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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

'Telka the Speaker / Conquerors Line' by Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor
Alternate Historian Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor says, Ratty excites us with tales of the Conquerors Line. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Ratmanifesto site.


February 1

In 47,371 BCE, Swikolay reaches Africa again. Her clan has grown to a dozen strong, now, each dedicated to her great-grandmother's dream of touching the sky. While they are traveling through eastern Africa, they see Kilimanjaro, and Swikolay decides that this mountain will be her final attempt to fulfill The Speaker's wishes.


February 3
In, 47,371 BCE, Swikolay begins her ascent of Kilimanjaro. Because she feels it will be her last chance to touch the sky and fulfill the Speaker's dream, she doesn't allow anyone to climb with her; she tells her companions, If I succeed, I will find a way to let you know. If you see no sign, I have failed. Either way, I will not come back.


February 5
In 47,371  BCE Swikolay, great-granddaughter of Telka the Speaker, has a vision of her dead inspiration. In her dream, Telka descends from the sky and lands next to her. 'You are believing something that you can't touch with your hands again,' the vision tells her. 'Dream your own dream, my child.'


February 6
In 47,371 BCE Swikolay leaves Kilimanjaro behind her and tells her descendants, I don't believe that this mountain will touch the sky. Together, my children, you will create a way to fulfill this dream.


February 7
In 47,391 BCE, Swikolay leads her line of the Speaker's Children deeper into the heart of Africa. She wants to study how birds fly and see if her children can mimic them. She feels her age creeping up on her, and knows that she will not see them touch the sky, but trusts that they will fulfill Telka's dream even without her.


February 12
In, 4082 BCE, a descendant of Telka the Speaker named Icarus, a Hellene, constructs the first working flying machine that has been successful for the Speaker's Line. He demonstrates it for his clan, and during the leap from a cliff, he manages to soar over a hundred feet in the area. A support breaks while he is flying, though, and he falls to his death. The Speaker's Line learns from his example, and moves on.


February 14
In, 47421 BCE, Telka the Speaker is wooed by and mated with the father of her first children, the man she names Komar. She learns to count the days in a year by the anniversary of this day each year that she was with him. His love for her led him to throw himself in front of a boar that was charging her; although he saved her and killed the boar, he died from injuries he received. Telka made sure that each of her descendants celebrated this day out of her love for him.


February 15
In 634, an Asian team of the Speaker's Line assembles their Dragon, a kite that is capable of carrying two full-grown men and is almost fully controllable from within. They manage to glide the Dragon to a height of several hundred feet and manage to return to the ground safely. There is rejoicing throughout the Speaker's Line as word of this success spreads through their ranks.


April 3
In 1657, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, a Conqueror of the Speaker's Line, refuses to accept the Crown of England. He has other plans, and begins assembling as many of his fellow Conquerors as he can. For his brief rule, England becomes the lifeblood of the Conqueror movement among the Children of Telka.


February 17
In 47,368 BCE, Swikolay, great-granddaughter of Telka the Speaker and the true driving force behind keeping the Speaker's dream alive, died in Africa. Her clan, gathered together to mourn, vowed to keep doing whatever was necessary to complete their goal of touching the sky.


February 20
In 1607, the Secret War begins between the two major factions of the Speaker's Line; those who wish to take control of the world's governments in order to fulfill the Speaker's Dream, and those who wish to continue their work without letting those outside the Speaker's Family know of their purpose.


February 23
In 1607, members of the Conquerors, the faction of The Speaker's Line that wishes to take control of the world, ambush a small meeting of Conspirators, the Speaker's Children who wish to keep their existence secret. Although only fifty people are involved, two of the greatest scientists in the line are killed, and the Great Project is set back decades.


February 24
In 1607, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line kill a young German baron who was under the tutelage of the Conquerors faction, replacing him with one of their own people. Werner von Haupt's small barony in central Germany became the focal point of the Secret War for several years after.


February 25
In 1609, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line placed one of their own, George Villiers, close to King James I. He uses the treasury of England to finance both their schemes and his faction of the Speaker's Line against their enemies the Conquerors.


February 29
In 1608, Conquerors of the Speaker's Line take control of the small kingdom of Andorra nestled between Spain and France.

For the next few years, the Andorrans become the Conquerors' testing ground for flying ships, and more horribly, for testing breathing apparatus. The Conspirators overthrow the Conquerors in 1612, and manage to erase all mention of that 4 year period from normal history.


March 11
In 1544, poet Torquato Tasso is born into the Speaker's Line in Sorrento, Italy. His poems utilized da Vinci's code to help spread news to the Speaker's Children around Europe. His work was the first to utilize the Renaissance master's code for this purpose.


March 17
In 460, the Speaker's Line lost several of their Irish family as they converted to Christianity. The new converts lost interest in fulfilling the dreams of Telka, and Ireland became less hospitable to those of the Line who were traveling in Europe. In a few generations, though, the Speaker's Children would recover much of what they had lost, due to the general spread of Christianity through their ranks.


March 19
In 1635, Dutch historian and Conspirator of the Speaker's Line Pieter Christiaensz Bor is killed by Dutch Conquerors in Amsterdam. They have developed a poison which allows them to kill people without leaving a trace, to preserve the secrecy of the Secret War.


March 21
In 1678, poet Andrew Marvell, a Conspirator of the Speaker's Line, dies in his home in London. He had started out as a Conqueror, helping Oliver Cromwell overthrow the monarchy in England, but switched sides after Cromwell's death made him see that the Speaker's Children needed secrecy to achieve their goals. His pamphlets helped both sides communicate quickly during his lifetime.


March 26
In 1668, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line in Mumbai, India are overthrown by the British takeover of the city. Driven underground, they slowly move their work across the border into China, where they conduct experiments in the Gobi Desert.


March 28
In 1814, the Conquerors of the Speaker's Line eliminated one of their French rivals, Joseph Guillotin. He had been a Conspirator working in the French Assembly towards making the country a more democratic and gentle place, and they wanted to boost Napoleon to a conquest of Europe in order to further their goals.


October 8
In 1944, President Wendell Wilkie died in office. Since he hadn't appointed a vice-president to serve at his side after the death of Vice-President Charles McNary in February, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn assumed the presidency, the first Speaker ever elevated top the office through the line of succession. Wilkie led the list of war dead in the next day's paper with the simple notation, 'Wilkie, Wendell; Commander-In Chief.'


April 8
In 1455, descendants of Telka the Speaker maneuver their candidate for the papacy, Alfonso de Borgia, into the Shoes of the Fisherman. Pope Callistus III funnels huge amounts of wealth to a secret fund that will finance the Speaker's Children for centuries.


April 12
In 1633, Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, Chief Inquisitor and a Conspirator of the Speaker's Line, convicts Galileo Galilei of heresy. He had wanted to hear Galileo's theories in person, and suppress them in the general population, and used his position in the Inquisition to do this. Galileo's theories moved the Speaker's Children forward in science, but the rest of the world was left behind.


February 10
In, 47,391 BCE, Swikolay and her clan settle in a small jungle near Kilimanjaro, and she begins studying the birds. During the remainder of her life, she makes many wings that she attaches to the smaller members of her clan to see if it will help them fly. For the most part, each attempt fails, but the clan remains dedicated to the Speaker's Dream.


March 9
In 1684, experiments with the submarine show the Speaker's Line that air can be transported in a vehicle into places that have no air. This breakthrough, which should have advanced the Speaker's Dream, is instead lost because of the Secret War between the two main factions in the Speaker's Line.


March 10
In 1704, Conquerors of the Speaker's Line burn down the library in Kenya that held most of the research being done on fulfilling the Speaker's Dream. Centuries of knowledge were lost in moments. When news of this reached the rest of the Speaker's Children, the Conquerors quickly disavowed those who had done it, and asked for forgiveness. Their support among the Line faded for some time after this.


March 12
In 1544, poet Torquato Tasso is born into the Speaker's Line in Sorrento, Italy. His poems utilized da Vinci's code to help spread news to the Speaker's Children around Europe. His work was the first to utilize the Renaissance master's code for this purpose.


March 1
In 1608, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line develop a symbolic code to communicate to their descendants the advances made by their line. The code, first used by Leonardo da Vinci, remains completely unbroken until the 20th century, when it is partially broken, but misinterpreted.


March 30
In 1867, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line working both sides of the deal transferred Alaska from Russia to the United States. They had discovered a rare element in the frozen territory that they planned to use to power a new vessel they were creating, which would make powered flight a reality.


March 2
In 1836, at a ceremony in Washington, Texas, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line break the rebel nation away from Mexican rule. They plan to use the vast western lands of Texas to base their own people and experiments. General Santa Anna, a Conqueror of the Speaker's Line, almost manages to recapture them, but fails in two different wars against them.


March 3
In 1894, Conspirators of the Speaker's Line began publishing a small Greek paper in New York City. Called The Atlantis, the newspaper carried hidden messages to the Speaker's Line in the old code devised by Da Vinci.


March 4
In 1611, Conquerors of the Speaker's Line place George Abbot into England's Primacy as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Abbott stealthily lays the groundwork for another member of the Line to overthrow the entire monarchy in the decades to come.


March 5
In 1616, agents of the Speaker's Line obtain the forbidden text de Revolutionibus by Copernicus, a radical work forcing them rethink their basic goals. Although both factions of the Speaker's Line have had some small successes in flight, they are starting to see that the heavens are far higher than Telka had imagined.


March 15
In 1655, a brief truce was called in the Secret War between the Conquerors and Conspirators of the Speaker's Line when the oldest living Child of Telka died in China. Jin Hu Tao, reportedly 122 years old, had opposed the War and urged the factions to work together rather than fight. Out of respect for Jin, the Secret War did not recommence for 2 years.


January 29
In 47,372 BCE, Swikolay and her companions reach the Arabian Sea. For a few hours, the Speaker's great-granddaughter is tempted to construct more boats, but her grandson's story of the trip that night around their campfire is enough to convince her to stay on land.


January 26
In 47,372 BCE, hard winds drive Swikolay and her companions into the coast of India, far off course from the destination she desired. Since the storm shattered their boats, she decides to forsake the sea for the rest of the voyage and begins traveling west on land. 'The Speaker would say that one needs to take what life gives and learn from it,' she told her descendants. I learned to stay on dry land.'


January 23
In 47,372 BCE, Swikolay sets sail from Australia for the southeast Asian coast. The Speaker's great-granddaughter keeps up the spirits of her 6 companions during the voyage by regaling them with the stories she heard from Telka. By the time they land on the Asian coast, each of them is as dedicated to the Speaker's cause as Swikolay herself.


January 16
In 47,372 BCE, Swikolay, great-granddaughter of the Speaker, reaches the northern shore of Australia and sets her 6 traveling companions to building boats. During the days it takes them to craft vessels large and strong enough to carry them, she watches the sky and tries to remember the stars as they changed during her last voyage.


January 4
In 47,390 BCE, Telka and Swikolay reach the island of Sumatra and find a few small tribes. Telka has much to teach them, and becomes a shaman to them. Swikolay teaches them the making of ships, and takes a mate from among them.


January 5
In 47,385 BCE, Telka the Speaker reaches her final home. The hard journey across the ocean to Australia left the Speaker weak and feeling her age. Her great-granddaughter, Swikolay, had brought her mate and two sons with them, and they nursed her back to health slowly.


January 12
In 47,372 BCE, Swikolay, feeling old age creeping up on her, gathers together her children, grandchildren and great-grandson and tells them that before she dies, she will see the land of her birth again. "You do not have to join me on my journey,quot; she tells them, quot;but those who do will see wonders that you cannot imagine here. If you come with me, we may even touch the sky.quot; The 6 descendants who accompanied her became the nucleus of the Speaker's Line, and the progenitors of the Great Conspiracy.


March 13
In 1881, revolutionaries unconnected to the Secret War killed Alexander II of Russia, the most powerful member of the Conqueror's faction of the Speaker's Line. His son, Alexander III, who had not been initiated into his role as a descendant of Telka the Speaker, was unable to fund the programs his father had started because he didn't know about them. Much of Russian research was lost in this period.


December 27
In 47,412 BCE, Telka the Speaker, with two sons, a daughter, three grandsons and four granddaughters, and the spouses of most of them, reaches Asia. She is following the sun as it sets to see if that will give her a clue to how it climbs back up into the sky in the morning.


December 28
In 47,392 BCE, Swikolay, great-granddaughter of Telka the Speaker, has a dream of standing on the top of the Himalayas and still being unable to reach the stars. Disturbed, she wakes Telka and tells her that they will still fail, in spite of all their work. Telka tells her, 'We will still climb. Dreams can lie; only believe what you have done with your own hands.'


December 29
In 47,392 BCE, Telka the Speaker and her great-granddaughter Swikolay reach the foothills of the Himalayas and begin their ascent. Full of optimism, the Speaker says, 'The sky will be ours. All your children will look down from heaven.'


April 6
In 1679, Hueng Fa, a Conspirator of the Speaker's Line, lets word slip through the channels of Telka's descendants that he has a machine that is able to fly. He gathers as many conspirators to China as he can and shows them his wind-powered machine, based on the kite design. He is able to fly for over 30 miles; the Conspirators spread the design throughout their ranks.


May 3
In 1469, the founder of the Conspirator's faction of the Speaker's Line, Niccolo Machiavelli, was born in Florence, Italy. He used his wiles to advance the causes of both his prince and his cousins throughout Europe, and starts a movement that changes the world for both good and ill.


March 13
In 1881, revolutionaries unconnected to the Secret War killed Alexander II of Russia, the most powerful member of the Conqueror's faction of the Speaker's Line. His son, Alexander III, who had not been initiated into his role as a descendant of Telka the Speaker, was unable to fund the programs his father had started because he didn't know about them. Much of Russian research was lost in this period.


January 23
In 47,373 BCE, after her second rainy season with the Australian tribe she had married into, Telka the Speaker falls ill, and calls out for her great-granddaughter. Swikolay had been traveling around the continent, and it took several days for Telka?s tribesmen to find her. By the time she arrived, the Speaker was almost dead. 'I will not touch the sky,' she told Swikolay. 'Touch it for me.' Those were her last words; she lapsed into a coma and died within hours. Swikolay asked that she be burnt and her ashes thrown into the wind so that she might touch the sky in death.


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© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.