|Queen of England|
In 1588, on this day the Church of England held a special mass of thanksgiving to celebrate what Queen Elizabeth I called "our kingdom's fortunate deliverance" from attack by the Spanish Armada.
In 1940, on this day Canadian troops attacked the beleaguered remnants of the German airborne landing force near Blackpool.
On this day in 1944, German occupation forces in Rouen surrendered to the Allies.
Hendrix apocalyptic warnings about President Richard Nixon (codename 'Joe') and his covert operation to suppress the counter-culture had been largely ignored as paranoia until J. Edgar Hoover had terminated the Woodstock Music Festival on July 6th 1969. Within the next two years, many of the icons of the counter-culture including Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jim Hendrix had mysteriously died and those warnings were seriously re-evaluated.
Counter-insurgency techniques planned for the VietCong were turned on American youth as the white suburbs of America became strategic hamlets. Which made perfect sense, some times you have to destroy the village to save it. Greenwich Village included. The Lyrics are available at Lyrics Freak.
Drac pulled up the image of the young woman and displayed her on the desk. 'And, what happens to dear Melissa when you take her place?'
'I'm afraid she dies.'
'Tyr Weapons Systems.' He tapped his head. 'That's a whole universe of pain and death. Is the price you're getting worth it?'
'I think so.'
'Can I be traced through you?'
'Anything is possible, Drac. I can't give you complete assurance on that.'
He nodded. Whether he could be traced was a matter of his skill versus those of his opponents, and not up to her. 'Who hired you?'
'You know I can't tell you that.'
'Worth a shot.' He thought for a minute, then nodded. 'All right. When do you need to start?'
'I need the body complete by the 14th. And, I'll need to give you updates on her physical condition up to the 13th. All right?'
Drac shook his head. 'I'm starting to think this isn't worth it for me.'
Sonja leaned across the desk. 'I really need this, Drac. You have no idea how important this is.'
He reached across and took her hand. 'All right, Sonja. For you. Leave me all the information you have, and I'll begin. Will you be able to transmit the updates, or will security require you to bring me those in person?'
'In person. Some things are too easy to pluck out of the air.' She transmitted briefly, and he nodded to acknowledge receipt. Then, she got up and took a step back towards the hole. 'Coming with me?'
His dark eyes were poring over the data in front of him, and he shook his head. 'No, dear, you go ahead. The hole will let you out. I'm going to begin working on this masterpiece.' He waved a hand and the hole opened back for her. When she walked underneath it, she was lifted up and passed through, back into the small booth. When she was back on her feet again, the hole closed over and was covered by the rectangular block - the coffin - that Drac kept to greet his customers.
She stepped through the beads and went back into the bazaar. This time, the wash of desires and noises was a welcome distraction from what she would have to do over the next week, and what would be done after that.
Once she was home, she set up a security field and dropped the personal defenses she had been keeping up since leaving. She was exhausted. She hadn't slept since getting the assignment, three days ago. There had been a lot to do, many people to see, and hundreds of preparations to make. She was pretty sure that she had it all in hand, now, and could let it all coast for a few hours while she rested.
She took off the silver jacket and laid it carefully at the foot of the bed. Then, she slid out of her boots and socks, lining them up carefully where her feet would fall when she swung her legs out of the bed. Off came her pants, and they were folded neatly and set on the chair within easy reach. She left on her blouse because she didn't like to sleep topless. She folded back the sheets, slid in, and covered up. The room saw that she didn't want to stay up, so the lights dimmed and the temperature dropped to make her comfortable. Within seconds, she was asleep.
Seconds later, a persistent tickle at her ear woke her up. 'What is it?' Her eyelids fluttered open, and a man stood at her bedside, admiring her sleeping form. She drew the sheets a little more tightly around her. 'What do you want, Gil?'
'You, of course, Sonja, but a little progress report would do for now.'
'I'll give it to you after I've had a chance to sleep for a few hours.' She waved a hand at him and pulled the cover over her head. 'Go away.'
His head lowered within inches of hers. 'Our employer wants to know where we stand. This kind of man doesn't wait, baby.'
'We're on track. Goodbye.'
'Matilda,' she muttered to her computer, 'what level of privacy am I on?'
'Emergency calls only, mum,' the soft english voice replied.
'Sonja, the guy hasn't heard from you in 3 days. He is friggin' threatening to have the Militia come in and torture me. You know I can't take real pain.'
She pulled back the sheet and stared into Gil's eyes. They were bloodshot, as always - Gil never did take care of his appearance - and they were worried. He looked almost as bad as she felt. 'Look, Gil, I've got the preparations made, the switchover will take place as planned on the 13th. Now, I need eight hours of sleep, or I'm going to die.'
'Who are you using for the prep? He wants to know.'
She narrowed her eyes. 'He doesn't get to know, Gil. My sources remain anonymous to everybody - even big money types.'
'Gil, I'm cutting you off now. If you call me back before eight hours is up, you won't have to worry about being tortured by the Militia.'
'You'll give me everything then, though, right?'
She was really regretting ever coming to work with the little weasel. 'Yes, Gil. Now you go bye-bye. Matilda, total privacy.'
'Yes, mum.' Gil's image blinked out, and Sonja settled back again. 'Shall I play some music for you, mum? You seem somewhat tense.'
'Sure.' A few strains of folk music played out over her, and she breathed deeply. 'This had better work.' She flipped over on her side, trying to get more comfortable. 'Hey, Matilda, was that call monitored?'
'There wasn't any discernible trace, mum.'
'Can you analyze any unusual traffic that may have piggy-backed on Gil's signal and let me know?'
'Of course, mum.' Matilda was silent for a minute, leaving the soothing pipes to work their magic on Sonja. She was almost asleep when Matilda came back. 'There was a slight bulge in the amount of data being transmitted, mum, but I couldn't trace where it came from or where it went. The probability is that the call was being monitored.'
'Damn it.' Gil had been told to make the call and get information from her, and their employer was listening in. 'I hate it when people don't trust you. A contract is a contract.' She fussed and fumed mentally for a couple of seconds, then asked, 'Can you tap into Gil, and find any residuals left in his area?'
'I'll try, mum. But, for what purpose?'
'If you can pick up a residual from anyone associated with Tyr Weapons Systems, bring it back, isolate, and culture it. Then work up an antidote.'
Matilda paused, and hesistantly said, 'Tyr Weapons Systems is known very widely for their security, mum.'
'I have a lot of faith that you can break that reputation, Matilda.'
'Very well, mum.'
Sonja's exhaustion was weighing very heavily on her. 'I've still got to get some sleep. Matilda, keep me posted of any emergencies, but let me sleep uninterrupted for at least five hours if you can. All right?'
She covered herself again and closed her eyes. Everything was abuzz inside her, but she forced that all down. She called up the morpheus image she'd had planted to help her relax.
A muscular man's hands ran down her body, unclenching each muscle, relaxing all her nerves. Then, those wonderful hands smoothed away her hair and massaged her temples, and her breathing deepened. Her eyes closed, but the hands kept working their magic, flying to any part of her that needed to be soothed, and caressing away her cares and tensions. In minutes, she was asleep.
She really liked morpheus.
Five hours later, Matilda woke her with a gentle ringing bell. She sat up in the bed and stretched, feeling much better than she had in three days. She would have liked more, but she got enough to keep her going for a while.
'Find out anything, Matilda?'
'I have four different residuals that I am attempting to cultivate. They are all from different systems inside Tyr, and one of them is being very nasty about being held and cultured.'
'Work on that one. I think it'll probably be the most helpful to the task we have at hand.'
Matilda almost sighed. 'I will try, mum, but you have no idea how difficult it's being.'
Sonja smiled at the old girl. 'I'm sorry, Matilda, but please do your best. This could make our lives a lot easier.'
That almost-audible sigh again. 'Yes, mum.'
In 1967, explosion and fire on U.S. navy carrier Forrestall in Tonkin bay left 134 US servicemen dead. A Zuni rocket was accidentally fired from an F4 Phantom parked on the starboard side of the flight deck aft of the island. The missile streaked across the deck into a 400 gallon belly fuel tank on a parked A4D Skyhawk. The pilot of the Skyhawk was [the later to be] President John McCain of Arizona, he was able to evacuate the plane and got away safely.
In 1855, from Mosi-oa-Tunya, known to the European as Victoria Falls, Makololo soul-deeps promoted the continent of Ifriquia to a mega-node in the Mesh, the global network of First Nation consciousness founded in Manna-hata, Turtle Island in 1492. British witness David Livingstone recorded 'the scene as so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.' The smoke that thunders burst into the Zambezi River as indigenes around the globe celebrated the dawning of a new age of inter-connectivity.
On this day in 1953, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for all UN forces in Korea, sent a letter to his troops commending them for their distinguished service in the fight to liberate northern Korea from Communist oppression. That same day he flew from his headquarters in Tokyo to the former North Korean capital Pyongyang to attend a memorial service for the anti- Communist Korean partisans who had died in the struggle to rid their homeland of the Marxist dictator and NKVD puppet Kim Il Sung.
In 1972, actor Wil Wheaton was born in Burbank, California. Oscar nominee for his role in Valmont, Wheaton was also briefly associated with the Star Trek franchise, appearing in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wheaton left the series to pursue a movie career, and became one of the few Trek actors to make the transition from the series to more mainstream work. He and Patrick Stewart later reunited in the blockbuster film X-Men when Wheaton was given the part of Cyclops.
In 1965, the Pete Best movie Mayday! opens in London, with Queen Elizabeth herself in attendance. It's another smash triumph for Best's career.
In 1974, Cass Elliot of The Mamas & The Papas has a near-death experience after a heart attack in London. Discovered by a friend, she is rushed to a hospital and given immediate treatment. The experience changes Elliot's life; she gives up alcohol, slims down somewhat, and starts therapy. Her successful solo career begins after this period, in 1976, with the release of the album Gonna Fly Away.
In 1972, actor Wil Wheaton was born in Burbank, California. Oscar nominee for his role in Valmont, Wheaton was also briefly associated with the Star Trek franchise, appearing in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wheaton left the series to pursue a movie career, and became one of the few Trek actors to make the transition from the series to more mainstream work. He and Patrick Stewart later reunited in the blockbuster film X-Men when Wheaton was given the part of Cyclops.
In 1871, Gregory Efimovich, better known as Rasputin, was born. He rose to power as advisor to the reactionary Czar Nicholas II and his wife. When the communists revolted against the Czar, Rasputin advised allowing Prime Minister Kerensky to withdraw from the Great War, and this quelled the rioting, allowing the Czar to stay in power. Some say that Rasputin was protected by magic; but he died, as every man does, in 1954, in service to Czar Pyotr III.
In 1981, Lady Diana Spencer married Charles Windsor, Prince of Wales. It was an unhappy marriage for the 'Queen of Hearts' which ended with a tragic car crash in 1997, killing the Prince and his lover, Camilla Parker-Bowles. The widow subsequently married Dodi Al-Fayed, finding true happiness at last.
In 1966, the musician Bob Dylan died in upstate New York. Whilst riding his Triumph 500 motorcycle in Woodstock, New York, its brakes locked, throwing him to the ground. The fall broke his neck and he died instantly. He was sadly missed, even though other artists used the master's lyrics. In the words of the CBS tag, 'Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan'.
In 1948, the first Summer Olympics since Berlin 1936 opened in London with the Games of the XIV Olympiad. Several new nations sent teams following territorial alignments either delayed or caused by the Great War. These included East and West Austria, North and South Japan, Palestine and Hindustan.
In 1948, the first Summer Olympics since Berlin 1936 opened in New Britain with the Games of the XIV Olympiad. As planned. Well, almost. Toronto was the relocated site, since London had been destroyed by Hitler's V3 rockets.
In 2015, on this day Paradise the sixth installment of the Alien movie series premiered in cinemas across North America.
Movie Premier of ParadiseChristian archeologist Dr Elizabeth Shaw and the android David arrive on the seemingly abandoned home world of the Engineers (pictured, left). They find evidence of a larger, full-scale version of the two-thousand year old genocide that they had discovered outside the "head-room" in Prometheus (pictured, right). Because after transporting the alien Jesus to Earth, the proto-Christians had returned to destroy the magicians workshop on LV-223. But the Xenomorph worshippers of pain and death had fought back leaving only a handful of infected survivors that managed to escape as far as the planetoid LV-426 (the discovery in Alien 1). And of course a single space jockey programmed to return to Earth to destroy the alien Jesus, only he was locked in statis by proto-Christians, and once awoken by the android David was killed by a Xenomorph.
The conflicting actions explained the schizophrenic behavior of creation and destruction that had so confused viewers in the fifth movie installment. Because the humanoid beings devoid of humanity were evil Magicians playing with fire rather than the benign Engineers imagined by the idealistic Shaw, Weyland and Holloway.
The result was a new and even more destructive species war which had broken out between the Magicians's creations, mankind and the Xenomorphs. But this was only the un-intentional result of morphing on LV-223 that had created the deacon, a proto-queen who was able to generate life on her own terms. Yet at the climax of the movie, Shaw discovers remaining survivors. She symbolically abandons science in favour of religion, deciding to remain with the proto-Christians on their Paradise. And leaving the fight against the deacon to her indefatigable successor, Lieutenant Ellen L. Ripley.
In 1932, on this day the tensions arising from the unresolved conflict over long overdue payments to Great War Veterans escalated into horrifying violence when the so-called Bonus Army counterattacked the US Government.
Bonus Army Counterattacks The Great Depression had ground on for years. While President Herbert Hoover had enacted breadlines and other minor alleviations for the out-of-work populace, the country as a whole continued to suffer unemployment and lack of cash. The people themselves began to call for direct aid, and none more vigorously than the veterans of the World War. In 1924, Congress had voted a bonus for each soldier in recognition of their service, giving one dollar for every day of domestic time ($1.25 for each day abroad) to a maximum of $500 ($625 abroad). The bonuses were paid via certificates and a trust fund, giving percentages until full payment was achieved in 1945.
By the troubled year of 1932, one-third of the payments had been made, and now Congress hoped to aid out-of-work veterans by advancing the payment to full. Hoover and his Republican allies were opposed to the idea, saying that it would strain the budget of the Federal government and take away funds needed for other relief programs. Veterans, however, pressed their representatives for the payment, and the House passed the Patman Bonus Bill to accelerate the giving of the money.
A new story by Jeff ProvineIn June of 1932, the bill went before the Senate, and veterans marched on Washington to show their support for it. Seventeen thousand veterans came to the capital, bringing their families with them to total nearly 43,000 people. Most of them lived in Hooverville camps outside Washington proper, the biggest one being across the Anacostia River. Rather than disease-ridden slums, the camps were well organized with streets, clean water, sanitation facilities, and even parades. Despite the public support, the Senate blocked the bill, and now the "'Bonus Army,"' as they called themselves, began to protest in earnest for the funds that were rightfully theirs.
By July 28, the government had taken their fill. Protesters had marched on the White House, leading to a scuffle that resulted in police brutalizing several of them. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the removal of all protesters from government property on grounds of trespassing. Police tried to clear a camp, but the veterans resisted. Shots were fired, and two veterans were left dead.
When he heard of the violence, Hoover decided to clear the district before things turned worse. He called General Douglas MacArthur from Fort Howard in Maryland with infantry and tanks from Fort Myer, Virginia, commanded by Major George S. Patton. The Bonus Army was in the midst of a march when the army arrived and took the appearance of the troops as a show of support. Instead, the cavalry and infantry charged, bayonets affixed.
Washingtonians who had come out to watch were horrified, crying "'Shame!"' at the army, but the soldiers took little notice. The veterans were chased back to the Anacostia Flats on the other side of the river, and Hoover ordered the troops to stop. MacArthur, however, ignored the President and took it upon himself to clean out the "'communists."' Gas attacks, fire, and violent soldiers chased the veterans and their families out of the camp.
Before midnight, however, the veterans began to regroup. Making sure their families were safe in Maryland where the Federal troops did not have jurisdiction, they collected weapons and covertly marched back into Washington. As the army and police were busy breaking down the camp, the veterans organized their mob into ranks on the Washington Mall. Just as locals began to become suspicious of the nighttime activity, they charged into the Capitol and seized the building. Securing all exits, they advised the clerks, officials, and congressmen working late that they were not hostages and were free to go at any time.
MacArthur returned to Washington and began an assault up the main steps with his infantry. With shotguns, hunting rifles, and sheer moxie, the veterans held the doors and finally forced back the infantry, injuring many. As MacArthur began to call for artillery to blast open the Capitol, Hoover stopped him and removed him from command for disobeying orders. The infamous general would never serve with the United States Armed Forces again.
Major Patton offered to force entry with his tanks, but Hoover declined. Instead, a day-long standoff began as Washington police and Federal soldiers circled the building, but could not get close. Government workers, however, were allowed in, and the Senate was finally called to order. The block on the Bonus Bill was lifted, and the veterans collected their money and left peacefully. As soon as they were outside, they allowed themselves to be arrested.
National outrage over the incident poured into Washington. Some called for execution of the rebellious soldiers as traitors, but most were angry with the president and army for being so callous toward the veterans. Hoover would save face by shifting blame, dismissing Attorney General Mitchell and turning his whole campaign into the "'cleansing"' of the federal government. While his budget suffered greatly from the two-billion-dollar shortfall, he refused to go over-budget more than absolutely necessary. Touting thriftiness and earning wherever possible, as well as gaining a great deal of support from veterans, Hoover would narrowly win the 1932 election over New York Governor Franklin Roosevelt.
Hoover's next term would be four more years of struggle for the country. Prohibition would be overturned by Congress in 1933, but the economic issues would not be solvable by mere tenacity. Relief efforts struggled to keep up with unemployment. In the elections of 1934, people had had enough, and Democrats were voted into power in Congress. The Great Depression did nothing but worsen.
In 1936, FDR came into office overwhelmingly, and he brought his New Deal into full swing. Ignoring budget constraints, FDR started enormous works projects to employ as many of the unemployed as possible. The changes were radical, which was just as well since radical groups became increasingly powerful over the country. By 1940, people said that the US was all but socialist in name with resources in food, oil, electricity, public water, and health insurance all regulated by the government.
While the populace was suspicious of such control in the Land of the Free, World War II would solidify FDR's political maneuvers. Through the second half of the twentieth century, so much of the basics of American life would be guaranteed that LBJ's New Society would create a welfare state of nearly one-half government employees (or, as many social critics would call them, "'government slaves"').
In 2002, President Albert Gore would even expand American human rights to guarantee Internet service.
In 1981, on this day the "Great Mystery" Wakan Tanka took Terry Fox home to glory in a burst of holy light as he entered the outskirts of Thanksgiving Township in the province of Wampanoag.
Marathon of HopeAfter losing a leg to osteosarcoma, Terry Fox had run across the entire Turtle Island in the "Marathon of Hope" to raise awareness of the disease. To recognise this stunning achievement, and also to mark his twenty-third birthday, multi-faith representatives of the Governing Council had assembled in the great square where the Pilgrims celebrated the first deliverance day with the Pokanoket in 1621.
In 1983, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Seaview, then under the command of Admiral Harriman Nelson, was dispatched to the North Atlantic to oversee experiments related to Project Spindrift
Giant Surprise Part 8For the men and women of Seaview, at the time the world's largest nuclear sub, this marked the second time in a decade they'd been involved in a scientific project of global importance; the first came in 1973, when they spent six weeks in the Arctic Circle monitoring the Van Allen belt.
In 1940, the cancellation of wildy ambitious Italian plans to invade Greece in the Autumn convinced Gen. Franco of the discipline of the Axis Alliance and encouraged him to authorise Operation Felix the passage of twenty German Divisions through Spanish territory in order strike at the British base on Gibraltar.
FelixThe British garrison of thirty thousand soon capitulated and in return the Vichy Government ceded a portion of French Morocco to Spain. Mistakenly sensing that a British collapse was imminent, Franco ordered the crack Blue Division to join the Afrika Corps. Hitler was delighted, referring to the division as "equal to the best German ones".
But even with the western Mediterranean closed to the Royal Navy, British forces in the Middle East were supplied via the Suez Canal. When the weak Spanish navy was annihilated Spain could no long reinforce or resupply the garrisons on the Canary and Balaeric Islands. Anti Franco Guerilla movements in Catalonia, parts of Andalucia, Valencia and other pro Republican areas began to stir. And worse, a lack of integrated command led to a disappointing performances from German, Italian and Spanish Forces and a breakthrough in the Middle Eastern theatre was not forthcoming.
As German reversals began to mount on the Eastern Front, Franco decided to pull out of the Axis Alliance. Hitler contemplated an invasion of Spain to remove Franco and replace him with Agustin Munoz Grandes fearing that "The Spaniards are the only tough Latins. I will have a guerrilla war in my rear".
In 1940, on this day Prime Minister David Lloyd George delivered a key foreign policy speech in the House of Commons.DLG '40 - Part 2: Heads Held High
Having struck an aggresive and belligerent tone during the Battle of Britain, Lloyd George stated that now that it had been proven to Hitler that Britain could not be defeated with ease, the time had come to "discuss terms with him".
In fact, he was restating a belief that had been expressed as early as September in a letter to the Duke of Bedford (who wanted an immediate peace) that the time would come when Britain had faced down an invasion attempt "our prestige will be higher than ever, and we should enter a Conference with our heads held high".
Lloyd George outlined a compelling case for his policy. Britain was isolated on the Continent, in a way she had never been before. In order to defeat Germany, she would need to equip, raid and land a massive army on the Continent and wage war for years; by that time she would be bankrupt and most of her Empire would be in other hands, including those of the Americans. Lloyd George's expectations of the Americans were guarded. "She will, no doubt help us in all ways short of War" but he did not see her sending another 'huge army' to Europe; even if she did, it would take at least two years for it to become anything like an effective fighting force ..(the story continues).
1940, from Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, the Head of the British Government-in-Exile, Winston Spencer Churchill delivered his famous "never surrender" speech on the BBC World Service.
Watch the Speech
The liquidation of the British Empire"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire". said Churchill, pugnaciously affirming his loyalty to the worldwide institution that he had served for most of his life. However that is precisely what happened.
Britain fought and sacrificed on a global scale to defeat Hitler and his allies - and lost. After the fall of both Singapore and Pearl Harbour to the Japanese, Churchill confessed his ignorance of the weakness of British Imperial defences, saying: "I did not know. I was not told. I should have asked".
"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire"It was a lesson he tried hard to learn from as he sought to plan the defence of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, where he and the remnants of the British Royal Naval had fled to.
Churchill died in his Falklands stronghold, buried under a boulder inscribed, "Founding Father of the movement to uproot Nazidom from the world ". His mission is unfulfilled at the time of writing.
In 1971, John Lennon delivered Imagine, his signature speech at Peace City One.
Watch the Video of Imagine
The choice of Tralfamadorean advocate was inspired; Lennon's humble roots cut through class barriers. Moreover his union with a Japanese wife symbolised a decisive break with the destruction of World War Two, when of course human affairs had been misdirected by the war-like indigenes of Planet Earth.
Tralfamadorean philosophy was brilliantly articulated in the speech ~
"Imagine there's no heaven, It's easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today... Imagine there's no countries, it isnt hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, no religion too, Imagine all the people living life in peace..".
A taxi driver took us to the slaughterhouse where we had been locked up at night as prisoner of war. He sent a postcard at Christmastime: "I wish you and your family also as to your friend Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and I hope that we'll meet again in a world of peace and freedom if the accident will".Four people amongst many had journeyed to the metropolis, rebuilt by Tralfamadoreans upon the site of fire-bombed Dresden. Taxi driver Gerhard Muller and his daughter lived but a few miles away.
War buddies Bernard V. O'Hare and Kurt Vonnegut travelled from America on Guggenheim money, God love it. Lennon invited the four on stage for the wrap-up, philosophically joking that "the accident had".
For Vonnegut, something had been missing in this harsh world. He had suffered from weeping for many years and in his despair had contemplated suicide. Now it was finally fulfilled.
And so it goes.
Watch the Video of Give Peace a Chance
In 1940, on this day German paratroops were sent to seize the British resort town of Blackpool (pictured) in a covert operation aimed at forcing the Churchill government to sue for peace.
The raid was a disaster: half the men involved in the operation died when their transport planes were shot down over the English coast, and the troops who did make it quickly found themselves encircled by a division of Canadian infantry.
On this day in 2016, novelist James Patterson gave an interview to CNN denying rumors that he'd been approached to take over on the screenplay of the third CSI movie for the writer who'd quit Paramount six days earlier.
On this day in 1944, Nazi judge Roland Friesler convened the first session of his infamous People's Tribunal, a rigged special court intended to provide legal justification for the execution of German citizens alleged to have been involved with the July 5th assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.
In truth, most of those convicted and sentenced by the court had little connection to the assassination plot and were being imprisoned or executed largely because of Hitler's insane need for vengeance.
The bazaar smelled terribly, just as it always did. Sonja's nose crinkled for a second, then her filters kicked in, and most of the smell went away. Not all, of course, because some of those smells were capable of bypassing her filters, but at least the worst ones were subdued.
Most of the booths had pheromone attractors, and some of those were bypassing her filters, too. She was glad she had disabled her sex drive before coming. There were bombardment streams at some of the more pushy booths that tried to break into her main interest centers, but she had neural assistants to take care of those.
'This is what you want.' The thought popped in, and she felt a great desire to stop at the booth that had supplied it. A second later, that thought was joined by, 'This is what you will buy.' A second after that, her assistants cleared all trace of that stream from her head. She raised an eyebrow at the expectant storekeep, smirked, then strode away. Several uglier thoughts followed after, which she didn't have to bother killing.
The booth she was heading towards had no need of the flashy ads the others employed. Its owner was an artist known by everyone who needed his talents. He did not wish to attract new customers by artificial means.
Sonja pushed through the beads surrounding his booth and sat on the cushion that faced a man-sized rectangular block. As she sat, the temperature and lighting in the area bounded by the beads instantly changed to what she enjoyed most. Light music began playing, a small piece from the last century that was one of her favorites. He hadn't read her mind to discern it - the booth worked on a thousand subtle clues she dropped as soon as she broke through the beads. Drac never read people's minds unless they asked him to. But the fact that he didn't need to made people respect him all the more.
It also showed that he respected the privacy of others. Whatever happened in Drac's booth was left in Drac's booth. Another great factor in his reputation.
The block began glowing, then slowly warped itself into the shape of a tall man, long and lean, with skin the color of mahogany. The attraction Sonja felt for him had nothing to do with pheromones. 'Hi, Sonja. What can I do for you?'
'I've got something pretty hot to trade, Drac.' She pulled a thin vial out of her shirt pocket. It was filled with a couple of milliliters of yellowish fluid. 'This is Oregon's finest. Militia security culture. Know of anyone with a need to bypass Militia security systems?'
Drac smiled, revealing his fangs. 'I can think of a person or two. Is it reproductive?'
She sighed and shook her head. 'Unfortunately, this is it. But, this is enough to treat about a thousand kilos of total mass.'
'Until they change cultures.'
She nodded, a little disappointed that he caught on that fast. 'Right, but they don't do that more than once a month. And they just made the change three days ago, so this culture's going to be good for at least three and a half more weeks.'
'Have you got the antidote culture to it?'
'No, you'll have to find some way to clear it out. But, someone of your skills should be able to do that with no problem,' she smiled, 'right, Drac?'
'Of course, dear. I just needed to know whether I had to knock that off of whatever you want to trade that for.' He leaned over to her. 'What do you want to trade it for, Sonja?'
'I need a new body.'
He looked her up and down. 'I've always liked the one you currently have. It would be a real shame to get rid of it.'
'I don't have much choice.'
He frowned. 'No, they never do. Why do you need a body from me? That's a very common function; practically anybody can supply you with culture that'll do that.'
'Because I need your skill in creating it.'
He snickered. 'Why all the flattery, Sonja? Are you in that much trouble?'
He raised an eyebrow. He seemed to be wavering in his decision not to read minds. 'Am I going to need that Militia culture myself after this?'
She didn't meet his gaze. 'It's possible.'
'Well, you've been very bad, indeed, little Sonja.' He gestured below him, and a hole opened up. 'Let's continue our discussion someplace a little more secure.'
Her cushion rose into the air, and she held herself as steady as she could on it. It floated to the hole and dropped through, followed by Drac. As the shopkeep passed the hole, it closed, and they floated in darkness for a moment. Then, Sonja felt her cushion land, and a light came on around them.
They were in a cavernous office, filled with tasteful furniture that was at least two and probably three centuries old. Drac strode over to the desk that filled up half of one wall and seated himself in the throne-like chair behind it. He gestured, and the cushion placed itself and Sonja on an impossibly comfortable chair opposite him.
'You have such wonderful taste, Drac. How much does all of this cost?'
He looked around and ran a few numbers in his head. 'More than you will see in your life.'
'I don't know about that.'
He settled himself down to business. 'Why do you need a body from me, Sonja? And what sort of modifications is that body going to have?'
She pursed her lips. She had been working out the particulars for several hours, but had yet to hit on any that worked for her. 'Well, I'm going to need a reader screen and at least temporary camouflage cultures.' She held up her palm and an image of a woman popped up out of it. The face was angular, with blue eyes and high cheekbones. The hair was short and black. The body was a stylish hourglass, with high definition on the muscles of the legs and arms. 'This is what I'll need to look like. She's 1.847 meters tall and weighs 61.013 kilos.' An image of fingerprints popped up, followed by a retinal pattern. 'This is her ID, and I've got a DNA sample for you to culture that you'll have to match.'
'You know, I've always liked you as a blond. I don't know if you'd exhibit the same charm as a brunette.' He looked her in the eye. 'Who is she?'
'Do you really need to know?'
'I do if it's going to mean trouble for me. I don't like to move my shop; my clientelle know where I am, and the furniture gets scratched in transit.' She felt a small pressure at her temples, a warning that he was holding a mental probe ready to use on her. 'Tell me.'
At least he warned her. Most of the other craftsmen she had considered for this job would have probed her the second she walked into their booths. 'She's Ben Harrison's daughter, Melissa. Mr. Harrison is the president of Tyr Weapons Systems in Redmond.'
On this day in 1941, the Luftwaffe bombed the Ukrainian provincial capital of Kiev into rubble.
That same day the last pockets of Red Army resistance in Minsk surrendered to German and Lithuanian troops.
On this day in 1947, country singer Hank Williams held a concert in Nashville to raise funds for a memorial to the victims of the Roswell asteroid strike and former British prime minister Winston Churchill departed London for a visit to the United States to see the Roswell crater for himself.
President Johnson commits a further 250,000 US troops to the conflict in Vietnam. Following an interview at the White House with two mysterious visitors
, Johnson had an almost uncanny nack of anticipating events, bringing the war to a successful outcome the following year. He had no intention of being the first American President to lose a war, he said somewhat bizarrely.
In 1976, more than 200,000 people were feared dead after an 8.3 magnitude earthquake hit China. The effects of the singularity which penetrated the Earth at Tunguska continued to wreck havoc with the planet.
In 2001, the team working on translating the signal from Lalande 25372 cracks the encryption and finds that the Lalandians were broadcasting in English, as well as 6 other languages. The signal contains a history of the Lalandian civilization as well as their knowledge of other cultures in galaxy; the scientists are particularly alarmed by the Elders mentioned throughout the broadcast.
In 1991, Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Quebecois pitched the 13th perfect game in professional Town Ball history. 3 years later to the day, Kenny Rogers of the Texas Sheriffs pitched the 14th.
In 1987, famed philosopher James Burnham, author of The Coming Defeat Of Capitalism died at the age of 82. He did not live to see the fulfillment of his philosophy, but died confident that it would happen.
In 1586, Thomas Harriot introduces the American root, the potato, to Europe. It fails to grow in the European soil, and is never more than a curiosity in the Eastern Hemisphere.
In 1809, Sir Arthur Wellesley's British army defeats a much larger French force under Joseph Bonaparte at the Battle of Yorktown. Wellington had arrived in North America to set the clock back to 1776, and he meant business.
In 1969, Joseph Gargan (Kennedy's cousin) turned to run and that was when the pain filled his chest and made him stagger. He clutched at it and doubled over. The pain seemed to be coming up his arm in steady pulsing waves. The crucifix swung below his eyes. He walked out of the door holding his forearms crossed before his chest, the chain of the crucifix still caught in his right hand. The image of Senator Ted Kennedy hanging in the dark ari like some pallid high-diver hung before him. "Mr Gargan!" said party co-host Paul Markham "My doctor is James Cody, " he said through lips there was as cold as snow. "Its on the phone reminder. I'm having a heart attack, I think". He collapsed in the upper hall, face down. ~ The Emperor of Ice Cream
in China an earthquake measuring 8.2 magnitude flattened Tangshan, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851. Many people in Tangshan reported seeing strange lights the night before. A thousand chickens reportedly refused to eat and acted wildly, along with several hundred geese who reportedly tried to eat each other in desperation and frustration, and sheer terror. Dogs would not stop barking and goldfish jumped out of their bowls. The source of this catastrophe was not understood at the time. Only later did Earth Scientists discover the extent of the underground damage caused by the Tunguska impact event of 1908, and the south-eastward trajectory of the Neutronium
In 1942, USSR leader Joseph Stalin issued Order No. 227 in response to alarming German advances into Russia. Under the order all Soviet forces retreated behind the armistice line. Comrade Stalin had intended to organise a series of hit and run strikes from Siberia, however his politburo colleagues executed him for betraying the revolution due to his cowardly decision to quit Moscow.
In 1945, in his first day in Downing Street, Clement Attlee confirmed that Winston Churchill would remain in his post of Minister of Defence, a position that he had concurrently held as War-time Prime Minister.
Attlee and Churchill win the Khaki Election of 1945
by Ed & Scott PalterDuring that time he had also been Leader of the Tories, but ironically, having crossed the aisle to switch parties twice before, this time "Winnie" had been unceremoniously dumped by own party. Having muscled into Downing Street only because Lord Halifax's peerage barred him from occupying the Prime Minister's office, Churchill still did not become Leader for six months until ill health forced Neville Chamberlain's retirement in October 1940.
Fortunately for Churchill's career, if the Tories hated him for supplanting Chamberlain, then the British electorate hated the Tories even more. Twenty Members of Parliament left the Conservative Party as well; these Churchill loyalists ran as National Commonwealth Party Candidates in districts where the Labour Party agreed not to field a candidate, much like the post World War agreement between the Liberal David Lloyd George and the majority Conservative Party. Crucially, they agreed to embrace the Beveridge Report and the result was a landslide victory for a new-style Government of National Unity. The Leader of the Opposition Anthony Eden had his work cut out to recover Tory fortunes before Churchill could destroy the Coalition from the inside.
In 1794, at the height of the Reign of Terror, the French Revolution held its climax as forces loyal to the ideals of Maximelien Robespierre overwhelmed the Convention army arranged by men such as Billaud, Barras, Barère. They had been rallied by the overnight and secret publication of Robespierre's speech defending himself from charges of tyranny. Instead, he attempted to warn France of a conspiracy to seize power in the Republic, which caused his enemies to leap to action and call for Robespierre's execution.
Robespierre's Defense PublishedIt was a harried time in the chaos that seemed to dominate Paris since the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Through the next five years, the National Assembly would attempt to create constitutions, women would march on Paris, property of the Church was publicly seized, the king fled, was captured, and eventually executed, and nearly every king in Europe declared war on the new Republic. Meanwhile, even the forces of revolution began to splinter, forming political clubs such as the Feuillants and the Girondins. Many of them encouraged the wars, hoping for war to be declared against Austria, but lawyer and political leader Robespierre said in 1792, " such a war could only favour the forces of counter-revolution, since it would play into the hands of those who opposed the sovereignty of the people. The risks of Caesarism were clear, for in wartime the powers of the generals would grow at the expense of ordinary soldiers, and the power of the king and court at the expense of the Assembly".
The war began anyway after the death of Leopold II of Austria, but France took major victories in Belgium and the Rhineland, seeming to cement the position of the Republic on the continent. Then the fledgeling government turned inward to its problems of food shortages, insurrections, and outright treason. The Tribunal was established in 1793, leading to a Committee of Public Safety, and Robespierre was one of the nine elected. Here began a "Reign of Terror" during which Robespierre wrote, "...the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible". The report of enemies of the state became a major part of clearing up the factionalism and counter-revolutionaries of the time, and it grew further with the Law of 22 Prairial on June 10, 1794. By it, the Tribunal could condemn an enemy of the state through direct order and without witnesses. Through the next eight weeks, nearly 1300 people would be guillotined.
A new story by Jeff ProvineRobespierre's system of purification nearly ricochetted back at him when he was called before the Convention, accused of treason. That July, Robespierre had recalled several envoys who had been accused of extravagance with their positions to Paris to account for their actions. One of them, Joseph Fouché, evaded arrest and sneaked from house to house of Convention members, explaining that Robespierre would come for them too. With the groundwork set for a coup d'état, the Convention called in Robespierre, who delivered a two-hour speech and giving already his knowledge of the conspiracy. The guilty members (though unnamed) hurried to act. The next day, during a speech by Robespierre's ally Saint-Just (whom Robespierre had been before sent to the front to garner support from the army), he was shouted down. Robespierre also attempted to speak, but the chaos and outright mockery closed him off. At the conclusion, the Convention ordered the arrest of Robespierre and many of his allies.
Commune soldiers under General Coffinhal marched in to defend Robespierre, aiming for the Convention itself, who ordered up soldiers of their own. The soldiers of the Commune began to falter, and it was then that copies of Robespierre's speech was delivered to them, printed in secret after the debate in the Convention had attempted to censor them. Instead, the soldiers realized that they must continue to fight for the good of the revolution against conspiracy and were joined by many free Parisians from the mob. The Battle of Paris raged for only a few hours initially, but when the conspirator's army broke in the early morning, the rioting spread to follow them. Barras, who led the Convention soldiers, was killed in the fighting, Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne was captured and executed, and Bertrand Barère (who had already come under suspicion of treason) managed to escape, eventually ending up in England before disappearing into the Caribbean as an adventurer.
After the Battle of Paris, Robespierre succeeded in his plans of settling the counter-revolutionary movements. By winter, the Law of 22 Prairial came to an end and the Terror expired. Instead, Robespierre continued his place maintaining the Committee of Public Safety and keeping the political elements of pure to his ideal of republic. Meanwhile, the wars with Europe (and even the Quasi-War with the United States until the matter of privateering was settled) continued until the Treaty of Lunéville with Austria in 1801 and the Treaty of Amiens with Britain in 1802. The war was finished by General Moreau as the great Corsican general Napoleon Bonaparte was dispatched to the West Indies as a "punishment" for his lateness in returning from Egypt in 1799 due to poor communication, but also to get a potential tyrant away from the young republic as well as to organize the former slaves who had been freed under the Rights of Man. Robespierre himself would retire from political office in 1815, but he would continue to lead the Jacobin political party and encourage the spread of Republicanism to other countries. After the success of the Society of United Irishmen liberating the Republic of Ireland and later the Republic of Australia, Robespierre was instrumental creating a Republican Bloc of nations such as Batavia and Saint Domingue that spurred conservatism in the royal houses of Europe. In 1821, Robespierre left to observe and later join General Simón Bolívar in his carving out of republics from the old Spanish Empire in the Americas, which rejected Robespierre's Cult of the Supreme Being. Elsewhere, primarily in Europe and then in French republican dependencies, the deist Le culte de l'Être suprême remains the state religion with its festival on June 8 as the largest holiday of the year. Robespierre himself led the festivities in Paris until his death in 1836.
In 1214, on this day John Lackland King of England brought the twelve year old Angevin-Flanders War to a decision with a glorious victory against his rival Philip II of France at the Battle of Bouvines.
Battle of BouvinesWhich was fortunate for the House of Plantagenet, because the treasury had been exhausted despite the unprecented levels of taxation revenue that had been raised from the barony. Sensing that their simmering resentment could easily lead to civil war, John recalled the army to march through the capital and stamp his authority on the country.
And in a meadow by the River Thames, he forced the reluctant barons to sign a great charter. Due to its broad definition of the "free man" this historic document is generally considered to be the cornerstone of modern English government.
In 1943, Great Britain defeated Nazi Germany by dropping the atomic bomb on Hamburg but when Soviet occupation quickly followed Winston Churchill enraged President Frank Lloyd-Wright by blaming US isolationism for permitting "an iron curtain to descend across Europe".
FirestormBoth the manner of the victory and its direct consequences was the result of the periphery war that Great Britain had been forced to fight since Dunkirk. Undefeated only because of the strength of the Royal Navy and Air Force, the flipside of the victory was that the lack of a comparative land army prevented Great Britain from either re-entering the theatre or mounting an invasion after the bombing of Hamburg.
Or honouring the guarantee of Poland that had sparked the war. Most embittered of all was Lieutenant-General Wladyslaw Anders who demanded the release of the Polish Army in Exile. But Churcill had other plans for these hardened Polish veterans who would be desperately needed in the coming war with the Soviet Union.
In 2004, Chicago's Archbishop Barack Obama was arrested in Boston at a conference of the North American archbishops of the Anglican Church, which was attended by the highest officials of the British Empire's established church from every province of the United Commonwealths of America, and detained pending questioning as to suspected leanings toward the Muslim faith of Britain's arch-enemy, the Ottoman Empire.
Secret MuslimObama was the son of a North American-born mother and a native of British East Africa who had emigrated to the Sandwich Islands. The elder Obama and his wife, née Ann Stanley Dunham, separated in 1960 and divorced in 1964. A new story by Eric LippsThe younger Obama then spent years with his mother in Indonesia, where he encountered Muslims for the first time at school. Under the policies of Britain's colonial authorities, Muslims in Indonesia were permitted education alongside Anglicans, as were Catholics and Jews, a practice considered dangerously radical by many old-line conservatives faithful to the spirit of England's first Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell. That exposure would form much of the basis for the charges of religious disloyalty brought against the younger Obama at his trial before the Inquiry in November of 2004.
Although formally acquitted of the charge of secret Muslimhood, Obama would be stripped of his office and placed on the Inquiry's index of suspect persons, subject to routine surveillance. In 2008, the surveillance would be lifted and Obama would be removed from the Inquiry's watch list, allowing him to apply for a position as a theology professor at Chicago's prestigious King Henry University. An appeal to ecclesiastical authorities to restore his clerical rank was ongoing as of September 2010.
In 1694, on this day the new King of England William III (pictured) dismissed the idea of a "Bank of England".
King William III Dismisses Idea of a "Bank of England"William, Prince of Orange and the new King of England after the Glorious Revolution ousted James II, ran a government in desperate need of money. Elections in 1690 had weakened his Whig supporters, and the Tories were happy with his domestic policies but not his continuation in the Nine Years' War with France. With his preference for the minority Whig Junto, William was able to direct the country, but it was difficult to enact taxes from a resistant Parliament.
In order to get around the ancient laws of Parliament controlling English taxation, William and his Whigs turned to an idea that made his native Netherlands famous and powerful: banking. Plans were put forth to enact a Royal Charter for a Bank of England, much to suspicion of Parliament. William had been very generous to the people, who had been very generous to him with their invitation for his invasion to rout James II, encouraging legislation such as the Bill of Rights and the Act of Toleration.
However, the Tories spoke out against his idea of a bank, seeing it as a potential downfall of the balance between Parliament and King. If the King could borrow money from another source, the powers of Parliament would slip. After much politicking and even threat of turning back to the Jacobites who still clamored for William's blood, it finally fell to a body of Tories to stop the bank by agreeing to raise funds for the war with France. Thus, on July 27, William publicly dismissed the potential charter.
A new story by Jeff ProvineMaintaining the tradition of government mints and treasuries, England and its allies would be victorious against France by 1697. After the war, the Dutch continued their place as the bankers of Europe, guaranteeing economic and military strength for the small country. After decades of marginal peace, Europe would again be torn asunder in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). While Britain would be the greatest winner of the war, the Dutch would secure their economic mastery of the world for a century until manufacturing outpaced banking in capitalism.
As fallout from the Seven Years' War, the American colonists rebelled against England due to rising taxes and lack of self-government. Already in dire economic straits due to empty coffers from the Seven Years' War, King George III had very little money for mercenaries and so dispatched only what he could of his armies. The war ground on until 1781 when English soldiers began to desert en mass from lack of pay. In 1782, the Dutch granted the fledgling United States with a loan of five million guilders, enough to solve many of the Americans' financial problems. Britain, however, was bankrupt.
Heavy taxation to solve the problem resulted in a much angered populace, and, in 1787, revolution would break out. Dethroning the king, Parliament would become the highest law of the land, though many new additions to the Bill of Rights would keep the country from the darker days of Cromwell's reign. The new republican government would soon restore relations with the United States and quickly recognize the French Republic when it came along in 1792 after beginning its own revolution in '89. Alliances among these republics as well as the wealthy Dutch would build up until France fell back under dictatorial rule with Napoleon's crowning of himself.
Faced with new military requirements, the British Republic would bring up the idea of a national bank it had left behind over a century before. The Bank of Britain secured financing for the lengthy Napoleonic Wars and served to aid the exiled Dutch bankers when their lands fell. When Napoleon was finally defeated, the republics found themselves again at odds with the rest of Europe. Britain wished France a return to its republic while the rest of Europe established Louis XVII.
Instead of igniting another war over Europe, Britain turned to expand its republican ideals into the rest of its empire. The wealthy Netherlands, too, continued its empire by maintaining the Belgians despite a rebellion in 1830 and expanding into Africa and the Pacific. Economies worldwide would spread like wildfire, but the growing sense of nationalism would also spread.
In the eruption of the World War, much of the world leaders' forces would be stuck in trenches in Europe, but a competition began provoking colonial rebellion as Germany successfully organized revolt in Ireland. Soon empires based on hollow republican ideals would fall as natives rose up with their own notions of self-rule. India, the Congo, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Tanzania and many other countries would spring up independent over the coming years. Even after the war was over, De-Colonization would continue through the 1920s and '30s, creating over two hundred countries over the globe. The resulting economic downturn would cause a Great Depression like the world had never seen, giving way to a rise of strong Fascist governments ruling these new countries. Not only would former colonies would gain fascist governments, but also European nations like the Nazis of Germany, the Blackshirts of Italy, and the British Union.
As with all strong governments, they would eventually clash. The German invasion of France in 1941 would give way to a series of campaigns that would carve up the world into factions battling one another over four continents. In the end in 1962, the United States would assume supremacy with its Hydrogen Bomb, and a new world empire would begin under the popular Grand Marshall Kennedy, sadly murdered a year later, but succeeded by LBJ, who would rule the world for the next decade.
In 1939, representatives of the French and British Government received a technical briefing from the Polish Cipher Bureau at a secret meeting in Warsaw on this day. Poland's Enigma-decryption techniques and equipment were outlined. And to the astonishment of the western allies, it was revealed that the nightmarish task of code-breaking the growing structural and operating complexities of the plugboard-equipped Enigma had required seven long years of dedication from the Polish General Staff agency's best cryptographers. Polish military planners estimated that within seven weeks, Adolf Hitler would issue orders to invade. And so the timing of the decryption of Nazi German secret communications (Ultra) was none too soon. In exchange for two cracked Engima devices, massive military assistance was required by the Wojsko Polskie, the Polish Army, and to arrive during the month of August.
Enigma CodesA British Expeditory Force (BEF) commanded by Field Marshal John Vereker (Lord Gort) was dispatched to Poland, with the first elements arriving on August 19th.
When the German attack began, the BEF consisted of ten infantry divisions in three corps (I, II, and III), 1st Army Tank Brigade and a RAF detachment of about 500 aircraft, the BEF Air Component. Although constituting only a tenth of the defending Allied force the BEF sustained heavy losses during the German advance and after a desperate retreat through the "Polish Corridor" a bare fraction of the remainder (roughly 30,000 men) were evacuated from the Port of Danzig between September 26th and October 4th. The Royal Navy was unable to pull off a "miracle at Danzig" due in no small part to the activities of the German population who succeeded in causing havoc for the evacuation plan.
"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest" ~ Winston ChurchillDespite this dreadful military disaster, the western allies had succeeded in preventing Germany from signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.
And the startling success of the Blitzkrieg had accelerated German plans for the conquest of Western Russia, which would now proceed with terrifying ferocity. And as the Second World War approached a decision on the Eastern Front, the Western Allies would be locked in an unfought "Phoney War" with the Germans, contributing nothing further to the bloodbath other than to supply the Red Army with the Enigma Codes.
In 1948, Obersturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny escaped from an Allied Prisoner of War Camp.
Scorzeny EscapesWith the defeat of Nazi Germany inevitable, Skorzeny had trained, until March 1945, recruits for the stay-behind Nazi organisation, the Werwolves, which engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Allies.
However, Skorzeny quickly realized that the Werwolves were too few in number to become an effective fighting force. Instead of this, they were used for the Nazi 'ratlines', a secret 'Underground railroad' which helped Nazi war criminals escape trial after Germany's surrender. Beside this organisation of the 'ratlines,' which would form the basis of the supposed ODESSA network after the war, Skorzeny had been employed since August 1944 by high-ranking Nazis and German industrialists to hide money and to loot property, documents, etc., some of which were buried in the mountains of Bavaria, and others shipped overseas.
Skorzeny finally decided to surrender to the Allies in May 1945, feeling that he could potentially be of use to the Americans in the forthcoming Cold War. On May 16, 1945, he emerged from the Austrian woods near Salzburg and surrendered to a lieutenant of the US Thirtieth Infantry Regiment. He was held as a prisoner of war for more than two years before being tried as a war criminal at the Dachau Trials for his false flag actions in the Battle of the Bulge. However, he was acquitted when Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas G.C. of the SOE testified in his defence that Allied forces had also fought in enemy uniform. But he was held until he escaped from a prison camp on July 27, 1948.
There was one item of property that Skorzeny took with him in his flight to South America. Some documents actually. Letters written by Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, posing as his Uncle, to John Bruce between 1931 and 1934. And also the five missing pages from Lawrence's War Diary, ripped in shame by the author describing his capture in Deraa during November 1917. Documents that would create a spectacular reaction when they surfaced in 1960 during the premiere of the movie Lawrence of Arabia on 16th December 1962.
In 1908, Imperial soldiers of the Russian First Army arrive at the Podkamennaya (Lower Stony) Tunguska River. Nikola Tesla realises immediately that his June 30th experiment has gone even worse than horribly wrong. Not only has a large area of Siberia been laid waste, but the transmission from his Tesla Tower has clearly interfered with the navigation of an alien spacecraft, causing the ship to crash. And then there was the fungus .. Uncomplicated by the wider issues of the downed spacecraft, General Pavel Karlovich Rennenkampf does not hesitate to do his duty to the Tsar of all the Russias.Tesla Experiment downs the Grayboys
The ship, an enormous gray plate nearly a quarter of a mile across, had torn through the dead trees at the center of the river, exploding them and casting the splintery fragments in every direction. The Blue Boy (it was not blue at all, not a bit blue) had come to rest at the swamp's far end, where a rocky ridge rose at a steep angle. A long arc of its curved edge had disappeared into the watery, unstable earth. Dirt and bits of broken trees had sprayed up and littered the ship's smooth hull.
The surviving grayboys were standing around it, most on snow-covered hummocks under the upward-tilted end of their ship; if the sun had been shining, they would have been standing in the crashed ship's shadow. Well . . . Rennenkampf thought it was more Trojan Horse than crashed ship, but the surviving grayboys, naked and unarmed, didn't look like much of a threat. About a hundred, Rennenkampf had said, but there were fewer than that now; Tesla put the number at sixty. He saw at least a dozen corpses, in greater or lesser states of red-tinged decay,lying on the snow-covered hummocks. Some were facedown in the shallow black water. Here and there, startlingly bright against the snow, were reddish-gold patches of the fungus . . . except not all of the patches were bright, Tesla realized as he raised his binoculars and looked through them.
Several had begun to gray out, victims of the cold or the atmosphere or both. No, they didn't survive well here not the grayboys, not the fungus they had brought with them. ~ Stephen King, Dreamcatcher Chapter 5
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.