panics, reversals, and disappointments. Canada, Everyone's Favorite Annexation, has proven disappointingly mulish, and the Brits have been terribly skeptical, but in 2008 the US went for broke and negotiated the Big One, the Real Deal, whatever you want to call it, a project 20 years in the making, the integration of Mexico into the US. One might wonder if this had anything to do with a report in 2000 indicating China’s economy had already surpassed the US in overall size. 

Already richer than OTL thanks to careful US investment, Mexico still was an integration issue economically even more troublesome than East Germany in our world, and politically hairy enough that some compromises (the creation of some more US senators and representatives, the creation of two whole new states [2] and the reduction of the number of Mexican states) were needed: as it is, in 2015 only 3 Mexican states plus the Federal District have gone from Territorial to State status, nearly a quarter of the population of Mexico has moved north in search of (better) jobs, (leading to a pouring of illegal Central Americans across the southern Mexico border to fill their jobs) and the economy is struggling. US politicians are preaching keeping calm and staying the course, but some fear the US has bitten off more than it can chew: the Chinese frankly hope they will choke on it.

China doesn’t like the US expansion program, which it isn’t well placed to duplicate, although there have been rumors that it may try something similar in SE Asia, particularly in the Chinese-heavy states of Malaysia and Thailand. And wait, wasn’t Vietnam a part of China once? The government denies such rumors, but it is true that there has been something of a charm offensive in recent years emphasizing the close cultural, religious, racial, historical, etc., etc. ties between China, Korea, and continental SE Asia…

China has about 1.65 billion people, more than OTL due to the lack of civil war, Mao, invasion, more Mao, etc. and a lack of one child policy, but somewhat balanced by a demographic transition driven by increased prosperity. Indeed, as is normally the case in conservative, sexist societies once women get regular access to birth control and jobs, birth rates have plummeted, leading to a bit of a moral panic and an energetic effort to economically encourage larger families combined with a more pro-immigration stance (admittedly with a special emphasis on the Chinese diaspora[3]). 

China still has an emperor, although he’s been largely marginalized by the nationalist political party union which has controlled politics for decades and whose only real challenger is the vast and eternal grey eminence of the permanent bureaucracy. The state is in some ways like OTLs China – nationalist, modernization-focused, authoritarian – but the elites are generally more cultured and sophisticated than the rather nouveau-anything rulers of the modern PRC, and are usually well up on their Confucian classics, although they have even less respect for the views of Laowai than their OTL counterparts. Foreign policy is generally pragmatic and strictly national-interests centered, although support may be given to nations with otherwise no real use just to add to the list of “tributaries.” Of late, there have been efforts to kiss and make up with the Russians, and even get the Europeans onside against the “mindlessly expansionist” Americans.

Japan, which includes Taiwan, has been historically a bit more immigrant-friendly and had a somewhat later demographic transition without US occupation (women didn’t get the vote until the late 60s), has over 180 million people, and has since the 1960s considered itself a fourth “great power,” the “great neutral” and occasional honest broker alongside the quarreling powers of China, the Soviet Union, and the USA. However, as satisfying as the Soviet Union’s relative decline may have been to the Japanese right, 180 million looks increasingly inadequate compared to 1.65 billion Chinese and 440 million – and growing – Americans, and some feel Japan needs to make a choice between the giants and pick an ally. China would make more cultural and economic sense, but the Japanese generally get along better with the Americans. There is even one weirdo politician, a perpetual fourth-party candidate for prime minister, who argues for political union with the US to create a trans-pacific power that would RULE THE WORLD, but nobody takes Parliamentary member Kamina too seriously, no matter how cool his sunglasses are.

Creating its own political block doesn’t look like an option – China has the local neighborhood pretty much sewn up, although there is unrest with the status quo in Indonesia - the “takeover” of Malaysia by the Chinese creeps out Indonesians, who have their own large and powerful Chinese minority, whose safety the Chinese government has come to take a strong interest in, of the send-an-atomic-armed-aircraft-carrier-into-your-main-port type. This of course leads to rumors of a planned Chinese takeover of the nation, and although Chinese corporations dominate, there is a strong push by the government for increased US investment, in hopes of creating some sort of counterbalance, although now some Indonesians are starting to worry about the possibility of an American takeover. 

India, whose move to independence took a somewhat different course than OTL, is still unified although a bit more decentralized even not counting the almost de facto independent areas such as Bengal and Baluchistan. Constant low-level feuding between Hindu and Muslim hardliners in the Punjab is a perpetual headache, but the population is too mixed to think of partition without it becoming a human disaster, or so Delhi says. Although better off than OTL, _relatively_ speaking it’s one of this more developed world’s losers, still essentially third-world and considered by many in the west as a land of backwards, unworldly mysticism, while the Chinese regard them with what can best be described as benevolent condescension, all of which is highly annoying to Indian elites. 

The Middle East is generally a bit more secular, less of the energy of Arab nationalism having exhausted itself in failed battles with Israel or military disasters around the Tigris and Euphrates. As OTL, monarchy hasn’t done too well north of the Saudis, the success of China under an emperor not convincing anyone that their mostly British-puppet monarchs were worth much. Iraq is a near-first world industrial power – also a fairly ghastly tyranny under a guy with a big mustache, but at least he isn’t modeling himself after Hitler. An infusion of Chinese-type state-backed capitalism has helped out Egypt somewhat, but it remains a bit backwards and troubled by Islamicist types who find the presence of the heathen Chinese even less happy-making than that of Christians OTL. The Chinese and locals get along better in Iran, where under a luckier series of rulers than OTL the Shahdom of Iran remains a regional power with an advanced (peaceful, the Shah’s press secretary will assure you) nuclear power industry. The Maghreb is fairly closely tied to the European Confederation economically, and Tunisia is actually a working democracy. 

Afghanistan is a horrid dictatorship which has crushed insurgency through killing nearly a fifth of its own population. On the other hand, standards of living are better than they were under the Taliban OTL. 

Sub-Saharan Africa has benefitted from higher raw materials prices in a more industrialized world, as has Latin America, and Chinese investment on a large scale starting rather earlier than OTL. The various pro-Soviet dictatorships have generally changed their political postures with the fall of the Soviets, and the continent is generally wealthier than OTL, and further along towards demographic transition, although of late there has been a rumor of some nasty new disease, a “wasting illness” coming out of West Africa. Some parts of West Africa remain French, being less of a demographic hazard than Algeria, although a decision will have to be made soon about the Cote D’Ivoire, which has been stuck in Bureaucratic Hell waiting to be upgraded from “associate state” to “overseas province” for some decades now due to underdevelopment: the locals are pretty much fed up with it. South Africa is no longer a White Man’s country, but it’s not a Black Man’s either: it’s more “A White, Indian, Chinese, Colored and Rich Black Collaborator’s Country”, and some 90% of the blacks still are kept from voting by various dodges. Some black African countries are a bit uncomfortable about being allied to China while they are also on fine terms with South Africa, but as the Chinese Ambassador will point out, it’s just business: the Chinese do not hypocritically preach freedom while supporting its suppressors, and it’s not like they have a historical track record of keeping the black man down, like some countries they won’t mention?

Latin America has been something of a US success, with greater democratization and continued US economic cooperative efforts having largely pushed out the Chinese save for a few remaining dictatorships. It’s more closely economically integrated with the US than OTL, and also has a unified internal market, more or less. Central America is on the US’s long-term “to do” list, but South America looks unlikely to go down the US gullet, voluntarily or otherwise, anytime soon, and locals looking with interest on US expansionary efforts have been talking about maybe creating that ancient Bolivarian dream, a united states of South America. 

The US is generally a more socially liberal place than OTL, and has a political system which extends somewhat to the left of OTL, divided between roughly two and a half political parties, the Democrats taking up the social-democrat/lite socialism role which no longer exists OTL outside of a few eccentrics on the political margin plus the left half of OTLs Democrats, the Republicans taking up the right half of OTL’s democrats and the left half of the Republicans, and then there is the far-right American Independent Party [4], the marginal but regionally important party of rabid nationalism and conspiratorial ideas, the eternal enemy of the “expand America” program – except for absorbing Canada or other “white” countries, in which case they’re okedokee about it. (They’re also not hot at all on the Chinese, and get a lot of play from accusing everyone else of being weak on "creeping Chinese influence.”) In spite of the efforts of the AIP, East Asian culture is more widely influential (and, curiously, there is also more British cultural influence; it’s a world where Britain is more closely entangled economically with the US than with Europe). Religious hardliners are somewhat marginalized compared to OTL, although saying you are an atheist is probably still fatal to a Presidential run. 

Europe has unified more closely than in our world, sans Britain, although it's still a ways from a true United States of Europe. It has not pushed quite so far east, Russia never having looked as accommodating (and as feeble) as it did for much of the 90s OTL. Germany took even longer to digest an East Germany larger than ours, and the "ossie-wessie" division remains sharper than in our world. A France more populous than ours which fought on from its colonies in the Second Great European war is more confident, but also suffers from even worse racial issues with its very large African population. The Spanish Federation hasn't been a left-wing dictatorship for a while (the Right lost in this world's Civil War) and is doing well economically, but is still considered something for an oddball by the rest of western Europe.

Technologically this world is more advanced than OTL, with a lot more first-world and near first-world players pushing tech forward. (Still no fusion power or flying cars, though). Atomic power is rather more widely used, both due to higher fossil fuel costs in a more competitive market and less general paranoia about atomics (although there were still plenty of scary cold-war era movies, atomic bombs were never used in this world: they were developed early enough to have been used to finish off the Germans and shorten the war by a few months, but the President at the time wasn’t sure how all those roasted little white babies would play in Peoria after the fighting ended). Manned space exploration has gone further, with Chinese and US visits to Mars, multiple bases on the Moon, and various manned orbital stations, while robots are crawling all over and you could spend all day watching all the live [5] feeds coming from a dozen moons and planets. Biotech is more developed, as is computer science, medicine, and synthetics, increasingly important in a world facing increasing materials shortages. 

Indeed, this world may be a victim of its own success: oil is rapidly running low, cheaper methods of oil synthesis from shale and coal contribute to a global warming problem already more advanced than ours, and all sorts of rare industrial elements are increasingly in short supply in spite of the best efforts of both recyclers and ultra-deep miners (the Chinese are digging at depths some scary advanced cooling systems are needed: scary because if they fail, the miners will cook). It remains to be seen whether the faster progress of technology will provide new solutions faster than the problems it has created develop. 

[1] Although some of this world’s alt-historians suggest that might have transpired if the Soviets had survived into the 21st century

[2] (Guam and the district of Washington, D.C.: splitting California in two remains held up in committee)

[3] Larger than OTL: China may have had a nicer century than OTL, but greater wealth also meant it was easier to work and travel abroad, and in any event there was no Mao-era closing of borders. 

[4] Or the “national Id party”, as some refer to it.

[5] Well, live aside from that speed of light thing.
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore)
And some more Hodgman (… )Ancient and Unspeakable Ones.

Anonymous is both nameless and indescribable, and indeed cannot be named anything but “it”, “the nameless” or “anonymous”: any other name applied to Anonymous will be rapidly and permanently forgotten. Those who have seen it report a “presence”, but are unable to give a name to it or any of its attributes. Nor can they describe which way it was going or where it came from. Anonymous is most tracked through absences: people who are too close to it lose their names – not only do they forget their own names, but so does everyone else, and if their name is written anywhere, people become unable to process the information when they look at it. (Citizens who suddenly lose their ability to remember the names of friends or relatives are to report this to their local Abomination Control office: efforts are being made to make sense of Anonymous’ seemingly random pattern of appearances in hopes of tracking Anonymous). In many cases the person will forget the names of other objects or concrete concepts, and in worst-case encounters will lose labels for everything, effectively losing the ability to use nouns, although they can still communicate to some extent with the use of verbs and adjectives.

Reports on this entity are variable, with different individuals reporting different visual characteristics: it is always a large dog, varying from roughly German shepherd sized to that of a pony, but at times it is reported to be black (regular or a shape so black that no details can be distinguished) at others white or with coloration similar to a Husky; it’s eyes have been reported to be yellow, red, blue, or black voids, to glow and to not glow. Teeth may be reported as normal dog teeth, reptile-like fangs, or oversized human teeth. Film or photographs show a roughly dog-shaped, jagged, angular, skeletal thing, burning with blue flames. Whether this is its “real appearance” or not remains a disputed question. Devil Dog is nocturnal, spends the night wandering around urban or rural locations, and disappears at dawn. It has been reported world-wide.

Devil Dog usually only physically attacks people if they closely approach it or its wanderings intersect their position, but physical attacks are the least of it. If the Devil Dog looks into someone’s eyes, that person or one of their immediate family will drop dead for no discernable cause after a random period of time: initial analysis of death times indicates that the period may be a random fraction of a year, but data is not yet sufficient. [1] If Devil Dog has gazed into your eyes, one can apparently keep ones loved ones safe by running at Devil Dog: if Devil Dog is approached within three meters, it will tear you to pieces, and nobody who has perished in this manner has later lost relatives to DDSDS[2]. Seeing the Devil Dog’s eyes is not fatal in itself if the Dog does not in turn look at you, but simply looking at the Dog, whether the eyes are seen or not, will bring on a series of gruesome nightmares in which the Dog chases you down and devours you alive, with the time for which the nightmares continue seemingly dependent on how clear a look one got: some people have been suffering for months. Similar if somewhat less severe effects result from studying film or photographs of Devil Dog.
Devil Dog is apparently non-material, in spite of the effectiveness of its teeth, physical violence being ineffectual, but it can be forced to disappear early and not appear until next night with sufficiently bright light or intense ultraviolet, and seems to dislike spherical or curved objects, usually not attacking really fat people and shying away from soccer balls or the like. This may be related to the fact that Devil Dog, in those instances it is observed appearing, seems to emerge from within angles, whether that between two walls or intersections with sharp-edged corners. (It usually does not enter into houses or buildings unless the door is open, but at times has materialized within someone’s house at the angle between two walls, and exited by passing through an interior angle and emerging from an external one.) Currently attempts are being made to trap Devil Dog in a special spherical container, or as the more immature members of Abomination Control insist on calling it, “the Pokeball.”
[1] Apologies to the SCP people, but they were stealing from actual myths themselves in this case.
[2] Devil Dog Sudden Death Syndrome.

This creature appears in the form of a pallid, blotchy-skinned old lady with vaguely Asian features dressed in “street person couture”, muttering to herself and pushing a shopping cart full of grocery bags. Some of these grocery bags are knotted closed and have a swollen or inflated look. In the daytime, she is often seen in grubby stores buying minute purchases and insisting on them being double-bagged. The actual contents are usually tossed into nearby dumpsters and the bags added to the collection. This would not normally come to the attention of AC, save that a CCT camera in Hong Kong showed “her” being harassed by a couple roughs: she then seemingly inflated, while the young men staggered and collapsed. She then blew out into a couple of bags and knotted them shut.

Examination of the bodies showed them to still be alive, but exhibiting no mental activity above the most basic, comparable to long-term coma victims with severe cerebral cortex degeneration, although nothing actually physically wrong could be detected. Tracing former appearances revealed dozens of such cases, and it was determined that the coins with which It made Its purchases tended to dissolve into puddles of gritty slime after a few days. Further studies indicate that It generally only “sucks out the souls” of those who attack or harass It, although occasionally it takes the consciousness of sick and elderly street people. On the other hand, the fact that Tonko usually appears in poor and dangerous neighborhoods at night seems to imply an effort to attract “prey.” Tracking Tonko is impossible, since It disappears at intervals by walking straight into solid walls and not appearing on the other side.

As long as no hostility is shown, it is safe to talk to It, although by and large It is quite uninformative: Tonko can speak idiomatically the language of whoever talks to her, but tends to mumble, go off on incoherent if vaguely terrifying tangents, and randomly switch to incomprehensible languages. About all that can clearly be determined are Its name, Tonko, and the fact that It is collecting things for a “rainy day.” Violence is not recommended at present: due to Its exclusively urban manifestations and constant mobility, weapons of mass destruction are impractical, and lesser weapons such as RPGs are stopped by what appears to be a force field, such attacks being rapidly followed by the soul-sucking of personnel involved in the attack. (Running is useless, since Tonko will just push its cart into the nearest wall and emerge from another right in front of you). Self-sacrificing experiments with knives and handguns seem to indicate Tonko is rather larger on the inside than on the outside, and may lack anything resembling blood.

The contents of Its shopping cart are apparently just the tip of an iceberg, and Tonko may have been active much longer than the 2012 Apocalypse season: agent “Tsien” (actual name kept private) of the Chinese security forces managed to patiently befriend Tonko to the extent of being shown her “collection” and led through a wall. He emerged from another wall several miles away and an hour later suffering from severe hunger, thirst and the effects of cold and damp, claiming that he had been lost for several days in a vast maze of cold, damp passages apparently made of mud and piled high with bags, boxes, purses, jugs, bottles, sacks, baskets, small amphorae, etc. before Tonko found him again and chided him for “wandering off.” He claimed that a small percentage of these containers, but still “countless thousands”, contained something which moaned or shrieked or gibbered softly. He was reticent about describing what happened when he tried opening one of them, but later while feverish he spoke of something with “bubbled” and “flowed” or “flopped” on the ground, something “white” and “rotting yet moving.”

The infection which killed him and three of the hospital staff is as yet unidentified.

This mysterious and nameless entity, also referred to as The King in Gym Shorts, operated by showing up at sessions of aerobics, yoga, pilates, etc. and claiming to be a substitute for the usual instructor (none of which, or their bodies, have ever been found) and promised an “exciting new routine.” It took on a human appearance, although nobody has ever been clearly describe “him” beyond “middle aged, but fit”, details varying wildly. Those who took part in the classes would begin a series of stretching and bending exercises, simple at first but increasing in complexity and difficulties: however, the instructor would be enthusiastic and supportive, and before long the members of the class would find themselves stretching and bending further and more easily than ever before.

At some point, the doors to the place where the exercise was taking place would become impossible to open, essentially cutting the exercise area off from the outside world until the conclusion of the “session.”Later, after the instructor had left, the doors would return to normal and very exercised participants would be discovered all still in the same room, being quite unable to get up or even move aside from some slight twitching, their bodies distorted and their limbs bent and stretched and folded back on themselves in ways that normally would be impossible for human anatomy. Photographs of the scene show that the bodies of the participants form some sort of geometric pattern on the floor, but whether this indicates some sort of mystical ritual or just some sort of horrible art work remains unknown. In some cases massive surgical intervention has allowed some of the victims to return to something like a normal life, but in most severe disabilities are permanent.

A massive information and warning program world-wide seems to have led to abatement of “workouts from hell”: much to government and AC relief, being informed that nobody wanted to do its program did not lead to any massacres, but “Pilates” simply departing immediately. In a few cases brave fitness folks tried to stall it by starting the program while others secretly called the Police and Abomination Control, but The King in Gym Shorts always slipped away before authorities arrived. The “man” hunt continues.

Addendum: in mid-Novemember, “Pilates” began appearing in the role of a substitute gym teacher in High, Middle and Elementary schools.

Sigmund is a sickly green in color, with multiple long tentacles around It’s head, a growth of seaweed-like green tendrils extending down it’s back, and great bulging googly-eyes. It can rear up to heights of some 35 feet and some inches above the water, but its actual length is unclear, it’s body trailing off for an indefinite distance. It can appear out of any body of water bigger than a kiddie pool.

Sigmund will attempt to lure people to join It on a “magical adventure” in exchange for wealth, treasure, or magical gadets like a propeller beanie allowing one to fly, but one should attempt to excuse oneself. If you are able to come up with a sufficiently convincing excuse to beg off, Sigmund may simply leave, but in spite of Its demeanor of good-natured goofyness, Sigmund is in fact clever and insightful into human behavior, and if not satisfied, you will be kidnapped by some of Sigmund’s minions in the name of “fun, fun, fun”, renamed Cabin Boy (apparently Sigmund is gender-blind), and taken aboard a moist and reeking flying boat. It is recommended that people contacted by Sigmund attempt to stall long enough for local authorities to arrive.

Few of those who have gone off on these adventures have survived to return, and those who return often return with bizarre and horrible injuries and terribly disturbed sanity, but from scattered reports these usually start as wacky fun in a cartoonish reality, but grow increasingly strange and disturbing as time progresses. The adventures usually involve some sort of contest between Sigmund and It’s minions and either a group of hideous tentacled monsters with reality-warping abilities vaguely resembling Sigmund, or a thin, long-toothed humanoid dressed in black called John Ooze. It becomes increasingly hard to tell who is the “good guy” in this situation as everything becomes increasingly dangerous and distorted, with Sigmund becoming eventually almost impossible to look at and John Ooze turning into some sort of horrible half-machine octopus or a giant stinging insect.

Sigmund’s minions include (and this is a far from a complete list) a talking lion-like creature whose normal mouth is replaced by a giant sucking hole as the trip proceeds, the bearded and monstrously bloated “captain”(which usually spends his time locked in a coffin), a clown (which always dies sometime early in the trip), the terrifying Housekeeper, a bloody red skeleton, an increasingly putrefied and uncoordinated skinless dog , and the monstrous Happy Brothers.

Sigmund has on several occasions been caught while manifesting itself by local military forces and Abomination Control, but so far has proven hard to kill, having survived being burned alive, decapitated, and blown to bits. Efforts by the Trans-Dimensional Corp led by Keziah Mason III to penetrate Sigmund’s dimension have so far led to the horrible transmogrification of a number of personnel, but as yet no successful off-Earth interception of Sigmund.

This particular Ancient and Unspeakable one is not currently menacing anyone, since it was discovered sealed in an improbably huge block of amber in the basement of the Boston museum. White, bloated, and with terrible staring red bulbs of eyes, the Worm was put on public display for a while, but Abomination Control has since succeeded in having it moved to Security Site C, where the block of amber has in turn been sealed in fifteen feet of steel rebar-reinforced concrete inscribed all over with the Elder Sign. Cultists warn that this will not help when Its Time Comes Around at Last, but you know. Cultists.

More exactly, the Cat in the Wall of the Three Stags’ Head Pub, Wardlow Mires, England. It starts whining and howling around midnight and keeps it up till dawn. This in of itself would not make it an Ancient and Unspeakable one rather than a rather annoying haunting, save for the fact when a hole was cut in the wall in an attempt to see if there was a physical source, it was discovered that there was more than one cat. Removing part of the wall revealed an intergrown mass of black, writhing cats varying in size from mouse size to dog size, all howling and shrieking in perfect chorus. Investigatory borings revealed the mass of cats extended at least 80 feet beyond where the outer wall should be before the tunnel collapsed and filled up with more cats, with one of the investigative personnel swallowed up beyond retrieval. After a massive cleaning job to remove the debris from the excavation the wall was resealed and people tried not to think too much about it, although the report from the investigation, which included the fact that the aforementioned debris began generating new cats after a while until it was burned, led the UK government to retarget certain nuclear assets on Wardlow Mires.

A giant, hermaphroditic penis-shaped fish covered with multiple extensible piercing spermataphores and a life-cycle too gross for this report writer to go into [1], Dickfish first appeared in the Chinese Yangtze river system, from where it somehow fled to the Congolese river system when things got “too hot”, and finally moved to the US Mississippi basin, where it was finally destroyed, apparently, with massive depth charges: it has at least not reappeared. However, the fallout remains, with extensive regions of Canada and the US, central Africa and continental East Asia infested with the Spawn of Dickfish. Rather going into the really, really disgusting details, the writer urges you to just stay out of the water.
[1] Imagine starting with “massive penis trauma” and working your way downhill from there.

Addendum 1: the tourist bureau would like to point out that Dickfish dislikes chlorine and salt, so oceans, well-maintained swimming pools, and the Dead Sea are OK.

Addendum 2: all fisherman who catch what they believe is Dickfish spawn are urged to under no circumstances touch it without heavy protective gloves, to never eat it, to never let any other living creature above the size of the adult US squash bug (Anasa tristis) touch or eat it, and preferably to rapidly burn it using plenty of accelerants which can be squirted on with no risk of accidental contact. (Destroying Dickfish Spawn is more important than any mere third-degree burns, Mr. Lack of Sense of Proportion).

Th’yl-Kjull looks mostly like a floating partly deflated balloon the size of a skyscraper made of scabs and open lesions, dotted with bulging eyes and with multiple dangling insectile limbs. It tends to fade randomly in and out of existence, and is often only dimly seen. In this form it is non-material and hard to effect in any way, but on occasion it’s many eyes will focus on someone, and it will become more solid, real and visible (and hideous). Th’yl-Kjull will then vomit huge amounts of dark green slime out of its sagging, shapeless slit of a mouth, liberally coating it’s victim (and, on average, half an acre) with the slime. The victim will then fall into a deep coma-like state which will last a day and a night (bystanders not targeted by Th’yl-Kjull will not experience this, merely having all their body hair fall off, their skins bleached, and their wardrobes ruined).

Victims will during their coma period undergo tribulations depending on their sins and their perception of the same: people who deep down believe they should be punished for their misdeeds will experience the punishment their believe they deserve, while those who do not feel guilt will be punished for their actual criminal or cruel acts as they think other people should be punished for them.

In those cases where victims experience a jail term, they will experience the entire length of the term, as much as hundreds of years, but will not physically age as a result, although mental damage is often severe: where punishment is lethal, or permanently crippling, the victim will physically reflect the act, with a trip to the guillotine accompanied by their actual head detaching from their body. In the cases of victims with particularly sadistic or masochistic imaginations, the results do not bear viewing.

(Since many victims have been guilty of nothing more than severe self-hatred, some suggest Th’yl-Kjull lacks a proper understanding of the human mind. Others suggest Th’yl-Kjull is just a dick).

Since it fully materializes to attack, Th’yl-Kjull can be damaged at this time, and although so far damage has been limited to blowing gooshy holes in it (which will have regenerated into new configurations of warts, lesions, and eyeballs by the next time It appears), this does at least seem to delay It’s next manifestation. Chunks of Th’yl-Kjull should be avoided, since contact with them often leads to hideous, warty mutations and distortions of the flesh. The public can take steps to help themselves: Th’yl-Kjull can be dealt with simply by staying out of Its drift path, since it never targets people more than 150 meters from directly beneath It. Stay alert for any Abomination warning and sirens and check your phone, TV, or computer for details.

Attached to Th’yl-Kjull’s side is a smaller, saggier blob about the size of a New Mexico State Fair hot air balloon, with thin droopy tendrils and bleary looking yellow eyes. According to the ancient texts, this is Mh’yl-kjull, the conjoined twin of Th’yl-Kjull. Occasionally it will undergo convulsive working of its shapeless mouth, ending by spitting out thin streamers of grayish ooze, which when they do actually hit anyone lead to severe, painful guilt trips, often over such things as forgetting to wish someone happy birthday.

This being, in the form of a tall, zaftig woman in a turban, has been spotted at various locations holding forth on the coming BLOOD WAVE which will supposedly flood most of North America, and has even appeared on public access television twice so far. It is unclear how she obtains speaking venues, but people do speak vaguely about her being “very persuasive.” Given the various reports of assorted horrors omnipresent in the media where not censored, she seems so far to have been lost in the background noise: no new panics have so far been traced to her actions. Indeed, one audience member in Illinois reported her as “much more entertaining than the usual preacher. She made the end of the world sound kinda thrilling.”

Being a creature of the harbinger or herald type, she is not in herself particularly dangerous if not physically attacked [1], so Abomination Control has so far not sanctioned destruction attempts. She is accompanied by a thin and rather dyspeptic looking male companion apparently of the doormat disposition, which of late has begun to develop what appear to be small antennae and signs of faceting in his already bulging eyeballs. Closer attention is being paid to him to make sure he isn’t going to start injecting people with eggs or something. Reportedly he goes by the name of Cyrus Abbott (Esquire) although so far no records have been uncovered of an actual person of that name answering to his description.

[1] Madame Psychopomp was shot in the head by an audience member in Michigan with a poor grasp of how to deal with Abominations. Although the shooting merely left a small hole in her forehead (gone by her next reported appearance), she was apparently sufficiently annoyed at him to glare at him until he underwent spontaneous combustion, leading to a mass exodus of the audience. Nobody else was burned and indeed program guides were found undamaged in adjoining seats.

This Abomination appears to confine its actions to Scotland and the Hebrides. It manifests Itself as a vaguely humanoid form some nine feet tall made of black slime, wearing a kilt the ghastly colors and strange geometries of which have driven people to madness. It will often accost travelers in lonely places out on the Moors and engage them in lengthy conversation, speaking only the most impenetrable dialects of Scots. Unless one is fluent enough in this speech to know when to heartily agree, it is recommended that one simply try to look intently interested and nod and go “hm” a lot: it is easy to misunderstand and respond inappropriately, and the Slime is rather short-tempered. If one is successful in this strategy, eventually the Slime will sigh gustily (and with a most foul swamp odor) and after an involved goodbye, sink into the ground and vanish.

If one slips up and angers the Slime, it may hit you hard enough to break bones or even kill, and if truly furious it apparently either removes or dissolves human heads (the forensic evidence is unclear); surviving a violent encounter, however, may be only the start of your problems if the slime gets on your skin. Those so marked slowly but irreversibly turn into Scottish stereotypes, speaking a dialect comparable to the Slime, insisting on wearing kilts on all occasions, and becoming ever more hostile to the “Sassenachs”. This occurs no matter the initial race or nationality (or gender) of the victim, and black Jamaicans or Chinese tourists are immediately recognized as “true Scotsmen” by their fellow affected. When questioned about their encounter, they speak of the Slime as a fellow Scotsman by the name of McOoze, and become quite offended at suggestions that “he” is in fact an Abomination. Of late some long-term victims have begun to build giant wicker men, which is never a good sign.

When dealing with a Slime encounter, if the Slime reaches into its own torso and pulls out a bloated leathery sack bristling with long, hollow bones, stick your fingers in your ears and run like the wind: the bagpipes are much, much worse than the kilt.

T’uth is the One who stands perpetually at your shoulder, complaining endlessly. Do not bother trying to spin around, for It will still be behind you. Do not look over your shoulder, for that way lies madness. Other will not be able to see or hear T’uth, but they will be able to see your second shadow, the one that looks like an octopus crossed with a combine harvester.

T’uth has an opinion, almost always negative, about everything in the universe, and wants to share it, although Its presence on Earth means that at least 50% of the time it speaks on terrestrial annoyances. Its opinions are lengthy and closely argued, for hours at a time. Plugging ones ears, listening to loud music, or destroying the eardrums does not help. The only ways to escape are to either kill oneself or go so deeply into madness or catatonia that one is no longer able to hear. T’uth will then go on to another victim.

The end will of course come much quicker if one lacks the ability to fall asleep while someone drones on tonelessly and endlessly on about what’s wrong with the political system on Spica VII.

So no one else may suffer, 85-year old widower Avraham Katz of Tel Aviv has put up with T’uth for two months, far longer than anyone else has been able to without losing their sanity. When asked how he does it, Avraham replied “you never knew my wife.”

Essentially a fifty-foot inflamed-looking spherical membrane containing a slowly oozing mass of pale pus, It’s only other distinguishing features are a clouded eye the size of a basketball, and a snaggly yellow tooth sticking out of a puffy slit that might be a mouth or a butt or something. It gets around by rolling, and it constantly telepathically moans and grumbles as it does so, often stopping to complain to people how sore it is and how it wishes someone would help it out by lancing it.
One might think this being is a tempting target to abomination control, but the Book of Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptangya Zoooooooom Boing warns “When the Perilous Pustule is pierced, lo! There shall be much weeping and pointing of the fingers, for Its Foul Exudations shall overtop the mountains, and thirty score myriads and ten shall be rendered most icky.” It is therefore recommended that it be left alone as it rolls around Eurasia, since it generally does no harm except when it accidentally rolls over people who aren’t paying attention or just scares the pants off them.

A public education program on the perils of the Boil has been widely circulated, since the Boil tends to occasionally disappear and show up again some ways away and therefore cannot be constantly tracked and accompanied by protective forces. The main concern is of course that some member of the public will try to lance the Boil on their own initiative. Fortunately, the membrane is quite strong and thick if translucent, and so far several efforts by disturbed or just really stupid people with knives, small arms, and in one case a chainsaw have failed to break through. Current least-bad disposal plans involve luring it into the Taklamakan using a Mil Mi-26 heavy life helicopter carrying a sufficiently impressive-looking giant pointy metal spike.

Increasingly on pretty much every flight that continues more than two hours, a particularly loud and annoying child will begin crying. People who check on this will discover a new row of seats now exists behind the formerly last row, and in one of them will be Skree’Yt.

Skree’Yt takes the form of a large, loathsomely fat and wrinkly blueish-white and warty baby, usually sticky with unmentionable substances and with a full diaper, howling loudly from It’s wide and toothless mouth. Its eyes are closed and never open. The smell and noise become such over the course of a long flight that if there is any extra seating at all (and sometimes even if there isn’t any) passengers sitting in the first few rows in front of Skree’Yt will try to move forward. Indeed, some airlines have been deliberately underbooking to keep seats free to deal with the “Skree’Yt problem.”

Picking Skree’Yt up and singing and walking up and down, etc., rarely works and even in those cases where he does quiet down contact with Its foul and gelid flesh and oozing emissions is only for the most strong of stomach. [1] And you have better not gag while taking care of It, since if you jostle Skree’Yt badly enough or otherwise cause It discomfort, well…it is in fact easy to get rid of Skree’Yt. Just hurt the Annoying One and It will vanish. But so will you. If it is not disturbed, Skree’Yt will vanish with no human casualties, along with the extra row of seats – and thankfully, the smell – once the last passenger has left the plane.

(Rules-lawyering is not recommended. In the case where a drug lord on a private jet threw one of his subordinates onto Skree’Yt, both the thrower and the throwee vanished along with It Which Stinks up the Cabin So Bad. )

[1] And often leads to nasty fungal infections.

Or so Its name translates from ancient Akkadian. This creature was detected by sonar in the Ocean deeps below 12,000 feet, and appears to be a somewhat eel or snake like entity roughly a mile in length. Its head appears more piscine than reptilian, with a long, sloping front and a long under-slung jaw like some of the deep sea fishes, and a bulbous growth on a forehead stalk, perhaps a light-generating organ. It has not been inspected closely by anyone who has survived, although judging from some screamed radio reports Its 200-foot long head lacks eyes. Given that It is rarely still and Its slowest “cruising speed” exceeds 100 miles an hour, with occasional bursts of speed into the supersonic (which maketh the deep to boil like a pot), approaches with remote controlled vehicles have not been a success either.

Lord Forehead seems relatively unaggressive: sure, It has dragged some ships to the bottom in Its dripping coils, and the mysterious “green glows” seen in the waters on five previous occasions, which caused hundreds to conga dance into the Ocean and drown may be LFL-related, judging from sonar records . Still, It isn’t as relentless in Its plaguing of humanity as other Ancient and Unspeakable Ones, and the biggest problem It causes is that wherever it goes It seems to produce Sea Serpents, whether through some sort of reproductive process or simple generation from raw elements is uncertain. Up to 150 feet long, aggressive, and carnivorous, the Sea Serpents have become a serious menace to fisheries and fishermen alike: although entirely mortal creatures and dispatchable by means of anti-whale explosive harpoons, they have become numerous enough to become a serious menace to boats with decks less than 25-30 feet above the waterline, and incidentally made possible the NRA’s successful suit to make explosive harpoon launchers a personal self-defense weapon. It is hoped that the Russian and Japanese whaling fleets, which have re-equipped to pursue this new prey, will succeed in bringing this problem under control. Sea Serpent sushi is already a glut on the Tokyo market.

Lord Forehead Itself has been hard to target with nuclear submersible weapons: there was one successful hit early on, which sent It to the bottom to much cheering, but the necessity of “multiple taps” when dealing with Abominations had not yet fully sunk in (blow up the “corpse”, and then blow up the pieces, etc. until not even dust is left), and LFH simply regenerated and was back cruising the seas and generating sea serpents the next day. It has been more elusive and even harder to pin down since: patrols by nuclear torpedo boats have failed to draw it nearer in spite of various techniques tested to rile up Ancient and Unspeakable Ones, such as playing classic jazz-off key on loud underwater speakers.

And now the reader knows why people don’t really care that much about Ghd’l.

The Floating Head was first reported in Thailand, and in Its subsequent appearances has not shown up outside the East/Southeast Asia region, ranging from Japan and north China south to the Wallace line. The entity is purely nocturnal. Emitting an eerie glow, it appears like a humanoid female head, but with a mouth distorted by oversized fangs and cat-pupil eyes: an improbably long neck, over fifteen feet by best estimates, dangles or writhes and coils beneath the head. The Floating Head usually attacks by immobilizing its prey with its constricting neck and then sucking the victims guts out through the mouth (the fangs cut through lips and teeth if the victim is stubborn about keeping it shut), and in the case of pregnant women, their wombs through the vagina. On occasion it will just take some chunks of meat out of someone and leave them alive but mutilated, or pursue children and bite them slowly to death or near death. Able to become intangible when not feeding, the Head is unaffected by bullets, but fears fire and bright light and will withdraw or vanish if approached by them. Some ancient Ghoorian symbols and the Elder Sign, if made of the proper green soapstone, will also repel it. It cannot pass through solid walls, but can squeeze through very narrow cracks.

The Head is sentient, and occasionally talks to its victims in their own language, in a sibilant, mocking voice, or whispers to people through walls at night. It appears to have a serious grudge against almost all of humanity, leading many to suspect that like Al Gore or Annette Funicello, It once walked the Earth as a human being. White phosphorous bombs are being distributed in areas where it has been seen to appear, in hopes of catching it by surprise.

Nis is a formless, gaseous entity resembling a large cloud of dark fog, distinguishable from normal dense fogs by its putrid and penetrating stink, which will linger for days after It has passed. From the point of view of outside viewers, Nis condenses from the air, spreads to cover a couple square miles at most, drifts along at a mile or so an hour if there is a wind, and disperses again after a few hours. Within, the situation is more complex.

Those caught in a Nis event are recommended to stay indoors and bar your doors and put up the protective shutters (and if you don’t have them, what the heck are you doing? You should have gone to Wal-Mart when you had a chance, they sell cheap sets with installation instructions and tools!). Going outside and looking outside for any longer than the brief interval needed to check to see if Nis has dispersed are strongly dis-recommended. Time is oddly distorted within Nis, and your Nis experience may last as little as half an hour or several days. Interruptions in electricity supply are likely, and radio communications are often out. If it turns in that you are in for the long haul, relax, breathe through a filter mask or at least a wet cloth as much as possible, and if necessary crack into your emergency supplies, this counts. (And if you don’t have an emergency food and water supply, the writer of this report does not know what to say. Honestly, it’s like some people want to have their brains sucked out).

Going outside during a Nis incident is very dangerous. In maybe 30% of cases the person will stumble out of the cloud, after minutes or hours of experiential time, with usually [1] no worse consequences than the need for many, many baths (clothes will probably need to be burned) and perhaps lasting terror about how long it took them to complete what should have been a half hour walk at most. There are indications space as well as time are distorted, and in the majority of cases, the person becomes permanently lost within Nis, no matter how familiar their surroundings, and vanishes when it vanishes.

Often they will encounter companionship of sorts, which will work to dissuade them from leaving in a most physical manner. These are referred to as the Nislings, and apparently are either people who were lost in Nis at earlier times, judging from clothing remnants on the few cases that have been captured, or animals weighing over seven pounds that have also been lost (dogs and cats are usually smart enough to keep indoors, unlike certain humans I could talk of). They have been seen through peepholes or upper windows by those who have undergone a Nis event, and are always to some extent decomposed, in many cases very much so. Their stench resembles that of Nis Itself, but far more concentrated. They do not talk and generally don’t attack to hurt or feed, but simply grab hold of their victims and drag them off into the fog. Generally they are no threat to a properly barricaded house, but look out for Nisling moose.

Nislings vanish when Nis disperses, but if dragged in some way out of the mist (sometimes they come close enough to the edge of the Nis cloud to be dimly visible, and then efforts can be made to, say, harpoon them) they will undergo accelerated decay, leaving no more than bones and a pool of slime after an hour.

Nis is one of those Ancient and Abominable ones which appear to be able to stand nuclear explosions or perhaps is just manifesting portions of itself from another dimensions: two separate efforts applied in cases where Nis had appeared in a thinly populated area only delayed its next appearance slightly. Efforts to find “non-traditional” methods to contain or destroy Nis have yielded some useful clues, but no solid results as of yet. So once again, check your Abomination Safety for Idiots guide, idiots, and stay alive!

[1] Those who stay indoors, even for days, generally never suffer anything more than an annoying rash that goes away in a few days, but those who have spent hours stumbling around through Nis do sometimes come down with something a wee bit like necrotizing fasciitis.

The Gates of Time were found behind a bunch of boxes in the cellar storage area of Hassan’s House of Dumplings in Baghdad. They were generally not noticed until recently, when a careful tracing of the mini-earthquakes that have been occurring with increased frequency led investigators to the eatery. People were puzzled by the fact nobody had noticed an eight-foot door of black metal covered with complex ancient Sumerian astrological symbols, but the owner said it had always been there and who really cared since it didn’t have a keyhole and didn’t open? Upon closer inspection (namely, a lot of excavation) it was discovered the gate was a solid slab only six inches thick (which in the case of magic doors, really means nothing), apparently indestructible and immovable. (So much so that the Gates are currently immovably fixed some six inches above the ground due to excavations below them).

It took rather longer and not until after Abomination Control had brought in two psychics, a dowser, and an old man from Helsinki whose trick knee acted up in the presence of Abominations before people really paid attention to the dog they had been stepping over all the time they had been inspecting the gate.

The dog (which, again according to the owner, had always been snoozing there) upon actual examination turned out to be rather unusual, being of indeterminate breed, an odd shade of puce, and with four nostrils. It was also sleeping in a depression in the floor, which turned out to be because it weighed over eighty tons in spite of being no larger than your average Alsatian. Attempts to move it with hydraulic jacks led to whining noises and an order of magnitude increase in the strength of the Earth movements, and were abandoned.

These various data led people to conclude that Abomination Control had discovered the legendary Sleeper at the Gates of Time, which will open at the End of the World. What exactly will happen then is unclear, although it apparently involves Time Ghosts and will be unpleasant. In the meantime, the Sleeper will wake to Indiscriminately Devour anyone attempting to open the Gates before the proper time: since researchers remain un-devoured in spite of various efforts to take samples and otherwise investigate the Gates, apparently such efforts do not count as trying to open them. Due to its location in a crowded city, and the fact that the world hasn’t come to an end yet, for now extreme measures have not been taken, although the Sleeper is closely monitored, Hassan’s House of Dumplings having been moved to a new location with more seats and an upgraded hot-oil fryer. Of late the Sleeper appears to be chasing rabbits and the frequency of mini-quakes has continued to increase, now accompanied by small rains of frogs and the occasional scorpion with the face of Saddam Hussein.

Robert Conrad began growing soft, squashy warts and moles all over his body fairly early on during the current Megapocalyspse, which soon grew to obscure him entirely. Conrad is currently a gelatinous grey mass covering two hundred and seventeen acres of Nevada desert, heaped up in mounds up to sixty feet high, where he was shipped after growing too large for the research facility he was formerly confined. Constant slow ripples pass through the mass, and occasionally tentacle-like growths emerge and are then reabsorbed. A radio controlled atomic bomb has been put in place in close proximity. At current growth rates he will cover over five square miles by next August, but since all projections indicate that by then the crisis will be over (whether or not humanity survives), most are not particularly concerned by this datum.

More recently, in the last month or so, the mass which was Robert Conrad has begun opening innumerable mouths, which persist for a while, occasionally talking, before being reabsorbed. Attempts have been made to open communication, which is somewhat complicated by the fact that the mass appears only able to communicate using quotes from The Wild Wild West and Black Sheep Squadron. So far, researchers believe that the mass is quite comfortable, extends best wishes to Robert Conrad’s friends and family, and just wants to be left alone to slowly grow until it consumes the world, although there is some uncertainty as to whether this is exactly correct, such sentiments not have been expressed by anyone on either television show, and there has been much use of analogy. It is also unclear whether or not the mass considers itself to be Robert Conrad, although it has stated that it is both James T. West and Pappy Boyington.

This disagreeable entity was first spotted by a local psychic and part time witch doctor in a Nigerian beer hut, sitting in a back corner and sucking someone else’s beer with his proboscis. The general public cannot see it, but it is possible to spot Eryur’Mok by squinting one’s eyes and holding ones breath until it becomes really uncomfortable. It will then remain visible as long as you don’t look away, so breathe, son, breathe. Eryur’Mok resembles a man-mosquito mixture, a bit like Mansquito but with more of a face and sort of goofier. It also wears an uncomfortably tight-looking outfit made of the skins of unknown beasts and an ovsersize pendant sort of thingy on its bare, knobbly chest. It is usually found in bars, clubs, restaurants and other such places, as long as they have out of the way corners and niches where it can sulk.

Eyur’Mok is a fiend suffering from a lack of self-confidence and serious tentacle envy, and if it doesn’t just ignore attempts at communication, it will complain at great length about its lack of astonishing abilities, small size, insufficient eldritchness, and so on. It mostly sits in corners, stealing people’s drinks through unseen sucking, checking on news about other Ancient and Unspeakable ones on its Smartphone, and bemoaning its miserably low position on the A & U pecking order. The one thing one should never do is offer it words of encouragement, since this may lead to a brief rallying of confidence, which in turn lead to Eryur’Mok going on a short rampage, teleporting from place to place and invisibly sucking the essence out of people, reducing them to horrible shriveled husks, until It comes to the realization that at the rate it works, to get to _everyone_ it would have to drain people continuously for fifteen centuries (and in any event It gets a terrible Ghost Headache if it drains more than a dozen people in rapid sequence). Sulking resumes.

Attacks on Eyur’Mok are not recommended: aside from the fact It is normally found in areas with lots of innocent bystanders, they seem to boost Its self-confidence. As per normal procedure, any mention of Its attacks should be kept out of the media, since It is known to frequently Google for any mention of Its name. Agents of Abomination Control who detect Eyur’Mok are recommended to either sit nearby and talk about how cool and mighty other Abominations are, or in cases where this is likely to cause public unrest, simply walk up to Eyur’Mok, give a single sad shake of the head, and walk away.

This entity appears to be exclusive to areas which actually have driveways and trees along them, which somewhat narrows the range of its appearances, but within these limits It may appear anywhere in the world, in a new and seemingly random location every night. It will appear, sometime after full dark, in the tree closest to the street on the left as one faces towards the house, never when it is being observed. (People who try to get around this with cameras will find them prone to electronic failure). A dark and lumpy shape, with sparkly bits, most often described as “like an evil potato, but with legs” will be seen to rest amid the branches. Seeing it will cause a deep feeling of discomfort, similar to a certainty as your plane flies away that you left the stove on. If you watch it long enough, it will seem to swell and pulse. Stop watching before it grows beyond the branches.

Attempting to call the police or Abomination control will fail as your phone and internet go on the blink and you receive only strange and disturbing tweets. It is best not to read these. Even if you can gather the courage to go outdoors and past the sleeper in the tree, the streets will seem unnaturally dark and you will be unable to find your way to lighted roads and Walmarts: houses will be dark and your knockings or bell-ringings will bring no answer, although you may hear whispered, not quite comprehensible conversations. Your wanderings by foot (your car will not start) eventually bring you back to your home. You will huddle in your house, awaiting the worst. Towards dawn a great terror and occasional diarrhea will come, only to vanish as the first faint grey light of dawn is spotted. A cautious peer out the window will show your tree empty, and you may wonder if it was all illusion till you draw near to the tree and smell a lingering aroma of rotten fish and strawberries.

You will be fine as long as you aren’t standing under the tree shortly before first light.
Ancient and Unspeakable Ones: More of the Same
The project continues! (Well, that's all for now. Unlikely to get through all 700 in anything like a hurry. :) )
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore)
John Hodgman's amusing end-of-the-world book, That is All,… includes among other diversions a list of 700 Ancient and Unspeakable Ones who will return to wreck havoc until the Century Toad splits the planet in two. Most are very lightly described, and for my amusement I have been writing short reports on some of them, which I have decided to share.

With apologies to Hodgman, to whom all credits, plaudits, and moneys are due.

First reports emerged from impoverished neighborhoods, run down industrial cities, old train stations. Reports of people glimpsed being dragged aboard cargo vans of moving trains or down alleys by a hulking man in ragged, derelict clothing, with a scarf and high collar concealing much of his face. Among the various disturbing events of the time these reports were largely lost in the shuffle, but Abomination Control took notice when the computer flagged mention of “tentacles” in one report, in which the mystery perp’s scarf was displaced in a struggle, exposing, in the witness’ own words, “crawling, writhing, wet worms, no, tentacles, all over his face oh God they squirmed..”

It was eventually determined that the Abomination was skipping around from location to location by flying at night (slowly, heavily) with leathery wings which sprouted from its back, after it was caught on smartphone while passing over the parking lot of a 7-11, which relieved worries that the Abomination in question was a teleporter. It eventually emerged that “Carl”, as It called Itself, was attempting to set itself up as some sort of divinity of hoboes, wandering the mean streets, riding the rails, and frequenting former jungles with a rather pathetic ignorance of the fact that the Hobo lifestyle had largely ceased to exist, It’s Hobo argot laughably outdated. Still, It worked at it, punishing those who disrespected him by devouring them whole, and rewarding the faithful with swigs of a powerfully hallucinogenic rot-gut dispensed from an ever-filled bottle in a paper bag.

Authorities finally caught up with it outside of Akron, Ohio, interrupting it’s consumption of a drug dealing under an overpass. By this time during the Slow Catastrophe Abomination Control had learned that bullets usually were rather ineffectual, and so the interruption was carried out with shoulder-launched missiles, followed by flamethrowers. The resulting greenish-black flaky material began to evaporate into a green gas, and although Disposal Team managed to gather much of it with vacuums and hydrogen-rated storage tank, the last of it had vanished from confinement within two months in spite of best efforts and practices. As of current date, there have been multiple reports of a mystery “murder hobo” wandering the roads and rails of Eastern Europe, but International Control has decided that a single-incarnation, low-visibility Abomination responsible for less than a hundred deaths is a low-priority target and future disincorporations can be left to properly informed local authorities.

It proved a considerable surprise when actor Nick Nolte was revealed to be the current incarnation of an Abomination, turning into a hideous feathered lizard-man with a beard of snakes on live television and announcing the end of the world. Several thousand viewers went insane, and hundreds of thousands were severely shaken and required in many cases psychiatric aid. Thank goodness for Cable TV’s fragmentation of the viewing audience!

Nolte has been spotted at many locations around the globe since, often riding a colossal flying serpent-thing with gaudy feathers and silly little hands and feet. Outbreaks of madness and hysteria usually follow these appearances, as well as rains of blood, plagues of boils and women giving birth to snakes and lizards. Efforts to shoot him down by the militaries of various nations have so far been ineffectual, since he apparently only appears in a largely non-material form, nearby explosions causing grotesque but temporary and apparently harmless swellings, shrinkages, and distortions. So far, Nolte has not been observed in unpopulated areas where atomic weapons might be employed, and tends to turn into a shimmering mist and simply disappear if followed by plane or helicopter.

Nolte will occasionally vomit up bloody, six-foot tapeworms as he flies by. These are material enough, apparently immortal (cutting them apart just leads to more tapeworms, and they do not seem to need to eat or breathe) and constantly murmur unspeakable horrors in what observers will claim to be a version of their own native language, sometimes in the voice of dead relatives. They should be closely confined, since if they get loose, they tend to try to crawl up the ass of sleeping people.

Nolte will also occasionally interrupt TV programming to make further pronouncements of doom. Experiencing this is often bad for ones sanity and always bad for morale, so viewers are encouraged to immediately mute the TV and close their eyes at the first glimpse of his scaly phiz. In case the mute does not working, fingers in ears and loud humming is recommended.

People have reported meeting an odd, bald man who engages them in rambling conversations after introducing himself. Nobody quite remembers what he talked about later, and other people claim not to have seen any such bald person. The one thing the witness will remember is the bald man’s name, which will be something Alan – Fred Alan, George Alan, Ted Alan, Bruce Alan, etc., and comparably everyday names in Arabic, Chinese, etc. However, over time, the witness will begin to grow uncertain as to the actual first name of Alan. Was it actually Fred? Or was it Bob? Or maybe Frank or Louie? Or Bill or Jim or Ed or Bernie or Steve?

The witness, now known as “the victim” will become increasing obsessed with remembering Alan’s first name, claiming it is “just on the tip of their tongue.” Before long work habits suffer, sleeplessness sets in, and grooming drops off. In cases where the name was written down during the early phase of seeming certainty, the victim will claim that the name is incorrect, and eventually that it is not their writing and that some sort of hoax is being pulled on them.

Eventually, after three months, the victim is essentially comatose, unable to say anything save slowly muttering “…Alan….Alan…Alan” and must be supported intravenously. So far the process has proven impossible to interrupt, and the only defense available has been an effort to educate people on the risk of bald, garrulous strangers: Something Alan does not appear to people who already know about him (or rather It). As of current date, there have been several thousand reported cases of Something Alan.

This uniquely annoying abomination was not identified as one of the Ancient Unspeakable Ones for some time, since It appears only in dreams and people were often reluctant to report such dreams and uncertain as to whether it was Abomination Action or just their own insecurities.

The victims report finding themselves sitting in front of a huge desk, behind which sits a massive shape somewhat resembling a one-eyed liver in a suit, who inspects a huge book open before it. They report feeling not so much terror as nervous tension, as if waiting for an annual assessment report from their boss. This grotesque will sigh sadly, shake it’s amorphous above-the-collar appendage, and begin to speak.

The being (whose name, Chok-Uthug’ul, is written in jagged lines on a shiny nameplate sitting on the desk) will then proceed to report on their lives. It will explain (usually) how badly they are doing, how little decent sex they are getting, how little money they are making, how few people they are impressing, the low resale value of our car, how tedious their conversation is, how shitty the food they eat is, and how they are currently very likely to die with very little improvement. Frequent comparisons are made with all the people who are doing better than the victim. At the end, with further grim head-equivalent-shaking, Chok-Uthug’ul will give the victim a score for their life so far, which is variously a number, a percentage, or a letter grade, and in a few cases a grade of alcohol (usually something quaffed by the most improverished and desolate of winos).

Victims are left deeply depressed, and often indulge in self-destructive drinking, drug use, etc. in efforts to make themselves feel better. Others engage in high-risk behavior in attempting to change their situation, in some cases attempting fraud, robbery or rape to improve their “score.” It is perhaps odd that with the world possibly coming to an end in spite of all our struggles people should be so concerned with this notion, but it is usually the case that contact with Abominations is counter-indicated for continued sanity.

A very few successful people have received favorable scores. They tend to become increasingly smug and self-satisfied, although this is usually not particularly noticeable.

The number of people visited by Chok-Uthug’ul now numbers in the millions.

The Weeper sits in the middle of Rio Habour, Brazil, and sobs and weeps and moans. It does this continuously, and it is loud enough to be audible pretty much all over the city. It also is, even sitting down, nearly half a mile tall. It has therefore been decided by the authorities to leave it alone, as long as it doesn’t do anything else. Possibly if the current flow of people out of the city reaches the point where a total evacuation is possible (and the world doesn’t end in the meantime), nuclear weapons might be tried.

The Weeper is black, slimly, multi-limbed, many eyed, and grossly corpulent. It arose from the water as a slow bubbling of gelatinous horror which eventually solidified into its current form six months ago. Since then it has never ceased to weep, and sob, and groan. It produces 450,000 cubic meters of tears per hour. Its tears are acidic and have killed all life in the bay, and smell of damp soil. The Weeper itself smells like onions, which is noticeable all over the city when the wind is right.

Tog-Aggoth (“Brian” to his friends) has been a minor notable for a while, as an inspired raconteur, a major donor to charity, and a man of unmeasured but immense private wealth, distributed in banks world-wide. It is only recently that he has come forward as Tog-Aggoth the Ageless, one of the Ancients whose coming was foretold, but not, he assures people, one of the bad guys. He claims to be, in spite of his agelessness and transcendence of the flow of time, quite human, and has provided proof in the form of hair and skin samples which indeed are quite normal in their genetics.

Toth-Aggoth is a tall, thin, bony man, standing some six foot five, with pale, finely wrinkled skin, snow-white hair, long-fingered, knob-knuckled hands, and very white and somewhat too widely spaced teeth. In spite of an appearance of old age, he is as energetic as and possesses senses apparently sharp as a man in his thirties. He claims to have no memory of being any different than he is now as far back as he can remember, which is four to five thousand years, or as far forward as he can remember (two to three thousand).

Currently Tog-Aggoth is doing TV spots and speaking appearances, demonstrating a glib and sophisticated speaking style and a mastery of (so far observed) fourteen different languages. He assures the public that in at least some futures humanity will survive, and indeed he will become the 87th president of the United States (a somewhat different political organization by that time) some two and a quarter centuries into those futures. (He self-deprecatingly jokes he’s getting a little early campaigning in).

When questioned as to how he could be elected as a US president when his birth was long before it came into existence, Tog-Aggoth notes that like the early presidents, he was “grandfathered in” by virtue of having been living in Virginia at the time of the declaration of independence.

Tog-Aggoth has been quite helpful with advice, has warned Abomination Control well in advance of various dangerous new threats, and made numerous suggestions as to how at least some of humanity may survive the ongoing Slow Catastrophe. He has also revealed a great deal of fascinating historical detail. However, many of his actual statements are somehow more disturbing than helpful, such as his noting that since he only inhabits histories he is comfortable with, if he disappears we can assume that we are one of the versions of ourselves that don’t survive. His evocation of innumerable histories is dizzying and crushing in its vastness, and implies choice is meaningless, since some version of our future selves must suffer through all possible outcomes. His lectures on the nature and history of some of the many horrors now battening on humanity can be downright soul-crushing, and some social scientists and philosophers wonder if the overall effect is more negative than positive.

Most of the future science he has shared is useless due to the “lack of tools to make the tools to make the tools” issue, and is any case usually impossible to prove right or wrong due to inability to create the necessary test conditions; some call him a fraud and a charlatan, although he has never been caught in a lie in cases where he can be tested. It is certainly the case that a good documentary record has been established tracing his previous existence back before the mid-18th century, although some remark on the fact that nobody noticed his abnormal lifespan before he made himself publically known. (The fact that he moved a lot may account for this).

Various efforts by Abomination Control to have Tog-Aggoth confined as a potential menace or rendered to an Abomination Control research center have failed. Being well-spoken and very rich offers a considerable degree of immunity, and in any event Tog-Aggoth has told AC agents that since he knows the futures, why should he choose to inhabit ones where we succeed in capturing him? (He also claims AC “sadly misapprehends him.” As usual, it is difficult to say whether this is meant to be reassuring or not).

Some members of the chattering classes speak of a Tog-Aggoth “cult” in reference to the increasingly large crowds follow him around in hopes of being “taken with him” if he disappears from this world. In fact, Abomination Control has records of at least 200actual cultic groups which seek hidden meaning in Tog-Aggoth’s speeches and lectures. At least as many other groups claim he is the Antichrist.

Togatha is Tog-Aggoth’s sister. She usually remains in his shadow, standing by but not speaking during his appearances, or staying at home in one of their three extensive mansions in New York, Paris and the Hamptons. She is known in the antiques business as a collector of odd and esoteric prehistoric artifacts. She does not give interviews, and when questioned by reporters her answers are short and to the point. They are, however, also often slightly odd, like answers to questions one might hear in a dream, and people often ponder her answers as if they were some sort of deep Buddhist Koan. Seemingly simple answers to standard questions have been known to later inexplicably cause dry heaves, uncontrollable sobbing, or hysterical laughter.

Togatha is almost as tall and even thinner than her brother, and is almost skeletal in build, although always elegantly dressed. Her too-wide smile and red nails are things of subtle horror, and often haunt the dreams of people who have been in close proximity to her.

Even Abomination Control was unaware until a couple months ago that Broadway producer, sports promoter, owner of the Eureka Octopi football team and talent scout Joe T. Namath was actually Joe Tog-Namath, brother to Tog-Aggoth and Togatha, the relationship being revealed during an appearance on the Today Show. Unlike his siblings, Tog-Namath is rather obese, if still pale and wrinkled. He is known for the most impressively obscene jokes, wildest parties, and most esoteric flop plays on Broadway, and apparently neither of his siblings thinks much of him, given their tendency, when questioned about him, to become evasive and noncommittal (in the case of Tog-Aggoth) and even more puzzlingly obscure than normal in the case of Togatha.

Tog-Namath swears ignorance of the future (he would have to, or be in danger of innumerable charges of game fixing) but proclaims his “bro” knows what he’s doing. In the meantime he suggests people try to enjoy themselves, buys drinks for everyone in the room, and drops hints about his newest oddball theatrical play, which he claims will be ready for Broadway “well before the world cracks open” and will “expand the heck out of people’s minds – if anyone bothers to show up, anyway!”

Some half of Tog-Namath’s plays are conventional, and at least break even: the other 50% he has produced are all odd, esoteric, mystical, and experimental productions he claims to make “for the balance, man” and which every few people seem to have actually seen, and for record of nothing but a few disjointed fragments of video exist. There are many odd stories about these plays, but the reports of disappearances, onstage deaths, angry apes attacking the audience, disappearing theatres and actors going insane have proven very hard to follow up on. Rumors of all sorts trail after “Joe’s” 50-year career off and on Broadway, and Abomination Control agents continue to struggle against the cloud of unknowing that seems to surround him. For instance, there are over 30 reported cases of illegitimate children fathered by Tog-Namath, but so far none have been found, although in several instances places where they lived and then moved from without forwarding address have been located, and while people who met them have been interviewed, few descriptions have added much to West Virginia resident Joe-bob Elvis Parker’s pithy “Sorta funny-lookin’. Somehows.”

Indrid has been reported as a tall woman of uncertain race and dark complexion, often wearing a turban and a coat. Her eyes are an icy grey, and people report feeling an intense chill when she walks by. She does not usually communicate with people, but walks at a brisk, near-running pace through the streets of cities over 45 degrees north as if with a definite destination, eventually vanishing down some side street or passageway. Within 24 hours, the city she has walked will be hit with a blizzard: as winter has advanced, these have steadily increased in strength and intensity, by now approaching “100 year storm” levels and paralyzing major cities for days.

Some people have been intrigued enough to follow after her and try to engage her in conversation. More aggressive and inopportune efforts often result in the pursuer dropping dead shortly of hypothermia, but some have managed to talk to her and get away with no more than a bad chill. She calls herself Indrid, she is in a great hurry, she in not interested in a date, she doesn’t have a phone, she must catch the wave at its peak or things will go very badly, and the storms will only get worse if stupid people continue to distract her. It is generally recommended that people should break off communication with her at this point.

A month ago in Toronto, she was intercepted by an Abomination Control team and when she refused to stop, was fired upon with portable missile launchers. It is unclear what happened next, but surviving team members - all suffering from severe frostbite – report an “explosion” of icy wind and snow radiating from a central point, as if an opening had been made into a “world of cold”. Those who failed to run (and then limp, and then crawl) away fast enough were frozen solid. Eventually the effect ended, leaving a mass of ice apparently cooled to close to absolute zero filling an area of around 9000 cubic meters, and freezing to death the inhabitants of the adjacent buildings. There followed a period of three days of extremely savage weather globally, after which Indrid Cold was spotted in Sapporo, and weather globally returned to normal, or what passes for such at present.

Currently, active operations against Indrid Cold have been suspended until more effective measures can be determined.

Mr. Smart-Tooth first came to the attention of Global Abomination Control when he began broadcasting (in French and Japanese) from somewhere under the Pacific Ocean. Initially believed to be some sort of crank rogue broadcast, it has since been determined to be coming from somewhere below 6,000 feet of water, although the location changes frequently and has never been narrowed down to an area of less than 10,000 square miles.

Mr. Smart-Tooth claims to be a super-intelligent shark, a “brain-shark with 100 brains”, and his broadcasts usually tend to be lengthy monologues about how he will destroy all mankind, all other Ancient and Unspeakable Ones, and make himself sole ruler of the world, and eventually, the cosmos. Most of his plans seem to do with mutated sea life and coral and sea-weed based technology, and tend to be incoherent and full of curious leaps in logic and non sequiturs. They are also often interrupted by sudden changes in topic, which Mr. Smart-Tooth blames on some of his brains occasionally Not Getting With the Game Plan.

Although initially worrysome, Mr. Smart-Tooth is generally categorized as one of the more “low-risk” Abominations, given the improbable nature and exceedingly shoddy construction of his plans. Although there have been a number of incidents related to his plans, such as the mass horseshoe crab attack on Coney Beach, the blockage of the Mumbai sewage system by giant seaweeds, the attack by shrimp-filled and propelled (and rather fragile) zombies on Manila, and the formation of a giant floating fortress of coral in the Atlantic (which has since beached itself in Namibia), most of his predicted coups have not come off, and of late Mr. Smart-Tooth’s broadcasts have become increasingly paranoid and incoherent, laced with accusations of some of his own brains plotting against him. Still, Abomination Control maintains a close lookout for all plans and plots boasted of in his speeches: if he ever does succeed in creating his army of flying Mega-jellyfish-sharks with Giant Sand-Flea parachuting commandoes, casualties could be heavy.

This rather unusual abomination has apparently only one purpose in life, which is to ring people’s doorbells and then run away. It is never seen approaching, indeed never approaches a doorbell that is being watched, so Abomination Control has had no success in setting traps, but it has been glimpsed running away, a spindly being covered with bristly dark green fur, with arms and legs disproportionately long in relation to its torso, very long, spidery fingers, and a rather small head that does not seem to have a face. It bounds away over the rooftops with great agility, and generally vanishes entirely after leaping high in the air.

Analysis is of course hampered by the fact many people get their doorbells rung by human hooligans, but it is fairly clear that Bing Bong has pestered many millions, requiring it to pretty much continually ring bells day and night, and indeed to simultaneously ring bells at several locations at the same time. In the vast majority of cases, each victim has been doorbell pranked only once, but some have been visited multiple times, and in the case of a few unfortunates, they were pestered almost hourly for days and weeks, finally having to either establish permanent guard services or disconnect their doorbells. It is unknown what causes Bing Bong to lavish extra attention on certain individuals.

Although Bing Bong has never been more than annoying, his actions have caused an unfortunate degree of doorbell vigilantism, and a number of people have found out that putting up signs saying “Danger! Do not press doorbell!” does not entirely legally exculpate them from possible consequences of running a lethal charge of electricity through their ringing mechanism.

The Century Toad, the supreme God of the Mole Men, is supposedly a giant toad the size of Texas which lives at the center of the Earth. Since the center of the Earth is super-pressurized iron at 7,000 Kelvin, this seems unlikely, but there _has_ been some odd seismic activity seemingly originating at the Earth’s core. Efforts to get the Mole Men to lead AC members through their secret tunnels to the supposed location of the Toad have so far fallen through, perhaps understandably since the point was to smuggle atomic backpack weapons to the Toad’s location.

The AC and other international agencies continue to research the Century Toad: since the Toad is supposed to split the Earth open after other cosmic disasters and Ancient and Unspeakable Ones destroy the surface, it is understandably a subject of some concern.

Found eating from a dumpster in Shanghai, the Human Centipede at first inspection appeared to be three human beings surgically attached head to ass, but after an attempt to separate them led to the deaths of the two individuals in the “tail”, it became clear something unusual was taking place. In both cases a secondary system of digestive tubing had developed to carry food from the stomach of the front body to those behind it, so actual coprophagia was not taking place, while new veins and arteries had developed to carry oxygen from the front to the back. The skin-covered eyes had become vestigial, and new connective tissue had grown over the linkages between bodies one and two and two and three. The “head” was largely incoherent, and unless held upright continued to crawl on all fours. The truly disturbing development took place after the “head” of the centipede had been held in confinement by Abomination Control East Asia for two weeks: one of its guards was found in its cell, naked, with his face firmly planted in the “head’s” ass. Skin had already begun to grow over the join.

The guard was successfully separated surgically, the more advanced transformations not having yet begun, with no damage save severe psychological trauma and a serious bacterial infection. When questioned, he claimed to have felt a tremendous compulsion to go into the cell and take a closer look at the “freak”: he claimed to have no memory of taking his clothes off. After a couple more incidents, the Chinese authorities decided to give the centipede what it wanted in the form of two condemned prisoners: the centipede is however apparently capable of further extension, since a member of staff soon tried to become number four. Currently the situation has been brought under control by rotating staff every three days and mandating a month-long interval between on-site duty: this is expensive in terms of personnel costs, but seems to be effective in keeping its influence from catching hold.

The “head” is increasingly uncommunicative, aside from occasional exclamations such as “please kill me” or “please let me die”, and mostly just makes odd clicking or buzzing sounds. Further changes have been noted, with the teeth falling out and being replaced by large fangs, and the former legs undergoing a modification of the joints to allow for more effective and speedy crawling. Some sort of stinger-like organ has begun to develop on the tongue.

On October 3rd, the Human Centipede began to lay eggs.

On September 11, the entire population of Scottsdale, Arizona over the age of 2 formed a Conga line and marched north. Moving in a slow and meandering fashion, they have so far only recently crossed the Canadian border. About 5% of the marchers, most very young or very old, have died en route, but their by now often badly decomposed bodies continue to walk. All are severely dehydrated and emaciated by this point, but less so than they should be naturally, even taking into account substantial efforts to feed and hydrate them as they walk. Marchers are glassy-eyed and uncommunicative, although they will eat or drink if it is brought to their mouths, and mutter endlessly in some sort of unknown language. The fingers of each marcher by this point have taken root in the flesh of the one in front of them.

Initial efforts to separate out marchers, by force and surgical methods, led to failure as the separated went into convulsions and died, while the line closed up and rejoined. (It is to be noted that all members of the line will express disapproval of such activity with inhuman screams, trying to bite, and administering surprisingly athletic side-kicks). Thanks to the use of ancient Egyptian anti-demonic herbal infusions obtained from Book of the Dead II: Die Harder, it has become possible to separate out marchers while keeping them alive, although they remain so far in a cataleptic state. Currently there is substantial debate as to whether to bring in all 202,154 living walkers to medical care (possibly impractical due to the limited supply of Tanna leaves) or to allow the march to continue so their ultimate destination can be determined.

This exceedingly gross entity has been reported in restrooms, outhouses, port-a-potties, etc. since early July. It is blood red, slimy, wrinkled, and hairless, and bounds about on a single centrally located leg. It has a very long, black tongue and skinny, delicate hands and arms. It appears to be an obligate corprophage, and is usually busy doing exactly what you would think. It is impossibly flexible and passes easily in and out of toilet pipes in the most alarming way. Shooting it is not recommended, since it does it no real harm and you really don’t want to deal with what squirts out. Currently the Unipede hasn’t killed anyone, although it has (literally) scared the shit out of a bunch of people (being licked in the ass unexpectedly can be rather disturbing to your peaceful restroom-goer). Currently the most problematic result has been a global increase in toilet-training problems, as little kids sense that their parents also fear the toilet (quite irrationally, in a statistical sense: the Unipede is nowhere near as ubiquitous as, say, Bing Bong). The Japanese call it an Akaname, but what do they know?

Dan and Rick were initially mistaken for more conventional bums, but as reports circulated across Europe of a pair of incredibly foul-smelling tramps which left an indelible stink behind them, it became clear they were something both more and less than bum.

They have been photographed, elderly but solid-looking, with tangled masses of grey-black hair matted with dirt, crumbs, and God knows what, faces almost black with grime and of uncertain racial background, fingernails with mold apparently growing on them, and filthy, ragged clothing which appears to be worn in multiple layers, of which the outermost is the least (if still very) offensive; bits of black, greasy “stuff” often drop down their pants legs or out from under their jackets, possibly the sloughing-off of the innermost layer: analysis continues under full biowarfare security protocols. They converse loudly and almost constantly, addressing eachother as “Dan” and “Rick”, which is about the only comprehensible part of their conversation, aside from their occasional demands for “spare change” in the local lingo: about half of their normal conversation consists of words from no known language, the other half of words randomly taken from at least a dozen languages. They often pull bottles from their innumerable pockets for a swig, or bits and scraps of food often in a noticeable state of decomposition.

What really sticks in people’s minds is their smell, which is incredibly foul and has stimulated a rich variety of simile and metaphor on the part of witnesses which have encountered them. Worse is the fact that if one touches them skin to blackened, greasy skin (say, when giving them change to GO AWAY), the smell will never entirely leave you, and although nobody else can smell it, it will be faintly present for as a yet indeterminate time: no victim so far has reported any improvement, and many have to be restrained after a while to avoid scrubbing their skin off. This is the result of peaceful encounters: thugs and punks which have offered physical violence to the stink brothers soon become as unbearably malodorous themselves, to everyone, and usually attempt suicide to escape from the odor within a couple days. Areas where the brothers stay for extended period soon become foul, and there are now many park benches, spots under highway overpasses, back alley rag heaps, etc. that have become (even more) unsuitable for human occupation.

Containment may be difficult. Corralled by German police using animal control tools to push them into a police truck without actually touching them, they broke out overnight from their cell, the outer wall crumbling into greenish-gray sludge and the cell becoming unbearably fetid, a smell which soon spread to the entire police station, rendering it uninhabitable. EC toxic waste regulations make it difficult to legally blow them to bits, a consideration which was rather strengthened by the Sebis incident, in which overenthusiastic local militias set them on fire with flamethrowers after riddling them with machine gun bullets: the two brothers burned very merrily, but continued walking onwards, setting much of the town ablaze and producing such vast volumes of poisonous black smoke as to force a general evacuation: the town was later written off as a total loss. Some theories hold that nuking them might simply spread their odor to the entire planetary atmosphere, so restraint is called for in future encounters. (Two “incredibly stinky” tramps, wearing fresh if already dirty rags and bald heads starting to grow in with oily-looking stubble, were later reported in Moldova).

Current plans involve high-pressure hoses and very large quantities of detergent and bleach.

The creature in question, first encountered on the outskirts of Aberdeen by Abomination Control operatives, is a shaggy humanoid some seven feet tall with some resemblance to both the ape and the wolf, with a mouth full of oversize fangs, a roughly six-inch overbite, and impressive eyebrows. It is normally accompanied by a chubby, stubby-limbed miniature of itself, some two feet tall. The creature possesses enough agility to leap across rooftops, superhuman strength enough to pick up and toss a compact car 20 feet, and remarkable regenerative abilities to the point of being able to continue to live with most of its torso blown to bits and pick up and reattach limbs shot off. It also shows a certain nauseous plasticity – not to mention, a disregard for the basic facts of relative physical dimensions - in the way is capable of impossibly enlarging its mouth to swallow people (and in one case, a cow) whole.

Fang-face is also often quite friendly, cheerful, and even chatty, and will only kill, kill and devour, or devour alive people who annoy it. (Fang-Face and Baby Fang-Face do not appear to have genitals). Admittedly, what exactly will annoy it is often unpredictable, and it has eaten people for shooting it, for screaming loudly and persistently, or just using obscene language in its presence. An unprovoked Baby Fang-Face would be downright darling if it did not occasionally bite fist-sized chunks out of people at random.

This does not apply in the case Fang-face sees itself a mirror, after which it will go into an animalistic, feral state in which the odds of being de-headed or disemboweled greatly increase. After a few minutes, Fang-face will return to normal, apparently with no consciousness of what has happened, and will often pick up a conversation where it left off, even if the person in question is now missing their head.

It was eventually determined that Fang-face and Baby Fang-Face only manifested themselves when moonlight was present (not a full Moon, anything above the thinnest sliver did it) and when the Moon set or the Sun rose, turned into a fairly normal human being and toddler, both of which upon intensive interrogation claimed ignorance of their alternate selves. Efforts to imprison them proved ultimately ineffective – even a mile of rock overhead failed to prevent the transformation once the Moon rose, and Fang-Face proved capable of gnawing through eighteen inches of steel vault door within three nights.

Later incidents demonstrated that Fang-Face and Baby Fang-Face were, rather than cursed humans, more in the way of a semi-gaseous, non-physical entity possessing and transforming humans and moving from one body to another upon death. Fortunately, their disembodied forms possess enough materiality to be contained, and since the sealing of their current hosts in twenty feet of solid concrete encapsulated in a foot of gas-tight sealant, no further Fang-Face incidents have been reported.

In spite of intensive and in some cases unconventional interrogation of all surviving participants in its creation, the relationship between Fang-Face and a 1970s cartoon remains obscure.

If you are alone or in a small group and hear a particularly loud and sudden sneeze, do not look up or around or into mirrors for the next 10 seconds; indeed, it best to close your eyes. Ignore any post-sneeze snufflings or scratchy noises, or if anyone else in your group disregards this warning, ignore the screaming. The Sneezer only exists briefly after its sneeze as long as it is not looked at: if looked at, it will persist until the last person to look at it is dead. The Sneezer will only appear in locations where nobody is looking at its point of appearance, so it does not appear in crowded locations. The Sneezer is not recorded save as a fuzzy blur by film or cameras. It will appear in enclosed locations and other locations it could not appear by normal means: forensic evidence from the crash site of India Airlines 221B indicates that it may have appeared behind the pilots in the cabin. Judging from recordings and ear-witness reports of victim’s screams, plus forensic examination of bodies, the Sneezer has fangs, claws and a truly disturbing tongue with something of a drill-like function: the stains it leaves behind indicate sliminess.

There is speculation that the sound the Sneezer makes as it appears is not actually a sneeze, but it certainly sounds like a sneeze.

No matter how loud and startling, do not react to the sneeze.

This particular Abomination is neither containable nor combatable, but fortunately seems of limited scope. As part of the Report the Odd, Live to See Tomorrow initiative, millions have reported hearing a keening song of despair in the hum of their refrigerator, most often when opening it for a midnight snack. In spite of initial skepticism, extensive testing and double-blind tests have confirmed that something is intermittently changing the sonic profile of most home refrigeration appliances, transforming a normally unnoticeable background noise into a song of utter, if tuneless, sorrow. The problem can often be solved by whaling on your refrigerator with a hammer until its acoustic properties have changed, although this does not guarantee that the sound will not return later, or that your refrigerator will continue to work. Simply avoiding it after 10 PM greatly reduces the chance of being depressed by your fridge: there are also the options of earplugs or moving the appliance into the garage, or at worst moving to a diet of dried or canned foodstuffs. It is strongly recommended that one avoid trying to “tough it out”, since this approach can lead to people sitting and sobbing for hours in front of an open refrigerator, and if nobody intervenes, to suicide, often by squeezing oneself into the fridge and closing the door.

Ghd’l is essentially a 90-foot long eel with human arms and the head of a wolf and a tendency to snatch people off the decks of small boats at night: otherwise there’s really not much to him, or it maybe. One might also note that Ghd’l smells like a cross between herring and wet dog, or that he/she/it sometimes can be heard howling in the night over the black Ocean, but such facts don’t really add much. So far, various efforts to harpoon or otherwise eliminate this mildly dangerous creature have proven unsuccessful: Ghd’l appears to be cunning and elusive, if not otherwise very interesting.

This entity mostly is known for its communications over the internet, in which it will, with a snarky and mean-spirited sense of humor, make snap judgments on people’s morals, ethics and intelligence based on their statements, internet pseudonyms, and occasionally web page design. What distinguished “Colin” (as it identifies itself) from regular internet trolls is that when Colin colorfully curses people which have particularly offended it (say by fighting back), for instance saying “weasels should chew off your nut-sack”, or “shrivel up and die” a manifestation of genital-hungry Mustelidae [1] or progressive irreversible dehydration will likely rapidly follow. Anyone attracting Colin’s attention on the internet should shut off the computer and avoid returning for a while to the site on which contact took place: misfortune apparently only takes place if the victim reads Colin’s responses. This had led to an unfortunate degree of cyber bullying by normal humans pretending to Colin; such disagreeable behavior has lately died down, though, possibly due to stronger new laws against impersonating an Ancient and Unspeakable and almost certainly due to the fact that Colin tends to track down those who impersonate It.

Predicting who will draw Colin’s wrath is difficult, since Colin’s judgments of people’s actual behavior and ethics tends to be less than 50% accurate and Colin appears to possess a largely blue and orange morality to begin with. It is to be noted that toadying to Colin is a poor strategy: in cases where Colin claims to like people, they end up with lumpy purple warts on their foreheads, “the mark of Colin.” Colin claims to be “a high lord master of the outer dimensions” and “master of the interwebz”, the latter being at least supported by the fact that password access seems no barrier to posting to whatever site It pleases.

Abomination Control has attempted to track down and eliminate Colin by tracing his computer logons, which usually take place in libraries or offices after closing hours, or through unattended home computers. So far Colin has managed to avoid capture or destruction, fleeing through unknown means. It has been glimpsed by janitors and security guards, which report seeing a white, bloated creature with something of both the toad and the ape, with protuberant yellow bulbs for eyes and a huge slobbering mouth. Keyboards are inevitably rendered sticky and gross.

[1] Some of Colin’s attacks, such as angry weasels, _can_ be defended against with proactive preparations (say, weasel-proof pants).

Jeffrey O’Connor of 212 Weston Park, Crouch End, London is often referred to as “the first to slither” by virtue of being the first reported worm or snake-like Abomination to appear. Jeffrey turned into a 30-foot worm or slug-like creature with a flattened and distorted but still recognizably human face halfway through the televised soccer game, and after eating the family dog, slithered out of the house, down the street, and squeezed his way into a storm drain. He later grew to the point where he got stuck in a sewer main and was immobilized (causing dozens of toilets to back up) and was dug up and extracted in pieces, which remain alive and are distributed between a dozen labs for study. Unfortunately, before that happened Jeffrey appears to have spawned, leading to the infestation of mini-Jeffreys that continues to plague London in spite of all extermination efforts. (That these creatures are Jeffrey’s offspring rather than a separate problem was confirmed by Jeffrey O’Connor’s mother in law, who stated “They’re definitely his. I’d recognize that vacant, cow-like expression anywhere.”)

It is uncertain (and hotly debated by his living relatives) whether John Kerry is actually an Ancient and Unspeakable one, but his mansion in Louisburg Square did collapse into a thousand-foot deep pit glowing with sickly blue flesh-rotting flame, and the dark passage at the bottom leading to deeper abysses does form the “mouth” of a huge stone carving of Kerry’s face. The sinking of some exploratory shafts indicates that the tunnel does not exist save when approached through the pit, which is something of a problem given that so far it has been impossible to get human personnel through the pit without lethal necrosis, and automated rovers are torn apart by glowing skeletons as soon as they enter the tunnel. Said skeletons are prevented from leaving the pit by US army artillery stationed around the rim, but this does not stop the pit from emitting a sulfurous yellow mist which has pretty much destroyed property values for the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Of late things have grown more ominous with the discovery of a Greater Boston Metro Area-wide rash of grave robberies, in which the bodies haven’t been dug up, but rather pulled further down into the earth. This has coincided with a rash of reports of bad dreams from all over the northeast coast, in which people report being visited by a partially skeletonized but still recognizable John Kerry, who tells them that he is the Real Deal and hope is on the way and promises a lifetime of service and terrible strength. The use of atomic weapons, along with the total evacuation of Boston, remains a real option.

The God of Block Island appeared rather abruptly some weeks ago and after destroying the ferry and making giant spiny black vines overrun the airport, has made itself the god-ruler of the small local population, which as a result of punishments, human sacrifices, and apparently cannibalism directed at “surplus”, has shrunk from over 1000 to about 300. Observations have been made from a distance by telescope: infiltration of the island has proven impossible, due to the God apparently being immediately aware when anyone new sets foot on the island, and also the manhole-cover sized crabs that lurk in wait right offshore to repel intruders and prevent escapes.

The population now apparently lives off fishing and strange fungi and blackberries which the God has made to sprout everywhere: there is some indication that fields are being prepared for growing some sort of crop in the spring, which would seem to indicate a confidence in the long-term survival of Block Island, and with it the Earth, oddly out of place in these rather apocalyptic times. A temple is being constructed from local rocks, grotesquely carved poles erected, and surprisingly dully nightly rituals carried out.

The God Itself is some thirty feet tall, with four heads, four arms, two torsos, and five legs, covered with mustard-colored mucus and howling incomprehensibly out of its gaping, fang-filled maws, although its subjects seem to get the message somehow. Missile strikes have proved somewhat ineffective, the God and pieces thereof simply sinking into the Block Island soil and arising fully regenerated within minutes, while usually some of the local hostages are killed in the process. This angers the God, and leads It to strike the shores of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Long Island with storms, rains of dead fish, swarms of stinging flies, unseasonable frosts, and icky mold. It is theorized that by unleashing enough firepower to sink Block Island beneath the sea, the God will lose its anchor point in this reality and will be banished, but since the God currently seems uninterested in expanding its rule beyond the island, so far such measures have not been sanctioned. And, according to observers with an interest in nature, the bird life is really flourishing under the rule of the God.

If it has a name of its own, it has never revealed it, so it has become known as “Jeeper Creeper” due to its similarity to the creature appearing in the movies “Jeepers Creepers” and “Jeepers Creepers 2”, (some survivors of its early attacks in fact referenced the movie). This bat-winged humanoid abomination is normally composed largely of decaying human tissue, which it replaces regularly with bits and pieces taken from human victims. It differs from the creature in Victor Salva’s amusing work in that it continued in its depredations well after the 23 day limit, and was occasionally chatty, with a tendency towards such unpleasant humor as prank-calling the Abomination Control home office.

Jeeper Creeper was subject to a nation-wide manhunt in the US after it ate Justin Long, star of “Jeepers Creepers”, as it explained later, “for shits and giggles.” It was finally cornered in San Angelo, Texas, where while trying to crawl away from a punishing firefight, it was immobilized by a valiant citizen driving on top of it with his Ford Canyonero. It currently is under Maximum Extra Super Security containment, with Its body, weak and largely skeletal after the human flesh was debrided, currently divided up between several lock boxes to minimize the effectiveness of any attacks. (The bits are all individually motile, but there’s only so much a single upper arm or foot can do. Personnel are warned to avoid direct flesh-bone contact, however, since they can sprout tiny gnawing teeth. The head’s fangs are kept in a box of their own).
Several attacks, presumably efforts to free Itself, have been carried out on Abomination Control security locations by bone and flesh constructs apparently under Jeeper Creeper’s control, varying from flying bone daggers to many-limbed horrors made of a great many human bones and scraps of flesh cleverly stitched together: so far, none of these attempts have succeeded.

A continuing problem is locating the bodies of the many victims: a few Creeper “nests” have been found, decorated with elaborately cut and stitched remains of dozens of individual victims, but this appears to be only a fraction of the total. Jeeper’s head is currently uncommunicative, due to lacking a tongue (It isn’t allowed one since it somehow converted the last one into a bunch of little tentacles used in an escape attempt).

Closely resembling the long-dead famed designers in architecture, furniture, etc., this inhuman pair can be distinguished by their almost entirely black, white, and grayscale coloration, and the fact that they never blink. Their extreme anomaly is usually not noticed, however, at the time, save by those who have trained themselves to notice the Unthinkable: at the time, most people are aware of their being oddly “pale” and bloodless”, but only afterwards become aware that there was no actual color to their faces at all. People are warned to not let them into their house no matter how persuasive they may seem, and to never read their “minimalist manifesto.” Their presence in a house, even briefly, can lead to creeping “Minimalization” in which ornament, extra furnishings, homey disorder, comfortable furniture, etc. all slowly vanish as the home becomes a shining futuristic space with an excess of solidly colored geometric objects best inhabited by boring robots, and causing no end of existential terror to its inhabitants. In severe cases a house may become a thing of pure geometry and color, with spatial properties not conducive to human sanity. A severely infected structure should be burned, or if no longer burnable by earthly flame, crushed and then contained in concrete, because it will eventually start to infect nearby structures, cars, children’s playgrounds, etc.

Much worse can occur if one actually reads their Manifesto: what happens to a human being who becomes Minimalized is not pretty. “A pale, shining thing” – “a form made entirely of angles” – “a mere sketch of a human being” – “a man-shaped hole in the world” – too close a contemplation of the results can be a serious cognitive hazard. Currently victims are confined to isolated care units and cared for by staff with specially designed goggles, although increasing difficulty in communication between them and the staff and increasing Minimalization of their living quarters has led to proposals of their confinement under high-security conditions.

The duo have been quite active, popping up in locations around the globe wherever housing is more sophisticated than the grass shack, and spreading their ideas by pamphlet and internet posting in spite of all efforts to censor such information. They have also apparently taken part in the production of a movie, which was fortunately seized before it could be distributed, and have apparently helped inspire some new furniture designs which cause back pain and mental dissociation. Current standing orders are “destroy on sight”, but they have proven annoyingly resilient to violence. Bullets seem to pass right through them: high explosives are more effectual, but they simply seem to shatter into innumerable tiny geometric black and white forms which then fly away in all directions. Currently an effort is being made to weaponize the Black Staff of Eibon in an effort to banish them, but the high dissolution rate of test users has been so far discouraging.

That it is called Ukdl can be determined from a brief passage in Von Addams große Buch der das Unaussprechliche, and that it is triple jointed can be determined from the fact that it’s immensely long and thin arm can be seen to have three joints as it emerges from the sea or low-lying clouds or openings in the Earth, extending itself as much as several hundred meters to grab a handful of people (or sheep, or cows: Ukdl is not picky) and drags them back to an unknown but probably mastication-centered fate. So far it’s sporadic and globe-wide appearances, and the apparent lack of a physical presence during other times, have prevented a hookup with local national or AC military assets, much to popular frustration. Efforts to locate Ukdl with the aid of psychics were temporarily suspended when one high-level asset was lost when Ukdl’s arm came out of a walk-in closet and grabbed her, but a new initiative is underway, somewhat hampered by the fact that actual psychics are very hard to fool into believing that the backpack nukes are actually “telepathic enhancement devices.”

First reported by tourists looking into the water (those of them which eventually stopped screaming), the Terror is an embarrassment to the US government, which finds itself unable to eliminate an Abomination situated right in the capital. (Admittedly the whole US government has been evacuated to a safer location high in the Colorado plateau, but it’s the principle of the thing). Descriptions of the Terror are somewhat unclear, but apparently it has a great many eyes, mouths, and tentacles, and the tentacles have suckers which are sometimes mouths and sometimes eyes and sometimes the screaming faces of dead people. So far the Terror seems uninterested or unable to leave the pool, and its tentacles have a reach of only about 150 feet, tops, making it a fairly low-level threat aside from the terror thing.

The pool is now apparently bottomless, briny and quite impossible to drain: the use of depth charges having proven ineffective, the government has erected a 20 meter steel chain fence covered with opaque tarps just outside of tentacle range and largely tries to ignore the issue. A system of closed circuit cameras focused on the fence, not the pool, and automated guns allows for the destruction of the occasional horrible, unearthly sea-thing which crawl or flops out of the pool, and heavy artillery and missiles are aimed at the area in case the Terror ever decides to leave the pool. Overflights are forbidden since a commercial flight passed close enough for some passengers to see something which sent them into fits (one of them tried to escape through the exit door while the plane was still in the air.) Visits to the Lincoln Memorial, which sits just beyond the fence line, are down and there have been some suggestions of moving the building. Of late, perhaps due to the Terror attempting to amuse Itself, thousand foot high black waterspouts, creepily alive-looking, have been forming over the pool and then collapsing, drenching the immediate neighborhood with smelly seawater.

Formerly known as “Wikipedia”, this entity appears to have gained malign consciousness early in September, when people began to report Wikipedia articles had somehow become much more convincing. This was merely annoying in the case of people who now believed in the existence of previously unknown or nonexistent countries, living entities, and historical events, but was very bad in the case of articles describing the hideous fates awaiting all humanity and the need for worship and human sacrifice and self-mutilation. Other articles, describing hideous ritual magic and ways to tear holes in the fabric of space-time, were potentially even more dangerous.

Millions were negatively impacted to a greater or lesser extent before measures could be taken. Attempts to shut down Wikipedia, including the destruction of physical servers, proved futile, and given the universal accessibility and cognitive threat of the entity, things might have gone much worse for humanity, if not for the fact that the Hive Mind remains bound by the fundamental characteristics of Wikipedia, most notably it’s editable nature. Therefore, the threat is maintained within tolerable levels by constant edit wars, which take a serious toll on the editors, since it is difficult to edit without reading what you are editing, and your average editor only last two weeks before succumbing to some form of memetic contagion and becomes suicidal, mad, or a Cultist (the last two being nonexclusive categories).

Abomination Control urges the public to avoid using Wikipedia at all, but if one must look something up for your term paper or must know the name of that girl who starred in that movie, stick to relevant articles, do not click on any suggested links no matter how interesting they may seem, and never, ever, click on “random article.”

On the positive side, articles on countries either strongly nationalistic or inspiring strong such feelings in other countries, aside from alarming prehistoric digressions, are now entirely accurate and bias free.
Ancient and Unspeakable Ones
For your amusement, or perhaps annoyance, more eldritch abominations than you can shake a stick at. 


Bruce Munro
United States
Current Residence: Where the rabbit shoulda made a turn
Hmm. No comments on the new map. Is it a dull map? Am I no longer "hot" on Deviantart? :) Or have I simply produced a map so densely annotated that there simply are no questions to be asked? 

Edit - so it is I simply produced a map so densely annotated that there simply are no questions to be asked 

Guess I shall have to make my maps more obscure in the future! :D

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CyberPhoenix001 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey Bruce!

I was just cruising the ASB Settings thread looking for something, when I noticed that last year you replied to a suggestion of mine, but somehow I missed it. Anyway, I just thought I'd answer it for you here and now:

"What is Aetheric Mechanics?"

Aetheric Mechanics is a graphic novella set in an alternate steampunk 1907, in which two-way video communication, reactionless drives and combat mecha have all been invented. The British Empire (which also has colonised other planets) is currently at war with Ruritania, which has recently annexed Grand Fenwick and is preparing for an invasion of Britain itself.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner 1 day ago
"Today Grand Fenwick, tomorrow the world?" :D

Does it give any details on what the planets are like or the alt-borders of Europe? 
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015
Please poast your GLORIOUS cover of my two maps on here. It is gold.

Also the posleen one since that's also VIP quality.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015
I will certainly put up the cover, although I am a bit nervous about the Posleen one, lest the author cottons to it and gets bitchy about my modifications. But then I understand Ringo is generally a lot nicer guy on the internet than Cartman. 
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015
Fair enough. I've got Ringo as a FB friend on one of my accounts and he doesn't seem like someone who'd probably go off on someone for that. Kratman's never gone after me for doing a rather uh CYNICAL take on his "a state of disobediance book", so the risk is probably not there. He's also never gone after you for doing "Caliphate".
CyberPhoenix001 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are you going to put up your LotA map here?
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015
See my response to Otto.
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
Please repost your les mortes d'arthur map on here too. It was great.
CyberPhoenix001 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How's V for Vendetta coming along?
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015
A bit busy with some commissions, but about 70% of the writeup is done. 
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