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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

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 'The Baron von Heflin Story' by Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor
Alternate Historian Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor says, tales of multi-dimensional travel by the Ratman. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Ratmanifesto site.


January 3

In 1889, deep in the woods of Michigan, Mikhail von Heflin encounters a creature that the natives call a Wendigo. It is an extra-dimensional beast that can see what he really is and attacks him out of fear. He manages to escape from it, and flees to the south.


April 3
In 1952, Libyan soldiers attack the Berber tribe that has taken in Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin. The pair annihilate the Libyans, but the Berbers become wary of them after seeing their power, and so they move on.


February 1
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin finds the grave site of Willard Thompson in San Diego, California. Using the cemetery's records, he discovers that Willard had a son who moved back to Texas. He prepares for another journey across the United States to find this man, Carl Thompson.


February 2
In 1952, Mikhail von Helfin meets Velma Porter in a small diner in San Diego. Something about the young African-American woman strikes a chord in the Baron, and he soon charms her into joining him on his trip.


February 5
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter meet Carl Thompson, the son of his descendant Willard Thompson, in the small town of Bryan, Texas. The Baron von Todt has been told much of Carl's life by Carl's children, who will exist in all times concurrently. Thompson is shocked to discover the true nature of his family lineage, but is charmed by the Baron and his young companion, and invites them to stay in his home.


February 7
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter, when they attempt to eat in a small diner in Bryan, Texas, are refused service because Miss Porter is an African-American. The Baron has little use for a restriction like that, and Toledo's, the steakhouse that refused them service, is burned to the ground that night.


February 10
In 1952, after his detective work uncovers Mikhail von Heflin's whereabouts, Juan Escobar breaks into the home of Carl Thompson and confronts the Baron. During the struggle, Thompson is injured, and Escobar flees while von Heflin is concerned with helping his host.


February 11
In 1952, while his host Carl Thompson recuperates in the local hospital, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter seek out Juan Escobar, self-styled hunter of the paranormal. Escobar, injured in the struggle the night before himself, is in a small motel on the north side of the town, contemplating a return to his native Mexico.


February 12
In 1952, Juan Escobar is surprised in his Bryan motel room by Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin. They abduct him, stuff him into the trunk of their car, and drive him deep into the countryside north of the small Texas town. Much to Escobar's surprise, von Heflin and Porter attempt to reason with him when they take him from the trunk. The three of them discuss Escobar's situation deep into the night.


February 13
In 1952, in the early morning hours, Mikhail von Heflin gives Juan Escobar a choice - ride back to Mexico and never bother the Baron again, or die. Escobar chooses the former, and the Baron and his companion Velma Porter deposit the Mexican paranormalist back at his motel. As they watch him leave, von Heflin cannot shake the feeling that he will see Escobar again.


February 14
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter, alone in Carl Thompson's house since he is hospitalized, discover more than companionship for each other. Porter has fallen in love with the Baron, and von Heflin more than returns the emotion. He prepares to join her to him eternally, in the ritual blood-exchange he was taught in his youth.


February 15
In 1952, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin are joined in the ceremony of blood, and Miss Porter has her first glimpse into the world as von Heflin sees it. She is driven temporarily mad by the experience, but is nursed through it by the Baron.


February 16
In 1952, Velma Porter regains her sanity as Mikhail von Heflin keeps her anchored in this world. Now, you and I will share eternity, the Baron tells her. Overjoyed, she pledges herself to him for as long as their love lasts; sadly, it is not as long as either of them expect.


February 17
In 1952, Carl Thompson returns home from the hospital to find Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin in a delicate position in his home. Thompson, having just become involved in his family's paranormal history, asks them to leave; he just wants to return to his old, normal life. 'That will never happen again', the Baron tells him. 'Your children will see to that.' Thompson, who is not even married yet, begins to dread his destiny.


April 2
In 1952, a tribe of Berbers takes in Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin as they wander across northern Africa. The pair find the simple life of the nomads enchanting, at least for the evening, and bed down with them to enjoy their first restful sleep in days.


February 19
In 1952, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin board a ship in Houston, Texas, bound for Europe. The Baron is escorting Porter back to his ancestral homeland; since it is now controlled by a Communist government, they have a difficult road ahead of them.


February 28
In 1918, something springs the trap laid by the trio of Mikhail von Heflin, Velma Porter and Dr. Thaddeus McCaine. While Porter and von Heflin struggle with the creature, Dr. McCaine finds himself entranced by it - with his help, the creature taps into the ley line in Brigamere and thrusts von Heflin and Porter into a dimensional pocket. It then resumes the form of the young widow, and, with McCaine still in her power, leaves the inn and digs her way through the snow to the physical location of the ley line.


February 29
In 1918, something springs the trap laid by the trio of Mikhail von Heflin, Velma Porter and Dr. Thaddeus McCaine. While Porter and von Heflin struggle with the creature, Dr. McCaine finds himself entranced by it - with his help, the creature taps into the ley line in Brigamere and thrusts von Heflin and Porter into a dimensional pocket. It then resumes the form of the young widow, and, with McCaine still in her power, leaves the inn and digs her way through the snow to the physical location of the ley line.


March 6
In 1952, the train carrying Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin pulls into a station in East Germany that is surrounded by military men. The Baron tells Miss Porter to stay down and he slips out to see if he can tell what the soldiers are doing. The thing he sees being unloaded from one of the cars makes him flee back to his lover and hurry her as far away from the train as they can get.


March 19
In 1952, Velma Porter reads a passage from the ancient work Mysteries of the Hidden World, penned by the 15th century sorcerer Giles of Montford. Without her knowledge, power is drained from her soul to open a portal into a higher dimension, and a being from that plane of existence inhabits her body.


March 20
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and the being inhabiting the body of Velma Porter leave Heflin and begin walking towards Czechoslovakia, to see the Baron's birthplace. While still able to converse, the being inhabiting Velma Porter exhibits many strange mannerisms that tip von Heflin off to the fact that Miss Porter is not herself.


March 30
In 1952, the Baron von Todt and his lover are aboard a vessel in the middle of the Mediterranean when pirates attack the ship and seize it. Mikhail von Heflin was never one to shy away from a fight, and, with Velma Porter's help, he kills all of the pirates in a long, bloody night.


March 24
In 1952, after several days of rest, Mikhail von Heflin and his American lover, Velma Porter, decide that Europe wasn't all they had hoped it would be, and start heading south. Miss Porter wants to see Africa, and the Baron just wants to leave his homeland behind as quickly as he can.


March 26
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter jump on a train heading south and hide themselves in a cargo car. Exhausted by Europe, Porter tells the Baron, 'Next time one of us wants to go home, it gets to be me; my old house has running water.'


March 28
In 1952, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin reach the Mediterannean coast of Yugoslavia, having managed to remain undiscovered while stowing away on a southbound train from Germany. They quickly jump off the train and head towards the water to find a boat to take them to Africa.


April 5
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and his lover Velma Porter reach Cairo, Egypt. The pair decide to play tourist for a time, and head off to the pyramids. An accident lands them underneath one of them pyramids in the Chamber of Amenhotep, where they unwittingly activate an ancient curse.


March 8
In 1952, hiding from East German soldiers and an extra-dimensional entity in a hillside cave, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter slip through a hole they find in the cave into another dimension. While von Heflin has been exposed to this sort of thing before, Miss Porter is too new to her present state of existence, and loses consciousness.


March 10
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter emerge from the cave where they had taken refuge from pursuit two days before. Miss Porter is unconscious, and the Baron is worried that the strange encounter has damaged her. He carries her and starts traveling east. He hopes that he can find Heflin again, and that his ancestral home can help Miss Porter.


March 11
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin's strength finally gives out on him, and he collapses outside the small East German village of Trentgard. Velma Porter is still unconscious as well when they are found by villagers and taken to the local doctor, Ivan Menchekov.


March 12
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin's strength finally gives out on him, and he collapses outside the small East German village of Trentgard. Velma Porter is still unconscious as well when they are found by villagers and taken to the local doctor, Ivan Menchekov.


March 16
In 1952, Velma Porter awakens in Heflin, the ruined village that had been the capitol of her lover Mikhail von Heflin's barony. They had taken refuge in a hidden room in his old mansion after fleeing the mad Doctor Menchekov's village. She felt her strength returning here, and left her lover asleep to wander about the ruins of his old home. On awaking, he joined her, saying, 'Just think, my love, all this is yours, now.'


March 18
In 1952, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin explore the ruins of Heflin, the Baron's old capitol. While little remains of what Mikhail once ruled over, he does find his old library hidden in the village's crypt. There are several texts there that he has vowed to keep hidden from humanity, and Miss Porter finds them immediately.


March 21
In 1952, the being inhabiting the body of Velma Porter releases her and attacks her lover, Mikhail von Heflin. Although weakened from the possession, Miss Porter is able to lend the Baron enough of her strength to reverse the dimensional portal allowing this creature access into their dimension, and they send it back.


March 4
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter dock in Marseilles, France. Now that they are in Europe, von Heflin feels more comfortable, and books them passage on a train to Germany. His former homeland is now under Communist control, but he thinks he can get the two of them back to Heflin.


March 5
In 1952, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin are forced off their train at Wiesbaden, Germany. They have encountered an old enemy of the Baron's, and leave before it can endanger the other passengers on the train. They escape into a forest, where they battle the strange creature to the death. After their victory, they slip onto the next train they see heading east, something they will soon come to regret.


March 7
In 1952, soldiers and a thing from another dimension hunt down Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter in the woods of East Germany. Porter and von Heflin can feel the thing in their minds as they run, and its attack is as deadly as the bullets the soldiers fire at them. They seek shelter underneath a small hill and attempt to regain their strength.


March 15
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin, carrying his unconscious lover, Velma Porter, stumbles into the ruins of a small village. Exhausted as he is, he recognizes Heflin, the capitol of his barony. He finds his old mansion, the secret chambers still intact, and lays down with Miss Porter on a dusty but still comfortable bed.


March 31
In 1952, Mikhail von Heflin and his lover Velma Porter sail the survivors of their ship to the Libyan coast, where they are forced to crashland. The Baron and Miss Porter leave them after firing off a few flares to alert anyone passing that they need assistance.


January 31
In 1918, Velma Porter reminds her husband, Mikhail von Heflin, that this date will be the day they meet for the first time in 1952. In spite of the virulent racism around them in the southern port city of Charleston, South Carolina, they enjoy a night of romance; unknown to them, they are watched the entire time by Milo Cranston.


January 30
In 1918, after Mikhail von Heflin withdraws a hefty sum to cover their expenses, he and his wife, Velma Porter, book passage on a ship to England. Milo Cranston, who has been following them since Bermuda, also books himself on the same ship.


January 29
In 1918, when the ship they are traveling on docks on the American coast, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter disembark and head to the nearest bank. The Baron wants to consult with a few friends who he knows from this time period, and his wife has no objections. Unknown to them both, they are tailed by Milo Cranston, who has an unusual curiosity about them.


January 28
In 1918, a couple of hotheaded men make the mistake of attacking Velma Porter as she walks the deck of the ship taking her and her husband, Mikhail von Heflin, to mainland America. She dispatches them with ease, then goes back to her cabin. Milo Cranston, who has been watching the couple, makes note of her unusual strength.


January 27
In 1918, Mikhail von Heflin and his wife, Velma Porter, cause a stir; the ship they're taking to mainland America is filled with southerners who consider their interracial relationship quite shocking. Never ones to shy away from controversy, the pair flaunt their love for each other at every opportunity, particularly in front of the southern passengers. This catches the notice of one Milo Cranston, who watches the von Heflins throughout the journey.


January 24
In 1184, after a year on deserted Bermuda, Mikhail von Heflin and Velma Porter decide that they've had enough of a vacation, and strike out for the North American coast in one of the boats they have constructed. While en route, they encounter another rift in time/space. They don't try to evade it; Porter says, 'I just hope it doesn't send us back to the stone age.'


January 22
In 1183, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin, having walked many miles around the island, are convinced that they are no longer in the Bermuda of their own time period. Although immortal, they are both somewhat reluctant to just wait out the problem, and so they make the decision to build another boat and head back towards the rift they came out of.


January 21
In 1183, Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin emerge from the swirling rip in the time/space continuum of the coast of Bermuda. They manage to swim to the shore, but both quickly realize that they are no longer in 2008. 'That's the last time I let you plan our vacation,' Porter tells von Heflin. They begin walking inland from the coast to see if there is any civilization on the island.


January 19
In 2008, Velma Porter arrives in Bermuda to join her husband, Mikhail von Heflin. She is ready for a nice vacation, but the Baron has other ideas. He sails her out into the ocean where he saw the boat disappear and together, they feel something tugging at the walls of reality. Before proceeding further, they head back to shore and get a few supplies.


January 18
In 1889, the Thompson family is visited by their ancestor, Mikhail von Heflin. He has come specifically to see their newborn boy Willard, and convince them that it would be unwise to leave the Hill Country for Beaumont, as they have been planning. He is successful, and spends the next two years with the family, watching over young Willard as he grows.


January 17
In 2008, Mikhail von Heflin takes a boat into the storm brewing off the Bermuda coast to the spot where he saw a ship vanish the previous day. The water is choppy, but not unmanageable. He extends his senses, and does feel something strange about the area, but can't lock down what it is. He returns to shore and decides to wait until his wife can join him to investigate further.


January 16
In 2008, Mikhail von Heflin, the former Baron von Todt, starts a well-earned vacation in Bermuda. His wife, Velma Porter, had stayed in America to finish up some business, but had promised to join him in a day or two. While relaxing on the beach, he notices some unusual clouds over the ocean, and watches them for several hours. With his heightened senses, he is able to see a ship underneath the clouds disappear. Against his better judgment, he decides to investigate.


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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.