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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.

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

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Cyrus the not-so-great by QuantumBranching
Cyrus the not-so-great
OK, a commission for Occam over at alternatehistory.com.

This is a world where the early Persian empire failed to gel, the Phoenician homeland remained an independent state much longer, and no single vast empire on the scale of the Roman one arose to unify all of the lands bordering the Mediterranean.

Not that there haven’t been empires: Carthage, the child of Sidon and Tyre, at one point would rule from the Pyrenees to the Taurus, while the Greeks at one time or another ruled west to Italy and southern Gaul (directly and indirectly), east to the borders of the Iranian plateau, south to Nubia and north to the Carpathians: Egyptian rule over the Levant flowed back and forth in a centuries-long metronome, and would eventually make Nubia a permanent part of its realm, although the conquest of the Ethiopian highlands would eventually prove a bridge too far.

Other Empires would arise: the short-lived Gallic Empire, wrecked by a series of dominoes starting north of China: the Yue-Chi hordes, and later Steppe incursions: the great medieval Slavic empire, of which the later Syldavian empire would be only an echo: the temporary but brilliant Axumite empire in SE Island Asia and south India. And of course the great Empires of the orient, little known around the Middle Sea save by fabulous echo.

The desert Arabs once managed to unify under a charismatic leader and conquered the entire peninsula south of Greek Anatolia, even briefly taking Egypt, but without the glue of a unifying messianic religion, the whole affair fell apart in a century.

The Mediterranean tide of conquest would not reach as far north in the west OTL sans the Romans, and little further in the Balkans: the northern two-thirds of Gaul and the upper Danube lands would never see Greek or Punic conquerors, and the same for the *British Isles, although Punic and Greek traders would be doing good business north of Gaul from early on. (And during this world’s drawn-out industrial revolution, the Albans (British) would sell a crapload of coal to the more technically advanced but industrial resources-poor Mediterranean states). Northern Europe would still be heavily influenced culturally by the Mediterranean cultures, with the Scandinavian peoples and northern Germans being mostly unaffected the longest. Egypt, further from Europe, would be most influential in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. 

The Americas would be discovered, and colonies would be established by Celts and Kelts and Germanics and Greeks and Phoenician/Punic peoples from Carthage, Tarteshim, and Ocradem. [1] It would be an earlier-starting, more tentative and shipwreck-prone colonization than OTLs: several native and “mixed” states still exist in the modern world. Greeks would drive Punics out of *Brazil, and Egyptians would end up in Australia, mostly because nobody else wanted the place. 

Democracy, long replaced by kings and emperors in the Greek world, would undergo an intellectual revival, and by modern times the Punic realms would typically be run as semi-democratic, oligarchic societies headed by a Suffette elected from the great and wise, or at least rich. Greece would have its own sort of democracy, a federation of republics looser than OTL’s US but tighter than the EC, with the powerful military being somewhat worrisomely the strongest unifying element. Egypt, on the other hand, stuck to tried and true dictatorship, albeit of a form that would have puzzled the heck out of Ramses the Great. 

The “Punics” of Phoenician cultural descent are the most geographically and politically (being a close alliance of five states rather than a centralized/semi-centralized state) diverse of the “Middle Sea Three” and also the culturally most varied, including in different states Celtiberian, Greek, west African, north African/Numidian/aka Berber, native American and Middle East Potluck elements. The fact that they remain an alliance at all amazes the racially homogenous (or so they like to think) Greeks, who historically have had trouble enough sticking together in _spite_ of their similarities. 

The Olympics were ended a millennium ago by a centralizing Greek dictator who thought they excessively encouraged “regional differences” and “localized identities.” There are occasional discussions of reviving them, within the Greek Ocumeme: nobody else sees the point in participating in a Greek Thing.

Technology is generally on a 1930s level, with a current obsession with fast planes and cars and the Greek version of “Popular Mechanics.” Atomic weapons remain distant, some odd ideas on atomic structure having temporarily sent research off into blind alleys, but some doctor in Kemet (Egypt) recently made a successful head transplant (well, successful aside from the paralysis. But it’s preferable to ass cancer). 

Zoroaster’s followers never made it big, never having had a stage on the scale of the Persian empire to operate on, and Judiasm has dwindled to the scale of Parsis OTL. Monotheism’s only powerful bastion is the south Chinese “Temple State”, while Buddhism and Hinduism have spread wider. A “murdered God who arises to save” religion is predominant in the Egyptian sphere and parts of Africa, but comes with a whole flock of other deities, and vague sorts of spiritualism, theism, pantheism, and what might be described as Chinese-type “formalistic religion” are wide-spread. (The Scandinavian states, which carried out human sacrifice to the One-Eyed Hunter of Men until relatively recently, have become almost aggressively atheistic as part of their general drive to become a modern people rather than those “northern barbarians” most southern people dismiss them as). The generally tolerant religious outlook means that there is an easier exchange of ideas, trade and people between east and west and north and south, and those living around the Middle Sea generally think of there being concentric circles of civilization, with themselves of course at the core, but the sweep of lands from the Atlas Sea [2] to the borders of the Bholgar realm and south to the Sahel and Axum are generally considered at least a semi-civilized world (how far this extends to the east is debated, with India sometimes included but less so lately with the rise of Crusading Hinduism: the place of the Bholgar Khanate is hotly disputed. East Asia is Backward If Artistic Despotisms, and the Hesperides are all sorts of things).

Arguments about the Bholgars have become rather relevant again recently with the conclusion of the bloody Syldavian Conflict, in which the Marcomagnian and Bholgar effort to pick up the pieces of the collapsing Slavic empire led to such an upset in balance-of-power that a sizable coalition of powers was formed to make them cough up their gains. Neither of the losing powers has been occupied outright, but enough of Marcomagne has been occupied to keep them peaceful: giant Bholgaria, not so much, and imposing “civilized rules” on them seems like it’s going to be difficult. (At least the much more multiethnic and puppet-dependent nature of the Bholgar empire has had the beneficial effect of a lot of states breaking away sapping its strength.)
An attempt is being made to create a multinational security apparatus: it’s a Middle-Sea centered thing given the somewhat less global nature of this world’s “colonial expansion” and the general lack of participation in the conflict of most Hesperidian powers (the United Triarchies of the Hesperides has returned to isolationism in a huff post-war [3]). At present there is more rules-lawyering than actual progress, and to the east, new threats may be arising…


[1] A tribute to Tormsen’s fine Ocrit TL. May he one day have the (paid) leisure to return to AH!

[2] The word “Ocean” here is reserved for the whole planetary union of salty waters.

[3] Partly over the carping over their slave-holding habits. In fact a lot of countries have what we would term slavery of sorts – enslavement for crimes, debt-slavery, partial citizenship – but the Hesperidian model of hereditary life slavery with little chance of freedom and pure commodification of people is considered excessively harsh, regressive and just plain gross.
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2026. The war is over…for now.

Most people don’t add that qualifier. The rift is closed, no more Kaiju are emerging: they do not wish to believe that it could start again.
The very few scientists who have Drifted with a Kaiju brain and survived sane and relatively non-brain damaged say the enemy had come before: they are either ignored, disbelieved, or dismissed with the fact that last time was supposedly 60 million years ago: what do we care if they invade again in the year 60,002,026?

The one scientist who claims to have perceived that the Kaiju Masters or Precursors (as they are variously known) had not so much waited 60 million years as chosen another spot on the four-dimensional sphere of our space-time to make a new breach is ignored real hard.

This rather unproductive attitude is rather worrying to the remaining members of the Pan Pacific Defense Force, who are pushing for the creation of a new generation of bigger, better, stronger railgun gun-totin’, plasma-snortin’ Jaegers. Governments, feeling that the war has been won, fail to see why probably trillions of dollars should be spent on the vague chance the enemy might return when the global economy is still deep in the doldrums.

These are, after all, the products of the same political system that came up with the “big wall” method of dealing with Kaiju.

People are currently far too interested (and outraged) about the Life Wall debacle to pay much attention to such disputes, now that details are coming out and people are talking. The most lively and controversial of stories is that the wall was never actually expected to work: it was (at least in the case of the US and Russia) merely meant to be a distraction from the government’s real plan: the abandonment of respectively the west coast states of North America and eastern Siberia, and the conversion of those areas into radioactive “death zones” where Kaiju would be immediately nuked on arrival, plumes of deadly carcinogens be damned.

A number of leaked documents have emerged which do seem to support the notion the US government had been examining such a notion: the administration hotly denies this was an actual plan, rather a theoretical worst-case exercise. After all, had the US not been making war plans for a theoretical invasion of Canada as late as the 1930s?

And in any event (the government went on) the US wall had never been tested: it had been built much stronger than the shoddy Australian wall, which hadn’t even had most of the planned railguns in place at the time of the attack (to which the Australians reply that the US wall is nowhere near as nice as the US claims it is, and in any event they could have made the wall a lot stronger if the Global Kaiju Fund had allocated resources to Australia with a better grasp of the length of their coastline…)

And how on earth were they supposed to predict flying Kaiju, anyway? (Well, OK, there was that one scientist, but she was raving mad after breaking contact with the Kaiju brain: she had spoken of bat-winged Kaiju circling overhead, but also of giant fanged lemons rising out of the earth).

Avraham Falk met with Jasper Schoenfeld in July of 2014.

Given how expensive it would be to pull them down, the walls stay up, for now. The Chinese are talking about using their walls as a framework to build new housing on, or maybe extending them a bit to act as a barrier to global-warming related sea rise. (The Talking Head crowds are finally back to arguing about it - dealing with global warming was on the back burner a bit during the war years, while the global economic crisis – particularly its impacts on China – had reduced growth in CO2 emissions better than any international conferences so far).

A few partially completed Jaegers remained in existence when the money dried up: a couple of these have been commandeered by national governments hoping to extract their ultimate secrets, much to the annoyance of the UN and other nations. In secret, there have been some talks within the Pan Pacific Defense Forces as to whether they should help them out: even an international Jaeger arms race would be an improvement over no Jaegers if the enemy returns.

The Pan Pacific Defense Force is currently suffering from something of a crisis of identity, as it tries to find alternate employment now that the main reason for its existence is (hopefully) gone. They don’t want to be disbanded in case the worst comes to the worst and the Kaiju come back, but they are a bit dubious about the ongoing push to make it into a sort of official military for the joint protection of the Pacific Rim nations. 1. A lot of its membership was in various giant-robot support positions not really applicable to most regular military jobs, and 2. Many more dislike the notion of maybe someday turning their skills against non-Rim human beings rather than monsters.

With no more Kaiju to harvest, a competition between various groups for Kaiju parts is setting in, with scientists and universities calling for an end to all “non-scientific” use of Kaiju bodies so that the maximum of research materials can be preserved. They are hampered by a lack of funds for obtaining, storing, and preserving Kaiju bits and pieces, though: with the end of the war funding has been cut sharply, although nowadays researchers at least don’t have to deal with continual pressure to come up with ways of killing Kaiju. Quite a load of stuff already sits in storage to be looked at “later”, and many institutions are under pressure to get rid of tons and tons of Kaiju remains that are not actively being studied rather than spending loads of money on the careful storage of what is still essentially toxic waste – this isn’t the British museum’s fossil sea-shell collection. Many museums of course will be keeping their Kaiju displays – Kaiju skulls, bones, claws, etc. make for popular if often outsized displays. (Many serious-minded researchers of stuff other than Kaiju grumble about how the Kaiju area steals space from their projects.)

Snark between nations is on the rise, as grievances largely hushed up during the Kaiju War reemerge. Particularly bitter are disagreements over the Kaiju fund: in principle, all nations would spend “according to their ability” for the common good, all mankind allied to stop the Kaiju menace. In practice, while those nations both technically advanced and sitting on the rim of the Pacific went to a full-time war economy during the decade of the Kaiju War, advanced nations further away, Europeans in particular, certainly applied themselves to the war effort, but did not press their economies till the rivets squeaked. Nor did they suffer the occasional devastation that the Pacific Rim nations did, the massive disruptions from tens of millions of people moving inland, the various wacky political/religious/general crackpot movements that plagued the Rim nations. (Well, mostly. Such things did happen in Europe – just at a rather lower intensity level).

Some nations, it is widely claimed, gained more in economic assistance (to expand their weapons-building capacity) then they actually spend on the war (Belgium in particular has been the target of accusations). Third-world countries with no capacity to build equipment or useful war materials often contributed very little. And some countries either couldn’t contribute or wouldn’t (most notoriously North Korea: many see a proof of the nonexistence of God in that of the nearly 50 Kaiju that launched attacks around the Pacific, not one came ashore in North Korea. )

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and the US sees a rather clear proof of the unbalanced nature of the war effort in that the US, which spent more on the war than any other nation, is now in an economic state not seen since the depths of the first Great Depression, with massive unemployment, millions of refugees living in often squalid conditions and huge debts both external and internal. Meanwhile, France and Germany, in spite of rationing and high taxes, are managing slow but steady growth (having picked up a few lessons from the 2008-2013 economic slump).

Avraham Falk’s ancestors had tried to stop a genocide before, but their materials were not strong enough.

United by their struggle, the leading nations of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps (founded October, 2014) – China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, Mexico - have remained something of a block: smaller nations unable to afford or field their own Jaegers and forced to be dependent on Jaegers provided to them by wealthier nations (all of Central America had to share one Jaeger, with US-provided pilots, for defense) feel they are looked down on and are more ambivalent about the future of the so-called “Pacific rim community”. The Koreans and Chinese and Japanese still don’t really like eachother, but all recognize that economic recovery will depend on the continued close economic unity established during the war years (economic integration of the Pacific area had already been under way by 2013, but the crisis had substantially accelerated the process).

Of course, in the US the Usual Suspects are already grousing about the Internationalist Menace and threats to National Sovereignty. Still, the “Rimmers” (as some wags call them) generally feel they should stick together, and share a sense of aggravation towards those who did not sacrifice to the extent they did, Middle Easterners and Europeans in particular.

(The Arab oil countries contributed a lot of money towards the war effort, but little else came out of that part of the world, save for a lot of talk about the Kaiju being a punishment of God on the infidels – presumably the attacks on Indonesia were accidental friendly fire).

(This is really more perception than reality - most Middle Easterners knew damn well the Rim nations were fighting to save everyone's asses)

The Japanese are the one nation actually actively preparing for the possibility of a reopening of the Rift. They are continuing to extend and strengthen, slowly, their walls, building more and more underground, and slowly expanding their arsenal of hypervelocity projectile throwers and are working (in cooperation with the Canadians) on something called a “fusion torch.” They have been nuked twice, Kaiju-ravaged three times, and they intend to be ready for it if any further shit comes down the pipe.

Russia is a bit of an odd man out – with few major cities in the east, it was never as immediately threatened as the US, much less Japan and China. With close economic ties to Europe, and certain grudges towards the Chinese (as Russians put a few thousand miles between themselves and the Pacific, Russia east of lake Baikal has become Chinese-plurality, and there is a pervasive fear among Russians that China may try to regain its pre-1858 borders), Russia is not really interested in a closer Pacific Rim alliance. Russia is also considered the biggest suspect in diverting money from the war budget to economic investment – although still poor, it’s not worse off than it was before the Kaiju war costs really ramped up – to which Russians indignantly point out the high-quality Jaegers they built, which reputedly incorporate Cold War cybernetic design by some of the Soviet Union’s most brilliantly nutty scientists.

Europe is annoyed and a little frightened by the noise that is coming from the Pacific Rim nations. They spent plenty on the war (Britain, always trying to show its loyalty to Uncle Sam, ended up spending themselves almost as deep into a financial hole as the US) and are often angrily defensive. Germany, the birthplace of Schoenfeld and one of the biggest Jaeger-component manufacturers in the world, is particularly put out. (Given that both Schoenfeld and Gottlieb were German-born, even though Schoenfeld’s parents moved to America when he was eleven, some Germans occasionally note that this time around, two Germans saved the world).

Europe has been drawn somewhat closer by the conflict, the global economic crisis and the move of most industrial nations to a wartime economy leading to the creation of genuinely _effective_ pan-European economic institutions, although the Greeks still dropped out when they realized the global economy was so shot that leaving the Euro wouldn’t make things _worse_. (They have since cozied up with the Russians). Some politicians are talking of a “Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok” again, Europe partnered with a Russia detached from the Pacific Rim as a counterbalance against some sort of Sino-American “Co-Dominion.” In case Kaiju started roaming further abroad and the Jaegers failed to stop them, the UK and France have greatly enlarged their nuclear arsenals: there is no great rush to shrink them again. Research continues into why Jaegers undergoing final assembly by Pan Pacific Defense Force techs moved the way they do while the best experimental designs by European teams move like 90 year old arthritic grannies.

India, whose monetary and technological contributions to the war were by necessity fairly modest – only one (mostly) all-Indian Jaeger was built during the war, and it went down like a chump to the first Class IV it met – feels a bit put out that nobody seems to want them in their club. They’re keeping a close eye on Pakistan, which has managed to totter on for another decade somehow, but isn’t looking healthy at all.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, has managed to return to a degree of stability after a period in which the Taliban once again took over quite a bit of the country (the allied forces had gone home) – the present “president-protector for life” is a psychopathic bastard, but he’s his own man with no foreign ties, which, combined with atrocities against Taliban supporters and corrupt local thugs that would whiten Ivan the Terrible’s hair, has mostly reconciled the population to his rule.

Latin America is doing OK, given the world situation. Brazil is celebrating the end of the war with the most extravagant Fiesta in a decade, Argentina finds to its surprise that their economy is currently doing better than that of the US, and people are noticing that Cuba stopped being Communist sometime while people weren’t watching.

Some nations had population movements during the Kaiju wars, others did not. In spite of the period of successful Kaiju smashing, the US west coast states dropped in population by nearly 40%, with the shrinkage of Russian populations in eastern Siberia being even greater. Small and crowded island nations like Japan and Indonesia had no distant “Inland” to move to, so generally stayed tight, although quite a few Japanese relocated from the east to the west coast. (And the Filipinos had to move Manila). The importance both economic and agricultural of the coastal lowlands to China was such that the government put in place harsh new pass laws designed to prevent anyone from changing their place of residence without government permission. (Many moved in spite of this). Australians were distinctly short on places to move to, and short of money to build infrastructure in the desert. A lot of Peruvians moved to the mountains - Kaiju do not make good mountain climbers. Not due to lack of strength to pull themselves up, but due to the tendency of slopes to collapse under their weight. There were smaller-scale movements away from the seacoast worldwide, as people worried the Kaiju might change their behavior and swim out into the Indian or Atlantic oceans. (The cruise line industry was badly impacted even in the Mediterranean, and pretty much went extinct in the Pacific).

Their general helplessness during the Kaiju war having brought some shame to Arab leaders, the more democratic Arab nations, from Algeria to South Syria, have joined together to form a closer economic/political union in hopes of invigorating their impoverished economies and strengthening their international position. The new Arab Confederacy’s most recent members are the Islamic Republic of Palestine (Gaza) and the Republic of Palestine (West Bank, or more precisely the amount of it the Israelis hadn’t put behind a wall.) Israel has not been happy with this, but with economic aid from a troubled US sharply cut back, it has had its own problems, and having dumped rump West Bank and Gaza and walled them off, really has no business (say the Arabs) criticizing what happens to them. In any event, they have more to worry about nuclear-armed Iran - just in case any Kaiju make it west of SE Asia, they claim - and the new Islamicist government of Saudi Arabia, which is currently sinking into bloody scapegoat purging over their failure to provide either the jobs or the raised living standards the people (aside from the one-issue more-fundamentalists) initially revolted for (for one thing, it’s hard to raise oil prices in the midst of a global depression).

The global economic slump brought on by the Kaiju war combined with sharp cutbacks to foreign aid and investment in countries not actively contributing to the War plowed under many of the hopeful economic shoots that took hold in Africa in the 2000s. There are some hints of recovery, but Africa has generally suffered (another) lost decade, and there have been a fresh wave of coups and democracy failures, while less money to spend on healthcare has led to more deaths from AIDS.

Politics world-wide has taken a turn towards authoritarianism and economic dirigisme, with the market being somewhat unreliable in the midst of a war of uncertain outcome with giant monsters: the right wing is now calling for the reversal of many war-time measures, such as the government takeover of much of the US banking system (trying to leverage things so to maximize profits from the market effect of the next Kaiju attack was really the last straw) or the pan-European financial and government banking system put in place in a last-ditch method to prevent the Euro system from collapsing entirely.

Turkey has had a civil war, Russia absorbed Belarus when nobody was looking, and impoverished Pacific Islanders are trying to get the tourists to come back. Islamic terrorism is down, most unemployed young Muslim men feeling that if these are the End Times, blowing up American airliners is probably missing the point: the US has already pulled out of the Middle East, and what good has come of it?

Clay was not strong enough.

Religion is up, although the strange nature of the threat – and the response – has meant that oddball cults and religious offshoots have generally benefitted more than mainstream denomination. The Church of Scientology has undergone a violent schism due to disputes over the significance of the Kaiju and their relationship to Xenu. The Catholic Church is still undergoing mental gymnastics to find a way to fit the Precursors into doctrine, while many Protestant congregations continue to insist that the Apocalypse is still coming and the Kaiju were merely Signs and Portents. On the other hand, the population of pure atheists has also grown at the expense of the Fuzzy Center, and the Lovecraft-inspired Church of Cosmic Terror is doing surprisingly well for recruits.

In spite of all the international bickering and finger-pointing, and the generally rubble-strewn economic situation, there are hopeful signs for 2027 and beyond. There is the simple joy and relief that the war is finally over (ignoring those scientific nay-saying negative nellies) and that being trampled by monsters is on nobody’s insurance plan. Then there are the substantial technological advances of the last decade plus, including functional fusion power, a whole raft of super-strong new synthetic materials, great advances in robotics and cybernetics (the Bionic Man/Woman has arrived, although medical insurers generally won’t pay for limbs much stronger than the normal human being), power transmission, chemical synthesis and plasma garbage disposal. It’s a Brave New World of high-tech, if a bit hard on the High School dropout. Optimists looking ahead to an economic recovery see extraordinary new cities (after building the Wall, throwing up a few 2000-foot arcologies seems easy as pie), laboring armies of tele-operated robots, fusion powered industries sending productivity through the roof and bringing an era of plenty. The skeptics wonder whether the poorer and less educated global 80% will be able to afford said plenty.

Since the Kaiju War took priority, little was spent after 2013 on space travel and exploration, but right through the war there were those that claimed humanity could only survive in the long run if it expanded into space: with the end of the war, they are getting a bit more of a hearing, although the still battered economy means that nobody is rushing to them with great wads of cash. The universe is clearly a most dangerous place, and such disparate types as the mil-SF crowd, Muscular Christians, and the Church of Cosmic Horror agree mankind needs to be a less concentrated target, although the first two wouldn’t characterize the proper survival strategy as “breed fast, scatter wide, little insects.” Advances in fusion and plasma tech promise the possibility of round trips to Mars in a matter of months rather than years.

It was not long before the neural link became generalized, although most nations made it illegal to carry out neural linkages without the permission of all parties involved, and many banned its use for private purposes – or, in some cases, any non-Jaeger purposes. As yet the neural link has not become a party game even in those nations where its use is legal, since the cheapest portable version sells for something like $500,000 in 2013 dollars.

(Well, aside from among the youth of the 1%).

China initially jumped on the link as an interrogation device, until it became clear that 1. Unless both sides were actively working at it, a neural link mostly generated nightmare garbage, 2. There had to be some sort of mental compatibility to get any sort of stable link, 3. Out of the vast sea of random information, it was very hard to pick out and retain specific facts as desired, and 4. The interrogated was just as likely to get dirt on the interrogator, which cooled substantially their enthusiasm.

It _has_ been used by some warlords, old fashioned junta leaders, and people in jobs of dubious legality as a both a test and a means of loyalty: one can know for sure that the man you drift with can be trusted (at least at that moment in time) and they know you trust them with all their (current) secrets. (In macho societies, cases where one of the participants was in deep denial about their gayness usually do not end well).

Understanding of the Precursors remains elusive, with much information gained from scientists Drifting with Kaiju brains being fragmentary or tainted by the attempts of human minds to make sense of the alien, and data from the last couple years of the war was further limited by increasingly sophisticated mental attacks by the Precursors against human spies. (It is generally believed that Newton Giezler and Hermann Gottlieb’s highly successful final Drift was only due to the brain used being that of a newborn infant and thus only weakly perceived as yet by the collective consciousness). What is known is that the Kaiju and the Precursors are linked through a collective intelligence apparently not limited by space or time as we know it: some of the information gleaned seems to point to the possibility that the merely T-Rex sized Precursors are not so much masters of the Kaiju as much as another tool of a collective hive consciousness, although many humans have trouble with this concept and prefer to see them as the “boss aliens” (see, Borg Queen).

That they are as utterly merciless and relentless as any Austrian-accented Cyborg is something most scientists who have Drifted (those not too busy screaming OH GOD KEEP THEM OFF to chat) can agree on: what their ultimate motivations and aims are, what they do for a living when they aren’t invading other dimensions, etc. remains a lot less clear. Did they in fact kill off the dinosaurs, as several scientists have claimed to have “seen”? And why didn’t they remain? Why didn’t they come back for sixty million years? (One scientist says there was a “storm” or a “whirlwind” that broke contact between worlds: another occasionally babbles of something that ‘seeped down from the stars’ when it smelled the slaughter). They certainly appear to have successfully invaded more than one: by correlating the scattered impressions of different researchers, as many as a hundred “other worlds” have been identified, a majority of which seem to have been overrun by the Kaiju, and most feel this is merely a scattered sampling of a much greater total. Admittedly, many of these worlds are recalled in vague impressions and flashes which are confusing at best; many of them appear to have been like Earth (plants, animals, planets circling a sun, etc) but others gave such strange impressions and images that some people argue they represent Precursor mental conceptions or fantasies or fears rather than anything actual.

From what has been reported, there is apparently a whole Kaiju ecosystem on the other side: there apparently are Kaiju who are designed specifically to “clear” new worlds, Kaiju which are environmental modification machines, Kaiju who clean up after other Kaiju and recycle their bodies, Kaiju who either build or _are_ “housing” for other Kaiju, Kaiju who travel from (somewhere) to (somewhere) with offshoots of the hive in them… and there are some raving scientists that rave about their entire world being a monstrous thing, about suns made of jelly like eyes, of worlds that pulse and stars that crawl, of a universe which is like a cancer seeking to infect other universes with its cells – and the crazier ones can get really disturbing.

Very few people know what the elderly man with the metal engraving tools does inside the bodies of the Jaegers before they are fully activated.


And none outside his family know the seven true, unspeakable Names of God.
Pacific Rim Thoughts, II
And the thrilling (ha) conclusion.
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I seem to have forgotten to post this.

An effort to make (some) sense out of the "Pacific Rim" setting, with my explanation of how the hell Jaegers work. Long, so posting in two parts.

August 10, 2013. It came out of the sea on one of those grey, drizzly San Francisco days which are either romantic or depressing depending on your turn of mind. The first thing it did was tear apart the Golden Gate Bridge. Things went rapidly downhill from there.

It took nearly five days of almost continuous bombardment to kill it. The fighter jets initially scrambled to fight it barely scratched its hide, and even the pilot who Kamikaze’d his jet at top speed right into its face gave it “barely a shaving cut”, as someone described it at the time. When they moved from regular munitions to fuel-air bombs and bunker busters they finally began to do more than superficial damage, but it refused to return to the sea. It continued to wander around the Bay area, stomping on any man-made structures and anything which moved, even as it began to drip with blue gore: even after it lost its eyes and heavy naval artillery from across the bay began to hammer it, it slowly shambled back and forth across the devastated urban landscape: and even after it fell over on its back and didn’t get up, it twitched for another two days.

Killing it had seriously depleted total in-US stock of munitions: in an era of precision bombing and speedy little wars, huge Cold War (let alone WWII) stockpiles no longer existed. Before the long, slow-motion battle ended, UK and Canadian and even Russian air forces had joined in the fight (it was fortunate that most of the population of the area had fled by the time the Russians arrived, or their use of several brands of extremely nasty Cold-War era nerve gas on the colossus might have been rather worse than merely futile). During its rampage, a twisting, looping, criss-crossing half-mile wide trail of utter devastation had been stamped out down one side of San Francisco Bay and up the other, terminating in the wreckage of Oakland, what would be called the Trespasser having collapsed a bit short of Berkley. Well endowed with both private and public means of transportation, locals managed to flee from the Trespasser’s path fast enough to keep casualties in the tens of thousands, but the economic costs were in the trillions: combined with the global panic set off by the monster attack, brought the US, and most of the world’s economy plunging back into deep depression.

The fact that the blue ichor the Trespasser used for blood was both persistently toxic and highly carcinogenic did not exactly help rebuilding, and some form of breakdown within the Trespasser’s body, after first liberating toxic levels of ammonia gas, led it to leak an equally unpleasant blue-black slime which soon formed a shallow pool extending as much as 400 feet from the body in places. Some 60 square miles of the Bay area had to be declared a Superfund site, although most of San Francisco proper avoided this fate simply due to a lack of success in making the Trespasser bleed at that early stage of its rampage.

The ensuing global panic was heightened by the deep uncertainty as to the origin of the beast. It had not been seen by anyone before it emerged from the sea and began wrecking havoc. Was it from space? (Experts scoffed at the notion something so large could have come down from the sky without someone picking it up on radar.) From another dimension? From hell or a creation of God’s Wrath, as a great many End Times enthusiasts concluded? (Alternately, God’s punishment of the infidel Americans). A hideous mutation caused by man’s dumping of radioactive and other wastes in the oceans (the fact that even the most preemptory examination showed the Intruder to be bizarrely alien and utterly non-terrestrial in its makeup failed to kill this particular narrative)? A hitherto unknown form of life, perhaps emerging from within the Earth’s crust? A US bio-weapon gone berserk – and possibly originally intended as a weapon against North Korea, as suggested by North Korean news? Thorough sonar sweeps of the East Pacific revealed no more giant monsters swimming shoreward. No giant monster delivery ships revealed themselves to telescopes.

The Japanese, of course, called it a Kaiju. Some even blamed it on foreign nuclear testing.

People can only remain afraid so long without regular reinforcement, and giant monster threats are rather harder to fake up than terrorist ones, so by the new year people had begun to relax a bit and begin to wonder if the Intruder had been some sort of unique event, something like a giant meteor impact, arriving once in a million years. Innumerable trucks filled with a mix of lethal goo, dirt and shattered bits of houses had departed for distant disposal sites, and the area of the monster’s body had been cleaned to mere Soviet Industrial Center levels of toxicity; swarms of scientists aided by a small army of workers in biohazard garb and armed with the sort of power saws used to cut up ornamental rock were slowly carving the colossal corpse apart and examining its various strange internal organs (some of which still showed a disturbing tendency towards mobility): little chunks of the non-gooey bits of the body, smuggled out by workers, began to show up on the black market, much to the distress of Health and Safety, which classified all parts of the Trespasser as toxic waste. Godzilla jokes were now once again permissible.
And then, on the fifth of February, 2014, another horror emerged from Manila Bay and began wrecking havoc. It would later be known as Hundun, although for some time it would simply be called “The Second.”

This time, the rapidly deployed US forces did not fool around. Partly due to back-channel Chinese communications re their willingness to Take Steps against this monster almost on their doorstep, after luring the monster out of the city with a continuous air assault (in which a number of pilots lost their lives flying close enough to the monster to goad it), a relatively small atomic device was used against Hundun. The fireball slowly dispersed to show a creature horribly torn by the massive impact, smoking, charred black, the outer layer of its hide vaporized, small bluish fires burning here and there on its body…but still more or less in one piece, and slowly crawling forward, much to the horror of the watchers. To their relief, the smoldering abomination soon slowed to a standstill and simply sat, smoking, burning.

Smoking. Burning somewhat more intensely, if patchily. Giving off more smoke.
In spite of rain and drops of sand by fire-fighting planes, the dead monster continued to slowly burn for two weeks. The plume of black smoke, rich in lethal carcinogens mixed with a leavening of toxic heavy metals, would have made an area of over two thousand square miles downwind uninhabitable for decades, considerably worse than the Chernobyl incident of OTL.

Fortunately, the majority of the toxins went out to sea. Unfortunately, the winds were from the Northeast at that time of the year. And the sea was the one to the southwest of Manila.

This time, a scramble took place to make the Pacific Ocean into a Panopticon. Sonar buoys were prepared and dropped off by thousands. Sub-hunter ships were put on permanent patrol. Listening posts were established. Emergency warning systems were established in cities all around the Pacific, and people made familiar with the sound of the new sirens that would indicate something impossibly huge was emerging from the sea to crush a human city underfoot.

The Japanese term “Kaiju” for the monsters became popularized.

Unusually (as it would turn out) for a Kaiju, the third attack (June, 2014) took place in a relatively lightly populated area at the tip of Baja, allowing the US forces to use a 3-megaton device once the local population and tourist had scattered, with the over 100 miles of sea between it and the mainland providing a fair degree of protection from the inevitable Burning Kaiju toxins. More importantly, the sonar network thrown across the Pacific had first detected it in the middle of the Pacific, at some 15,000 feet down (much to the frustration of nuclear planners, the Kaiju would turn out to hug the ocean bottom, remaining at least 2 miles down until forced up by continental shelves): a scramble to get as many deep submersibles in the water as possible followed, in hopes of finally locating the origin of the Kaiju. The still vast area involved and the limited number of machines meant that the exploration would not bear fruit for three months, by which time another attack had taken place.

Schoenfeld would later claim that it was in early September, during the fourth Kaiju attack on Sydney, that he developed the idea for the Jaeger, after watching his son playing with robot and monster toys. This was a lie. He would meet with several world leaders at the Seoul Conference (AKA the “what the fuck do we do about Kaiju” conference) little over two weeks later. One does not construct a well-worked out technical proposal, capable of convincing skeptical world leaders that “giant robots are the answer!” in two weeks, no matter how brilliant a roboticist one is.

Most of his presentations do not exist in the records, anywhere.

It was in October that the Rift was finally located, a crack half a mile wide and seven long in the ocean floor, filled with a seething, glowing energy that initially entirely baffled scientists. The first probes to approach the water-energy interface were violently repelled and destroyed: if Kaiju were coming through, it didn’t seem that a return visit was possible. Efforts rapidly got underway to build a submersible capable of carrying nukes to the rift: and by mid-December, multiple nuclear weapons, some quite large, had been detonated in the Rift. This was to no apparent effect aside from widening the physical crack in the earth. Data analysis indicated that virtually all the energy expended was being reflected back.

Operation Counterprobe was replaced by Operation Whack-the-Mole, but as yet only a few nuclear mines were in place when the Kaiju Black Mother emerged at several hundred miles an hour from the rift: none were right next to her area of emergence, but mass detonation caused a massive enough shock wave that the Kaiju seemed to have been rendered dead or unconscious. Celebratory noises had hardly begun to ring out when its stomach split open and several hundred smaller (if still at least King Kong-sized) horrors spilled out.

The Guardians have remained in the vicinity of the Rift ever since, growing to roughly whale size and reproducing asexually to the point where they now number in the thousands: exactly what they live on down there and what sustains them remains matters of speculation. They are not full-sized, full-powered Kaiju, but delivering working military hardware is to 15,000 feet below the Ocean’s surface is problematic enough that they don’t need to be. Their purpose is to detect any encroaching man-made objects with their highly sensitive sonar and then destroy them a good distance from any emerging Kaiju. It doesn’t matter how many die in nuclear explosions: they can be replaced, and some are always kept in reserve.

Nuking Kaiju proper underwater has never been easy. Kaiju in a hurry swim at over 200 miles per hour (and they’re usually in a hurry: cities to smash, people to squash) and delivering a nuclear bomb over 10,000 feet deep to a target that fast is hardly an easy problem. Even in shallower water it is tough, and although water may transmit shock waves better than air, it also soaks up enough of the energy of a nuclear explosion that the bomb needs to be right on target to do its job. A 200 knots plus Kaiju-chaser nuclear sub meant to intercept them on the continental shelf (using supercavitation principles) was in the works by the 2020s, but was hit by the general budget-cutting required to finance the Pacific wall system. Work on superfast undersea attack boats and torpedoes continues, slowly.

In case an effective weapon can ever be designed to penetrate the Rift, a Jaeger or comparably tough fighting machine would have to be built capable of remaining fully mobile while sealed against over 1500 atmospheres of pressure to actually deliver it to the site. Three such were built by the time Jaeger funding was cut: no way to penetrate the Rift had been found at the time.

One would be destroyed in a last-ditch fight in shallow water. The other two would save the world.

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A Jaeger, seen from a distance, does not appear to be moving very fast: a steady, almost ambling walk. This is an illusion: a Jaeger stands some 50 times taller that a human being. Walking speed is usual near 100 miles an hour. A Jaeger can run at close to 500 miles an hour.

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The “drift”, or the Neural Link, was developed as a means to allow pilots to control the Jaegers as effectively as their own bodies: a slow, clumsy Jaeger would mean vastly lowered combat effectiveness. The peculiar mental feedback that caused intense pain, headaches and eventually strokes, cerebral edemas, and other potentially fatal injuries. It remains somewhat unclear how joining a second human brain to the mix was chosen as a possible solution. It _is_ clear that Professor Akagi was a mad scientist, if perhaps, like Papa Schimmelhorn, on a subconscious level, since he apparently failed to realize that his enhanced networking system was essentially a form of mechanical telepathy. (When the first two pilots to share memories reported their experience, Akagi initially believed them to be hallucinating).

For pilots to “drift” together, to essentially become a unified mind for the Jaeger body, required not just compatibility but a level of mutual comfort: to be able to live in each other’s minds with a degree of ease. Very often close couples, when given a close look at each other’s minds, ceased to be close couples: who could stand “rubbing their naked brains together”, as one pilot referred to it, was often unpredictable.

The notion of “drifting” with Kaiju brains arose early on, among those that who felt the Rift was a product of intelligence rather than some weird natural phenomenon and the Kaiju at least a product of such intelligence. Attempts to “drift” with animals usually led to random sensory noise and severe headaches, so there was not much belief that this would be a useful approach, but the quest for a Kaiju brain started early on. It would take a while to get ahold of one: Kaiju skulls were so thick that decomposition had set in by the time the plates of armor were slowly cut through, and a great deal of Kaiju would have to be cut through, sorted, and analyzed before anyone figured out that there was a second brain in the lower torso helping to control the outlying bits of the body, leading to many ill-considered analogies involving dinosaurs.

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A Jaeger’s punch will typically exceed1000 miles an hour, and may reach as high as 1200 miles an hour. A Jaeger’s fists thunder even when they do not hit their target.
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Kaiju harvesting became an industry of sorts by the second year of the war, as companies formed to take advantage of government contracts for corpse-disposal, and people looked to find some way to make extra money from the extremely onerous work. Of course, scientists initially got first dibs, but most labs were not really equipped to preserve a toxic liver-equivalent the size of two railway cars, so the bulk of the carcasses had to be disposed of. So, enter industry. As it turned out, Kaiju could be _mined_: their bodies were rich in heavy metals, and with some modifications, industries which worked with high-toxicity metals could process the slabs into which Kaiju were slowly sliced into a financial bonanza. A variety of chemicals found their uses in industry. Bones and armor could be used in architecture once the toxins had been baked off in warehouse hot rooms, although it was usually fairly demented architects who would actually use them. (in one case, a pair of Jaeger pilots adopted a massive and jagged-ended leg bone as a weapon to jab and club other Kaiju, although it was eventually broken over the head of a Kaiju with a particularly thick skull).

Of course, there was also the Black Market. Even in well-organized nations there was always a flow of little bits and pieces that didn’t go to a recognized Kaiju-recycling industry: in some corruption-rich nations such as China, Indonesia, and various Latin American states, there was a positive flood of Kaiju body parts being sold to black market overlords at prices well exceeding per ton anything that could be obtained from legitimate corporations. Kaiju flesh and bone was sold as medicine, a formula for immortality, as a sexual aid (of course), a secret poison (more reasonably), a miracle fertilizer (for men as well as crops). Kaiju “skin parasites” were sold as pets (given a sufficiently ammoniated atmosphere, they could survive for as long as two years) Some buyers had wilder ideas, such as the various groups that attempted (unsuccessfully – as far as it is known) to clone a Kaiju from its tissues, or those who planned elaborate attacks on the Kaiju through the use of sympathetic magic.

It is unknown how many people died or suffered permanent damage consuming Kaiju tissue that had not been properly detoxified. In the later years of the war, as funding was cut all around to afford the building of the defensive wall system, a number of companies involved in Kaiju disposal went out of business, and some dead Kaiju, for lack of either corporate or government disposal, were left to rot and the black market. How many amateur Kaiju harvesters died for lack of adequate precautions is another unknown.

(Kaiju “skin parasites” or “mites” remain a mystery. They could hardly feed off Kaiju, having no ability to cut all the way through their thick hides, and in spite of requiring the ammonia which normally oozes from the Kaiju’s hide, are chemically and biochemically quite dissimilar to the Kaiju, which all share a close biological basis. Some have theorized that they are from another universe entirely, and somehow latch on to Kaiju and perhaps other travelers as they pass through the pan-dimensional space of the Rift.)

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An average Jaeger weighs over 70 thousand tons. When it hurls itself into battle against a Kaiju, the kinetic energy is in the trillions of joules.

A Jaeger, given 2014 technology, is a technological impossibility.

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The first to show that mental contact with a Kaiju brain was in fact possible was Professor Akagi himself in 2018: unfortunately, he also filled his brain with bubbles of blood in the process. Later experimenters found that as in piloting Jaegers, distributing the mental “load” between two operators led to better results, although for some time “better” often meant insanity or brain damage rather than outright death, along with sensory and memory data so bizarre as to be quite impossible to make head or tail of.

Not till 2022 were breakthroughs made that allowed a degree of “translation” of the neural feed, and some coherent impressions – of a mind both vast and multiple, of cold and endless ruthlessness, of incomprehensibly vast spaces that were yet at the same time filled with something which lived and pulsed, of forces and pulls and drives monstrous and yet rational in a way that could not be described. Scientists were still going mad, but at least no longer screamingly so.

The fact that someTHINGS on the other side of the Rift might have similar success in interpreting the thoughts of small, mammalian minds was only vaguely suspected until the Kaiju attack of June ’23, where the Kaiju went straight for the main Drift Research center 15 miles inland, totally ignoring all sorts of tempting opportunities for mass destruction along the way. Afterwards, the new research center was constructed 10,000 feet up the slopes of the Tibetan plateau and nearly a thousand miles from the sea.

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During the fleeting few years in which the Jaegers appeared to be winning the Kaiju war, Kaiju-Jaeger combats took on an almost ritualized format. The Jaeger would be brought to the combat zone by the giant nuclear-powered ekranoplans which were the only craft capable of transporting their incredible mass at reasonable speeds. They would wait in water over 100 feet deep, miles out from land and civilian populations – it slowed down the Jaegar, but was as least as obstructive to the Kaiju. The Ocean would soak up any spilled toxins – bad for the local beaches and the local fishing industry, but better than splattering it over inhabited soil. The Kaiju would emerge, its location pinpointed by automatic sonar buoys second by second. And the Jaeger would beat it to death.

All Jaeger pilots were extensively trained in boxing and other martial skills that involved inflicting massive damage to an opponent without close grappling. (Wrestling moves are not recommended against an opponent whose impossibly hard teeth, claws, spines, etc. could easily slice into the toughest metal-ceramics) Enormous kinetic impacts, the whole weight of the Jaeger behind them, would damage internal organs, break internal struts, and eventually kill without splattering goo all over the place.

One of the ongoing costs of the Jaeger program was that the Jaegers fists would usually be so battered at the end of a fight as to require replacement: sometimes entire forearms would be damaged and would require extensive repair or replacement from levels of force often exceeding the structural strength of the Jaeger’s materials.

Some Jaegers were equipped with huge staves (no giggling in the audience!) with hooks to keep their distance in combat and catch the limbs or tails of the Kaiju. Others were equipped with huge drills or saw blades: there were times when cutting the Kaiju (especially Kaiju with tentacles) overrode the need to avoid contamination. Although Kaiju’s internal organization, as revealed by scientists dissecting the enormous corpses (well, perhaps mining would be a better word) was almost as fantastically variable as their external form – pounding the same body area in two Kaiju might cause crippling damage or just make them mad – they had their weaknesses: joints. Eyes. Connecting tendons. Being crippled for life was an occupational hazard the trainers of Jaeger pilots simply accepted, as long as they could make their charges into skilled killers that would attack with utter intent to smash and maim.

The Plasma cannon with which each Jaeger was armed was insufficient to kill a Kaiju, but it could be used to good use against such sensitive spots as eyes, nostrils and the interior of mouths, and was also useful to cauterize the enemy’s wounds – having the Kaiju bleed out was not a desirable outcome. (Plasma would not catch a Kaiju on fire: only the extreme heat of a nuclear fireball would cause the breakdown of their peculiar silicon-based bodies).
After the Kaiju was killed, it would be towed to a “retaining area” far from populated areas where it would be free to secrete toxins to its heart’s content.

It helped that Kaiju (at first, anyway) fought, in the words of a pilot, “with all the skill of a somewhat slow first-grader.”

Overconfidence set in. There had been efforts, once there were over a dozen Jaegers in operation, to move more than one Jaeger into position if at all possible, so to get at least a two on one advantage. But as pilot technique improved along with Jaeger technological sophistication, by 2020, more than one Jaeger per Kaiju became seen as unnecessary. Indeed, Jaeger pilots, briefly the rock stars of their era, had begun to resent the notion that they would need help.

And then came along Knifehead.

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The conventional military was generally ticked off at being upstaged by giant robots operating on “classified” principles and operated by an entirely new international military force separate from the usual chain of command. It wasn’t quite as bad as being upstaged by magical girls, but it was getting there. Finding a way to kill a Kaiju without toxically contaminating an area the size of one of the smaller European countries became something of a military obsession, hampered by budget costs in the face of the enormous costs of Jaegers.

(Jaegers were _expensive_. The R&D and construction of the first Jaeger, although proceeding with what many later found improbable speed, still cost about nearly 1/3 of the total US annual military budget: although costs dropped for later Jaegers, none cost less than tens of billions to build and billions in annual maintenance: the last Jaeger ever built, the Australian Striker Eureka, cost one eight of the entire Australian federal budget two years running and with the general failure of the Jaeger project, was widely accused of being a vanity project of the current Prime Minister).

The most successful innovation proved to be in the field of magnetic rail guns, whose hypervelocity shells could actually make holes in the armor of a Kaiju: however, given their size, this was about as effective as using birdshot against an Elephant, and simply got you an angry (angrier) Kaiju. The struggle to build a rail gun big and powerful enough to kill went on for several years, much to the frustration of supporters of the approach (if giant robots could be built so quickly, why not giant-ass rail guns) but the technological challenges in building a weapon on such a scale that would not simply rip itself apart under the stresses involved was a formidable one. Jaeger supporters, on the other hand, pointed out that the rail gun boosters were developing a lovely method for splattering Kaiju Blue (the popular shorthand for Kaiju toxins) for miles.

The “orbital bombardment” “rods from god” approach also attracted some interest, but technical challenges and expenses were such that the project was still without an effective product when the war came to an end.

In 2018, the first full-scale railgun was built and put in place to defend rebuilt San Francisco (Oakland was a lost cause, but San Fran was both too valuable and too lightly contaminated to be abandoned, although it would be another couple decades before it reached its pre-Kaiju population): the trouble was that no Kaiju were polite enough to wander in front of it. The first _mobile_ rail gun was put aboard a specially designed nuclear carrier and set to cruise along the Pacific coasts in 2019. It managed arrive late for two fights.
It wasn’t until 2020, with the emergence of a new and more lethal version of Kaiju, that railguns became a New Hope. The first success was in Osaka in 2021, when a Kaiju which had destroyed the first Jaeger to reach the area was driven out to sea when a giant railgun drove a projectile the size of a truck into its chest. This failed to kill it, but weakened it enough that when it reemerged further south, the second Jaeger to fight it was able to finish it off relatively quickly. Railguns still had disadvantages: their driving mechanisms lacked the power of Jaegers, making them difficult to aim against opponents capable of moving at hundreds of miles an hour, and Kaiju internal organs were usually sufficiently redundant that a “one-shot” kill was unlikely save with a head shot (and Kaiju skulls were usually so insanely thick that glancing shots were often ineffectual). Mobile railguns atop carriers soon proved ineffective: the smart new generation of Jaegers would simply swim underneath and destroy them from below if they ventured into deep water.

Still, it was the best new option, and with the new Kaiju producing even more and even more lethal toxins when nuked, a little Kaiju Blue splatter seemed tolerable, especially since methods for chemically neutralizing it had been developed by this point. By the end of 2020, with Jaegers being destroyed faster than they could be built, the governing bodies of the Pacific Rim alliance were faced with the choice of investing hundreds of billions in expanding Jaeger production – an infrastructure buildup that would take several years to bear fruit – or invest, again, hundreds of billions on a new static-defense system based on massive physical barriers and emplaced railguns.

Perhaps a deciding factor was the truly international nature of the Pacific Defense Corps and the still secret details of the “linking system” that gave the Jaegers speed and strength beyond that which should be mechanically possible (kept secret to prevent Jaegers from becoming weapons of war between human nations, supposedly). The new plan would keep all details of the defense system under the control of national governments – although the UN-administered Global Kaiju Fund would still be on hand to help out with the expenses.

Some pointed out that although not quite as costly as Jaegers, railguns were not cheap either, and since they were not as mobile as Jaegers (a device capable of carrying around both a railgun and its nuclear power plant and brace itself against the forces involved would be, well, a Jaeger: Aircraft carriers had proven ultimately too fragile) rather a lot of them would be needed to guard tens of thousands of miles of coast: the cost, indeed, would greatly exceed the already economically crippling price of the Jaeger program.

The solution, as plan boosters explained, was where the “Wall of Life” came in. The wall was not a simple wall, which Kaiju _might_ given time dig their way through: instead, it would be a series of linked walls that would guide attacking Kaiju into long “killing corridors” where railguns would be ideally positioned to wipe them out. Many sophisticated Superseller (the successor to Powerpoint) presentations showed how the system would be both idiot-proof and Kaiju-proof.

First of all, the Wall ended up costing rather a lot more than initially estimated, into the trillions, further damaging the economies of the Pacific Rim nations; it did prove rather profitable for the many corporations involved in the construction (ironically, much of the minimum-wage labor force involved in building the Wall would come from people put out of work by the economic effects of the Wall). Public grumbling was only narrowly assuaged by government promises of future security.

In the event, the notion that a Kaiju would simply ignore the path of least resistance and dig its way through multiple barriers in under an hour like a rabbit burrowing through sandy soil in the most direct path to the nearest city hadn’t occurred to anyone. (It was noted at the time it had chosen an attack route as far as possible from any railgun batteries: if not the Kaiju themselves, the alien minds that drove them on were smart enough to know a trap when they saw one).

Ironically, Sydney, Australia was still saved from devastation by railguns: Jaeger Striker Eureka was one of the few Jaegers to be equipped before the end of the Jaeger program with new, compact railguns, which did most of the work in killing the beast. (Albeit splattering everything from the Kaiju back to the wall with Kaiju blue).

And then, of course, Hong Kong was attacked by a Kaiju that could fly. (Something that led a number of scientists who had thought they were finally getting a bit of a handle on how Kaiju worked to tear out their hair in frustration).

The resulting panic could probably be described as epic.
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A Different Cold War by QuantumBranching
A Different Cold War
OK, this is a commission for Venusian Si over on alternatehistory.com, based on a map by Thande somewhat expanded on and modified by some ideas from Venusian Si.

Original map here: www.alternatehistory.com/discu…

In this world, WWII went differently due to a Fascist takeover in Sweden and a later entry of the US into the war. Churchill got his wish for a Balkan invasion, which as warned didn’t turn out too well. The USSR overran Scandinavia and met the Allies on the Rhine. Postwar the division of Europe was more north-south than OTL’s east-west. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, North Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania end up members of an alternate Warsaw pact while Finland is directly annexed into Russia. Allied Germany is for a while divided into a south German republic and a Rhinelands state, although eventually after much US coaxing the French allow the two democratic Germanies to unify (although they draw the line with Austria). 

As a result of the much larger size of Red Germany relative to capitalist (pardon me, free : ) )Germany, there was no south-north union after the war as OTL, and indeed there was considerable delay in bringing North Germany into the European Union, due to weak democracy, the tendency of nationalist Northern politicians to talk of inevitable reunification in embarrassingly old-style blood and soil terms (“we can’t be fascists! They all fled to American, British and French territory”) and continued Southern fears that all 40-odd million northerners would move south and go on relief. Fortunately, things worked out in the end, and there is again talk of reunification, although most think another couple decades of economic convergence will be needed. (There is enough emigration from North to South that some joke that by that time the population of the North will consist entirely of over-70 Communist hardliners, and indeed the population of the south is now somewhat larger than the north).

The invasion of the Balkans left the Allies with the job of rebuilding Yugoslavia, and they did so fairly well in spite of some odd decisions, such as adding Bulgaria to the mix. (Some said to punish Reich-friendly Bulgaria, other that it was to balance out the popular Red Partisan vote with less radicalized Bulgarian peasants). In the end, in spite of various hiccups, the complicatedly (and getting more complex with time) federated Yugoslav state has survived to the present day (2017). Some see it as a positive model for a more closely unified future EU: other see it as a warning as to why such a unified EU shold be avoided. 

In East Asia, a slower start to the Manhattan project means the war in the east goes on a bit longer, the Soviets take all of Korea as fighting drags on, but Chiang manages to do better in the subsequent civil war with a lot more US equipment handy. Mao’s Reds end up a Soviet-protected rump state in Manchuria and some bits of north China proper, which leads to a serious falling out between ROC China and the USSR, which therefore feels no regrets about annexing east Turkestan/Xinjiang and establishing influence in Tibet.

Butterflies lead to the Indian Nationalist Congress taking a less communalist and more secular-leftist turn in the 1930s, which allows for compromises with Jinnah’s Muslim followers. India will stay united, if a bit more decentralized than OTL, and the snappily dressed Muslim politician will be India’s first prime minister (already dying of cancer, he won’t last long). A more left-leaning India will be wooed by the Soviet Union, and will be considered a Soviet ally for much of the cold war, although no actually military alliance will take place (not that this prevents US military planners from constructing scenarios on how to turn India into radioactive paste). Burma, ethnically and culturally alien to the subcontinent, is initially part of the union, but will later revolt against New Delhi rule.

With Chinese indifference on their side, the French manage to eventually crush the Communist rebellion, but are unable to reestablish a stable colonial regime in the long run, and eventually “declare victory and flee”, leaving behind a Federation of Indochina whose at least weakly pro-French government will not last five years. On the plus side, Indochina misses out on Pol Pot and two more decades of war: on the down side, leaving Indochina as a political unit means the Vietnamese inevitably dominate, and suppression of Cambodian separatists has left the country with a civil rights reputation as bad or worse than OTL’s Burma/Myanmar. (A merely moderately unpleasant one-party state in this TL). 

The US has a somewhat less strenuous Cold War with no Korean or Vietnam war, although the European border it must guard is much longer than OTL. (Given geographical similarities, Roman Empire analogies tend to show up a lot in this world’s Cold War literature). Prosperity, the threat of nuclear annihilation, small wars in Africa and Latin America and the rise of minority civil rights and women’s lib give rise to a counterculture of sorts in spite of the lack of ‘nam, although it has less of a radical edge and more of a folksy, embrace-the-earth air to it (noting all those young people tramping about the countryside, the finger-wagging crowd mutters darkly about peregrinating young Germans in the 1920s). Drugs are used, of course.

The US remained closely invested in East Asian affairs, and post-war gave various special economic and trade rights to its various allies and protectorates in the east, which when combined with an early move to NAFTA –type free trade in North America developed into the North America-Pacific Free Trade Union. (Expansion southwards has been hampered by Brazilian/Argentine hostility: Latin American “third way”-ism remains a strong force, combined with “Bolivarist” anti-American populism familiar to any observed of Venezuela OTL. (The third world/unaligned movement was somewhat more extensive than OTL, with more of the Third World remaining neutral during the Cold War.)

ROC China grows its economy, although somewhat starved for industrial resources thanks to territorial losses and hampered initially by Guomindang corruption and paranoia about “comprador capitalism,” while the Manchurian Reds create a highly industrialized crapsack economy. By the 2010s, it will be running at least a decade ahead of OTL China in terms of development, more urbanized, more populous, and even more polluted (the neighbors tend to complain). Japan, which misses the economic influx from the Korean and Vietnamese wars, is somewhat poorer than OTL, but didn’t crash as hard economically either, and has somewhat more diverse politics. 

India’s more decentralized nature makes up somewhat for leftier economics (more big steel and concrete things!), allowing some of the states to follow a more profit-oriented path, although overall results by the 1980s were not much of an improvement from OTL, which combined with a clearly malfunctioning soviet economy and Chinese success with a more capitalist approach, as OTL led to pro-markets reforms. 

While the Communist block was smaller than OTL, it was also more cohesive and remained firmly under Soviet leadership.The Soviets, mostly shut out of continental East Asia, concentrate efforts elsewhere, with varying levels of success. There was rather more Red on maps of The Matter of Africa, and a successful Communist coup in Indonesia, while things were pushed beyond the breaking point in South Africa (Nelson Mandela and de Klerk’s careers were derailed by butterflies); the fallout is ongoing in various parts of the world, and such efforts probably did not benefit anyone but weapons contractors. If the US and allies were geographically stretched in Europe, so were the Soviets: the Second German Uprising of ‘76 nearly wrecked the *Warsaw pact when the Poles decided to join in the fun. 

There was a Space Race as OTL, which again stalled out with Moon landings. As OTL, manned trips to Mars are endlessly debated while robots fly and crawl all over the solar system. The US, Russia and the EU have space stations, and China is building one. 

Arab Ba’athism did better than Egyptian lite socialism in this world, and unified successfully Iraq and Syria: thanks to an alliance with the USSR and more calculating leadership, the Arab Union has managed a series of successes on the military and political front, although their last clash with Israel was a tie at best. Since their development of an atomic weapon in the late 90s, the Union has found itself essentially encircled by hostile nations and in an atomic arms race with Israel (which has openly declared its nuclear capacities and has nuclear missile subs in the Red Sea right now). This breeds paranoia, and people worry about who will replace the current aging Supreme Leader (a bit less awful than OTLs Saddam, and with a rather more impressive mustache). It is also currently involved in a bit of a spitting match with India, whose Muslims apparently believe that since India is the largest Muslim nation on earth, other Islamic nations should defer to their political opinions. (They have not been pleased by Iraqi descriptions of them as “stooges of the Polytheists”). 

Africa is in some ways even more screwed up than OTL, although there are some bright spots, and as OTL the worst era of crazy dictators, communist paradises, and national subdivision by warlord seems to be over. Somalia as OTL ended cracking up, but at least they managed to salvage a working state in the north. The Zulu managed to make it as an independent nation in the breakup of South Africa, and have a functional economy by third-world standards (tourists should be warned they’re really big on Shaka, and it’s hard to get out of the country without buying a load of Shaka-related tourist crap). 

The Soviet Union tried to reform its economy as limits to growth loomed in the late 70s, but things ended turning into a sort of war of attrition between the cozily corrupt managerial class and the reformers, in which the old proverb “Russia must stay frozen to survive” was seemingly proven as the whole economic system essentially seized up. Things by the mid-80s reached the “police shooting people rioting over bread” stage, and in 1987 the Soviet regime essentially collapsed. There was no Yeltsin waiting in the wings to run off with Russia, and former Party heads hastily rebranding themselves as nationalist politicians had rather different notions as to where the bounds of the post-Soviet state were to be established. While Eastern Europe went its own way, with no Gorbachev-type previous democratization and no Yugoslav bad example to avoid, things got rather hairy till ‘92, and several small but bloody wars were fought, with the occasional spot of ethnic cleansing. A Ukrainian nationalist seizure of nuclear assets was narrowly avoided, and “Red-Brown” Russian leaders snagged territory from the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and attempted to reestablish authority in the trans-Causcus and the Baltic region, with varying levels of success. The experience was bloody enough, and the economic collapse (in this world blamed on the civil war(s) ) shattering enough to bring a later reaction: Russia in 2017 is moving to divest itself of some border territories, and under a more-or-less democratic government is trying to patch up its shaky relationship with Europe. 

There was no plausible cause like OTL’s “Star Wars” program for the economic disaster, which combined with the fact that a Democrat was in office 1981-1988 made it harder to spin the end of the Soviet Union as a triumph for the Republican party. Combined with a US right a bit less crazed by the 60s than OTL, and by 2017 one has a US perceptibly to the left of OTL, although still “right wing” in many ways by EU standards. The paranoid style, alas, still flourishes in American politics, although the targets are a bit different . A court case is currently going on in Texas as to whether shoulder-carried missile launchers are a legitimate form of home defense. 

With trade and other support from the USSR temporarily suspended, Manchurian Red China also economically collapsed, and was absorbed by ROC China, which almost choked on the costs of bringing the industrial hellscape of the North up to spec. The Red regime in Tibet, which had been a Soviet puppet from the start, fell apart, and the Dalai Lama returned from exile in 1997. (The Socialist Republic of Tibet had been no friendlier to Buddhist God-Kings than the OTL PRC). 

In 2017, the world is generally at peace. India is somewhat and China is significantly richer than OTL (and a lot freer), the US is less politically at odds with itself, and the global economy is currently ticking along nicely. Without the disasters of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria Islamic fundamentalism remains weak compared to Arab secular nationalism (although the Islamic parties ended up taking over Egypt), and Islamic terrorism is only a small dark cloud on the horizon for most countries. Indonesia, some part of Africa and southern Korea are worse off than OTL, but overall the situation is comparable or better. The one really troublesome bit is the Israeli-Arab confrontation, which remains, rather more than OTL, an existential conflict, and the US, Russia, the EU, and China are all putting increasing pressure on both sides to end their arms race…
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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.

Bruce
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deviantID

QuantumBranching
Bruce Munro
United States
Current Residence: Where the rabbit shoulda made a turn
Interests
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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:iconcyberphoenix001:
CyberPhoenix001 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  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.
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2015
"Today Grand Fenwick, tomorrow the world?" :D

Does it give any details on what the planets are like or the alt-borders of Europe? 
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:iconottovonsuds:
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.
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:iconquantumbranching:
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. 
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:iconottovonsuds:
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".
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:iconcyberphoenix001:
CyberPhoenix001 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are you going to put up your LotA map here?
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015
See my response to Otto.
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
Please repost your les mortes d'arthur map on here too. It was great.
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:iconcyberphoenix001:
CyberPhoenix001 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How's V for Vendetta coming along?
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:iconquantumbranching:
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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