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trekaddict

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Marlene is indeed living in London at this time, and even has a role in an upcoming film made at the Pinewood studios. :D
 

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Chapter 43


January 6th, 1939

Tube Alloys Research Centre, Wales


It was him. Albert Einstein, presumed dead by the world and yet very much alive, was sitting behind an office desk, smoking a pipe and having a slightly amused look on his face that clearly indicated that this was not the first time he was in this type of situation. Fleming wondered how the Professor had ended up here, and was dying to hear the story, but there was work to be done. “Professor, I must admit I am surprised to see you here.” he said. Einstein answered with a laugh. “That, my friend, is a rather interesting story, and I shall tell it to you when we have time. But I don't know why you are here, and I fear I won't like what I am about the hear. Please, Gentlemen, sit down.” The two Officers sat down. “Let me introduce ourselves. I am Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming, and this is Lieutenant Felix Leiter, both of the Naval Intelligence Division.” Einstein was bewildered. “Excuse this impertinent question, but what does the Royal Navy have to do with our work here?” Leiter took from his briefcase and handed them to the Professor. “Two days ago we were shadowing a potential Soviet Spy. We intercepted a message to this agent which basically orders him to contact someone here. We do not know who this spy is, as no names were mentioned, the message did however include accurate coordinates and other information indicating Tube Alloys.” Einstein almost dropped his pipe. He combed his trademark messy hair with his right hand and said then, after composing himself: “Are you Gentlemen familiar with the work we are doing here?” Fleming answered this time. “My Commanding Officer explained me the basics, as far as he knew them, I suppose but Lieutenant Leiter here does not know anything.” Einstein simply said: “What I am about to tell you is so utterly secret that the authorities saw it even fit not to reveal I am still alive yet. Should there really be a Soviet or German Spy in our midst the consequences for the British Empire and the rest of the world could be disastrous. The main goal of Tube Alloys is to create and sustain a stable chain reaction with the ultimate goal of creating an Atomic Bomb before the Nazis or the Germans do.” Leiter interjected. “Excuse me, Professor, but what good would such a bomb do?” “Basically it would have an enormous destructive power. It would be able to level cities in a single blast, to destroy whole Divisions in one blow, and if this weapon were to fall into the hands of the Axis powers before we have it then London would most certainly be among the first targets.” Fleming and Leiter were genuinely stunned by this. If this was to be true then the whole matter had a whole new sense of urgency. If any of the secrets contained in here were to leak out then the consequences could be.., no would be disastrous. “Professor Einstein,” Fleming said, “the problem is that we don't have the slightest as to who the spy might be. All we have is the name and biography of the Agent we shadowed in London, and the fact that he is to contact someone here. We were hoping you could help us by supplying the records of your employees. We would then go through them, and check if any of them could have met that Agent in a more than random way.” Einstein nodded and said: “I will give you every support possible, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I gather your cover will have to be dealt with too?” Both nodded. “Yes, Professor Einstein.” “Well then, I will give you the grand tour tomorrow. I think you would have been interested in it anyway. Tea anyone?”

January 7th, 1939

“...and over there you can see the entrance to the room with the reactor pile.” Einstein said, pointing to a massive, lead-covered bunker hidden away beneath several layers of camouflage nets, with a small gangway leading into the hill. a bit back from the compound, which would explain why they hadn't seen it when they had arrived yesterday. They had spent all morning touring the facilities with the Professor, during which they had also met Enrico Fermi and his assistants, and were now coming back to the administration building. “The whole bunker over there is lined with lead both on the in- and the outside, to protect the rest of the camp from lethal radiation should anything go wrong. “Excuse me, Professor, but how do you know it is dangerous?” Leiter asked and immediately chided himself for doing so as Einstein's face fell and he was clearly distressed. “We are mining the Uranium we need in Australia. Two years back there was a fire and several miners were trapped in a deep shaft. We rescued them, but after a while they...started to get sick, hair loss, Skin burn, Diarrhea, and other things. It was very nasty. They... died...” Einstein, visibly shaken, struggled to continue. “We eventually managed to trace it back to radiation exposure, after we noticed that none of the fire-fighters that had worn gas masks suffered from any effects...” Fleming and Leiter were distraught and quickly stole a few looks at the bunker entrance. “Dear god.... if such a Bomb were to be exploded over a city.....” Fleming realized. “Indeed, Mr Yungston.” Einstein said, using Fleming's cover name. “That is why we have to have it first. If the Germans, should they ever manage to build one themselves, know that we have it and would retaliate in kind then they might refrain from using it.”

The rest of the tour was subdued and the mood was somber. When the reached the mess, and had their cups of tea to warm up again, Einstein spoke up first. “Gentlemen, I realize that what you heard today is not exactly a comedy, but rest assured that we are taking every possible precaution in this matter. I have also allocated you the office next to mine for your work. It is empty and also secure.” Fleming nodded and looked around the mess hall. There were all sorts of scientists, the usual, stereotypical boffins were as present as the young and dynamic technocrats in their suits. Among the second group were a few that were loudly discussing what seemed like the newest films from the Studios at Pinewood that were slowly taking over where Hollywood in America had been. One of them was particularly vocal, citing the reviews in the times. Outwardly he was a perfectly normal man, but something about him picked Fleming's attention. “Say, Professor,” he asked, “who are these men?”, showing the direction with his mug. Einstein grinned and answered: “Some of the younger scientists in material analysis, Dougan, Maclean and Harding-Dubbington. Apparently they were in the cinema together again and can't decide if the film was worth their money or not.” Fleming just nodded and turned his attention back to his table, where he saw a newspaper lying (sp?) around. He wasn't interested in the headlines on the front page that simply decleared that the papers were still struggling to make sense of the new strategic situation on the continent. Half were yelling for more and faster rearmament, the rest was yelling for appeasement at all costs, but luckily the second group was slowly melting away the more belligerent the rethorics from Berlin and Moscow got. No, Ian Fleming was more interested in the sports page. “Blast!” he said. “Manchester has won again!” Leiter and Einstein looked at him as if they couldn't decide whether he was mad or not, before Fleming grinned and said: “Sorry, but I needed something to lighten the mood.”

.




[Game effects: The Nuclear development of TTL is somewhat behind OTL at that point. Most of the work Fermi et al did in the United States during the late 30s hasn't happened yet and Tube Alloys must make do with much less funding, despite the budget being enlarged recently. They are however catching up fast. I also decided to skip the technical details of the Bomb. They can easily be found on the Internet and I was bound to make horrible technical mistakes anyway. Actually, I have no idea if it is really possible to get radiation sick in that scenario, but I needed a reason for the security measures; and so far they only know that radiation = bad, the rest of the side effects of a nuclear detonation won't be revealed until they test-blast one. I sure hope that the next update will be of a lighter mood, I really hate writing such depressive stuff, which is also why this is so short.]
 
Last edited:

robw963

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Einstein! He's so polite! I always imagined him as being more rough around the edges. But I like his manners just the same.

Ok...i have an embarrassing question. Please define TTL and OTL for me.
 

trekaddict

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TTL = This Time Line, OTL = Our or Original Time Line


Edit: Einstein is showing his manners because he knows that these men will report back and if he doesn't extend them every courtesy it will impair his work.
 

ShadowWarrior

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trekaddict said:
TTL = This Time Line, OTL = Our or Original Time Line
Thanx for that explenation. I presumed correctly the meaning, but did not knew exectly what the abriviations stood for.

Also I've got to thank you once again for a good update, irrelevant if the explanations for nukeclear side effects was true or not.
 

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Well, I researched the Uranium mining and Radiation sickness and to my shame couldn't find exact figures for exposure from mining alone. My Google skills are too low.

I made this up because there is no way I am going to send any of my characters into the vincinity of a poorly protected reactor pile.
 

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trekaddict said:
Well, I researched the Uranium mining and Radiation sickness and to my shame couldn't find exact figures for exposure from mining alone. My Google skills are too low.
Mining should be relatively safe. Natural uranium is mostly composed of U-238, which is practically benign. Radioactive decay releases alpha radiation (helium nuclei) which is easy to block (a sheet of paper will do). Also the half-life of U-238 is very long, almost 4.5 billion years IIRC, which means it doesn't release much of it. You could probably sleep on a bed made of uranium-238 for your whole life without suffering any health problems.

Even if you inhaled it, it wouldn't cause much damage to your internal organs. The way you described the accident is a bit... well, it rides on the wave of public mistrust of anything called "nuclear" ;)

Basically, you need to get some nasty isotope inside you to cause such a severe radiation poisoning. Or alternatively you have to be exposed to an intensive ionizing radiation for a period of time long enough to receive lethal dose (= get enough of your body cells damaged beyond repair).

I made this up because there is no way I am going to send any of my characters into the vincinity of a poorly protected reactor pile.
Don't worry, this AAR is good anyway :)
 

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As said, my knowledge of Nuclear Power is limited. I knew that the mining of U-238 is relatively save, and that the accident was stretching it a bit, but other than that...
 

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trekaddict said:
As said, my knowledge of Nuclear Power is limited. I knew that the mining of U-238 is relatively save, and that the accident was stretching it a bit, but other than that...
I think you could use some OTL accidents - some pretty horrible ones happened in America during the development of their bomb. Doesn't matter, really ;)
 

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Winner said:
I think you could use some OTL accidents - some pretty horrible ones happened in America during the development of their bomb. Doesn't matter, really ;)

Good. It was supposed to be a footnote anyway.
 

trekaddict

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Two things: The next update will be considerably better, at least I hope so as I won't rush things simply to get it over with as with this one. Secondly: Wow, almost 20000 views. :eek:
 

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trekaddict said:
Two things: The next update will be considerably better, at least I hope so as I won't rush things simply to get it over with as with this one. Secondly: Wow, almost 20000 views. :eek:
Never maind! It's also WOW almost 1000 post!
 

trekaddict

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Dunno why, but this seems to be an adequate desktop for an anglophile Alternate History nut like myself....


 

robw963

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Winner said:
You could probably sleep on a bed made of uranium-238 for your whole life without suffering any health problems.
Cool! *off to find U-238 beds in the IKEA catalog*

I have no doubt this thread will eventually exceed 20,000 views by a LARGE number and my rather inane contributions hopefully get it there a little faster. :)

edit: LOVE that picture! Tony Blair for president!
 

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trekaddict said:
I knew that the mining of U-238 is relatively save, and that the accident was stretching it a bit, but other than that...
Had a mate who worked on the Namibian uranium mines as I recall they didn't worry at all about radioactivity, just the normal mining risks of explosions, being hit by a digger, etc.

Conversely the chaps on the Cornish Tin Mines did worry about radiation, mainly from the Radon gas associated with the granite. Before proper ventilation it got through quite a few miners a year from slow low level radiation poisoning, so if the fans stopped for too long, too often people got a bit nervous.

Random mining related ramble, but then I get so few chances I have to grab them when I can. :)
 

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El Pip said:
Had a mate who worked on the Namibian uranium mines as I recall they didn't worry at all about radioactivity, just the normal mining risks of explosions, being hit by a digger, etc.

Conversely the chaps on the Cornish Tin Mines did worry about radiation, mainly from the Radon gas associated with the granite. Before proper ventilation it got through quite a few miners a year from slow low level radiation poisoning, so if the fans stopped for too long, too often people got a bit nervous.

Random mining related ramble, but then I get so few chances I have to grab them when I can. :)



I'm going to change it then. I might add that as long as it doesn't become pedantery you are free to point out any scientific mistakes that I am bound to make.

Edit: Done. The credid goes to El Pip for helping me make up a more realistic scenario.
 
Last edited:

El Pip

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trekaddict said:
I'm going to change it then. I might add that as long as it doesn't become pedantery you are free to point out any scientific mistakes that I am bound to make.
I wasn't trying to point out any mistakes, I just enjoyed the excuse to use the mining degree I did. :D
 

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El Pip said:
I wasn't trying to point out any mistakes, I just enjoyed the excuse to use the mining degree I did. :D

No problem Sir. I welcome such aid, as my knowledge rotates around computers and a lot of random facts.
 

unmerged(85800)

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ah, i had that photo as my background for a while. beautiful :D

i remember being told that when you go to cornwall and use a public toilet radiation will go up... well you know. i'm a bit worried as i've been several times.

i would think that mr blair could not do a worse job as president.
 

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I usually keep backgrounds for a long time, my record was five years, spanning over three comps. :D This particular one could break that record.


There is a region in Eastern Germany, near Wismuth where they say the same thing. In OTL the Sovs got the Uranium for their nukes there.