• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CaptainAlvious

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I wonder if Dreamworks still exists here and if it does, what would the How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda movies be like in TTL? I’m also wondering if Shriek still exists and if the Shriek memes will be as glorious as OTL?:p

To be honest, I haven’t seen any version of Voltron, but I am most familiar with the modern incarnation of Voltron: Legendary Defender (mostly because of the fandom) and I’m wondering what would that be like in this universe? Maybe the Gulra Empire would Instead be the Galra Republic and would be a militaristic intergalactic dictatorship while the Aleta genocide would in terms of influence be a mix of the Holocaust, Soviet atrocities (the Holodomor comes to mind) and Soviet oppression of the Occupied Territories and the Prague Spring.

I know their are a lot of cartoons and shows I can ask about, but would Adventurer Time, Stephen Universe and Gravity Falls be like here? I also assume South Park, Family Guy and the Simpsons would be similar to OTL so there’s that.

Does Che Guevara still exists cause I don’t remember him being mentioned in any updates?
 

spendabuck

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I wonder if Dreamworks still exists here and if it does, what would the How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda movies be like in TTL? I’m also wondering if Shriek still exists and if the Shriek memes will be as glorious as OTL?:p
This is obviously up to @zenphoenix if he wants to include it, if only to have the timeline be more divergent, but I think it would be interesting for DreamWorks to not form, with some of their films being Disney (or Hitler, I guess) films instead, considering that Katzenberg in OTL was part of Disney before he started DreamWorks. If I recall correctly, the main factor was Eisner, the CEO of Walt Disney, not supporting Katzenberg and his idea of making a film about the Exodus. From there, he left, and made The Prince of Egypt under DreamWorks, which did well financially and critically. It could be interesting for the history of Disney/Hitler to go differently and have Katzenberg (or his equivalent) stay at the company, making The Prince of Egypt under Disney/Hitler and continuing the Disney/Hitler Renaissance for a few more years, possibly into the early 2000s.

On the topic of the Disney Renaissance, some of the films would either be fairly different or nonexistent due to history playing out differently. Sure, a lot of the films could just be moved to an unspecified kingdom between the fall of Rome and the rise of the Hohenzollerns, but some of the films are pretty reliant on historical context (even if they butcher the actual history the film's based around). For example, there was never a John Smith or Pocahontas that I remember, so Pocahontas is out. Then again, I remember there being some Eimerican female conquistador during the EUIV segment; maybe make the movie based around her instead? Tarzan could still exist, but would be fairly different due to the lack of an extensive Scramble for Africa; maybe just replace the British with Romans?
 

zenphoenix

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Not gonna lie, I'm surprised the conductor has been allowed to live. I figured he saw too much for the powers that be to chance it.
All he saw was a dead Chinese guy in the bathroom (who other passengers believed was a victim of the RAF, so that becomes the cover story) and an Athanatoi agent and a man who claims to be with the RSB trapped in a train car with medical equipment. He didn't see or hear anything else, so he should be fine. But in all likelihood, he was probably [REDACTED] five seconds after the update ended.:p
To be honest, I haven’t seen any version of Voltron, but I am most familiar with the modern incarnation of Voltron: Legendary Defender (mostly because of the fandom) and I’m wondering what would that be like in this universe? Maybe the Gulra Empire would Instead be the Galra Republic and would be a militaristic intergalactic dictatorship while the Aleta genocide would in terms of influence be a mix of the Holocaust, Soviet atrocities (the Holodomor comes to mind) and Soviet oppression of the Occupied Territories and the Prague Spring.
I haven't seen any version of Voltron either, but from what you've said, I think the Gulra Empire would be a republic ruled by its military, while the Aleta genocide (probably renamed to something else so it can marketed to Scandinavia) would be a mix of the Holocaust, Soviet atrocities, and the Occupied Territories.
I know their are a lot of cartoons and shows I can ask about, but would Adventurer Time, Stephen Universe and Gravity Falls be like here? I also assume South Park, Family Guy and the Simpsons would be similar to OTL so there’s that.
I think Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Gravity Falls would still be mostly the same. In Gravity Falls' case, the references to American urban legends would be replaced by European pagan folklore. South Park and Family Guy would also be mostly the same, only they'd be satirizing Roman politics instead. The Simpsons, aside from being renamed to the Samsons (some clips will show up in future updates), will also be the same.
Does Che Guevara still exists cause I don’t remember him being mentioned in any updates?
He doesn't exist. I found no way to include him in the story in a meaningful way.
I wonder if Dreamworks still exists here and if it does, what would the How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda movies be like in TTL? I’m also wondering if Shriek still exists and if the Shriek memes will be as glorious as OTL?:p
This is obviously up to @zenphoenix if he wants to include it, if only to have the timeline be more divergent, but I think it would be interesting for DreamWorks to not form, with some of their films being Disney (or Hitler, I guess) films instead, considering that Katzenberg in OTL was part of Disney before he started DreamWorks. If I recall correctly, the main factor was Eisner, the CEO of Walt Disney, not supporting Katzenberg and his idea of making a film about the Exodus. From there, he left, and made The Prince of Egypt under DreamWorks, which did well financially and critically. It could be interesting for the history of Disney/Hitler to go differently and have Katzenberg (or his equivalent) stay at the company, making The Prince of Egypt under Disney/Hitler and continuing the Disney/Hitler Renaissance for a few more years, possibly into the early 2000s.
I think @spendabuck has the better suggestion. What I think would happen is DreamWorks is formed as a division of Disney (I will be using the name Disney here, because referring to Hitler here is a bit awkward:p) focusing on children's animated movies, becoming Disney's main animated film division for films not marketed under the Disney name. The Disney Renaissance would continue into the early 2000s, during which DreamWorks and its parent company would venture into progressively darker and songless subject matter (Atlantis would be a big hit, unlike in real life).

This implies Dreamworks replaced Pixar. Pixar's origins remain largely the same. It was formed by Lucasfilm in 1979 and then spun out as its own company in 1986, with Steven Jandali-Schieble (Steve Jobs) as its majority shareholder. But since Disney already has DreamWorks, it has no incentive to buy Pixar (and indeed any attempt to buy Pixar would draw the ire of antitrust regulators, since Pixar is DreamWorks' main competition). Instead, Steven Jandali-Schieble uses his clout as majority shareholder and his position as Apple CEO to have Apple buy Pixar in 1994. Apple invested 26 million marks in Pixar to make three computer animated films, the first of which was Toy Story. That movie's success convinced Apple to invest more into Pixar and set up a movie studio for live-action films. Apple Pictures would become a major player in the entertainment industry, especially after acquiring the rights to the Marvel superhero Spider-Man.

And this implies Apple replaced Sony. Sony's movie studio doesn't exist.:p
On the topic of the Disney Renaissance, some of the films would either be fairly different or nonexistent due to history playing out differently. Sure, a lot of the films could just be moved to an unspecified kingdom between the fall of Rome and the rise of the Hohenzollerns, but some of the films are pretty reliant on historical context (even if they butcher the actual history the film's based around). For example, there was never a John Smith or Pocahontas that I remember, so Pocahontas is out. Then again, I remember there being some Eimerican female conquistador during the EUIV segment; maybe make the movie based around her instead? Tarzan could still exist, but would be fairly different due to the lack of an extensive Scramble for Africa; maybe just replace the British with Romans?
Yeah, Pocahontas won't work. I think you're referring to Malintzin, the female conquistador and Mexica defector, which might work as a Disney movie. Tarzan could still exist, only plot elements involving the colonists and explorers would have to be different because the Reich was mostly unchallenged in its colonization of Africa. There might also be a subplot about the Romanization of surrounding tribes and the arrival of hundreds of settlers from Europe (part of the Reich's Drang nacht Suden policy).

I might provide summaries of some Disney movies in later posts.
 

Brigadier44

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What's life like in Taurica and Transcaucasia? Since they and Galicia were the first parts of the Occupied Territories to be re-integrated into the Reich, they're probably better off than the rest of the former Occupied Territories.
Speaking of that, what's the Albuquerque parallel? Since TTL's Breaking Bad takes place in the former Occupied Territories, and it was set in Albuquerque in OTL, it's probably set if not in the Albuquerque parallel, in a city in the former Occupied Territories that has enough similarities to OTL's Albuquerque for the plot to mostly remain the same.
What would TTL's 2012 be like? I imagine that the Los Angeles scenes would take place in Alexandria instead. I also imagine that the President would be replaced with the Chancellor and/or the Kaiser.
What would be the parallel to Martha's Vineyard be? Considering that it's a major holiday destination in real life, it must exist somewhere.
 
Last edited:

zenphoenix

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What's life like in Taurica and Transcaucasia? Since they and Galicia were the first parts of the Occupied Territories to be re-integrated into the Reich, they're probably better off than the rest of the former Occupied Territories.
In-game, all of the factories in Taurica, Galicia, and Transcaucasia were shut down and the unemployment rate was 100%, so they weren't that better off from the rest of the Occupied Territories. They were just immediately reintegrated into the Reich because there wasn't a provisional authority to administer them during reunification (as in the rest of the Occupied Territories).
Speaking of that, what's the Albuquerque parallel? Since TTL's Breaking Bad takes place in the former Occupied Territories, and it was set in Albuquerque in OTL, it's probably set if not in the Albuquerque parallel, in a city in the former Occupied Territories that has enough similarities to OTL's Albuquerque for the plot to mostly remain the same.
Right now, I have Prague as the Phoenix parallel, so I think Pressburg works as the Albuquerque parallel.
What would TTL's 2012 be like? I imagine that the Los Angeles scenes would take place in Alexandria instead. I also imagine that the President would be replaced with the Chancellor and/or the Kaiser.
The Los Angeles scene would have to be in Athens, I think. And the President would be replaced with the Crown Princess (after both the chancellor and Kaiser are killed).
What would be the parallel to Martha's Vineyard be? Considering that it's a major holiday destination in real life, it must exist somewhere.
Martha's Vineyard would be Mainz. I wanted Anders' family to live on the Martha's Vineyard equivalent, but I couldn't find any island in Europe to replace it (except maybe Heligoland, but I think that's too small).
 

zenphoenix

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Chapter 448: Blooming Landscapes

The Gulf War had ended in a decisive Roman victory. The status quo was restored, with Aztlan freed and the interests and sovereignty of the Reich and its North Eimerican allies protected. Roman troops returned home throughout the fall of 1992, where they were celebrated as heroes. Chancellor Kohl closely watched the aftermath of the war unfolding in Mexico, where the country’s ethnic groups were now rebelling. Should the country collapse, he prepared a contingency plan to ask the UN to send in peacekeepers.

20180214130056_1.jpg


The victory of the multinational alliance was yet another victory for the forces of the Roman postwar order. Many saw the war as the triumph of globalization over nationalism, an alliance of many nations against one international pariah. With sentiments riding high, Kohl made several trips to other Central Powers member states, hoping to negotiate new trade deals which would remove barriers to the flow of goods and services within the Central Powers. He also announced the Reich would join the International Court of Justice and Arbitration, where he hoped the disputes of the world would be settled in a fair manner by a truly neutral and worldwide court.

20180214131414_1.jpg



The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Frisia

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While globalization did bring with it many benefits, it did not affect everybody equally. At the beginning of the decade, Kohl had promised to transform the former Occupied Territories into “blossoming landscapes, where it is worth to live and work.” However, by the end of 1992, many of the once optimistic residents of the former Occupied Territories had lost hope.

Unemployment and crime continued rising in the east. Once prosperous factories and the towns around them shut down, putting millions out of work. Many turned to crime, and violent crimes skyrocketed over the next few years, possibly increased by the free flow of Russian drugs (many Russian cartels had turned to selling in the former Occupied Territories, as the Russian government had declared bankruptcy a fourth time and could no longer enforce its border) and guns left over from the Soviet era. Those who could fled to the western provinces, and those who remained strained the limits of the Roman welfare system. Many former CMU supporters began ditching the party in droves, feeling Kohl had abandoned them. The SPR saw impressive gains in the 1993 Reichsrat, mostly at the expense of the CMU. This alarmed Kohl, who realized he had to do something about the Occupied Territories.

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Going into 1993, though, the western provinces weren’t much better off. Kohl thought he had averted disaster when the wedding of Prince Wilhelm and Francesca Thyssen, daughter of the CEO of Thyssen-Krupp was held without much controversy. The marriage received the dynastic authorization of Kaiser Otto, despite objections from some members of his family and other dynatoi inasmuch as the bride, although the daughter of an aristoi, did not descend in the canonically legitimate male line from a family of dynastic, mediatized or alter Adel status. Meanwhile, Tesla Dynamic filed a complaint alleging that this marriage created a conflict of interest, as Thyssen-Krupp, which was a direct competitor of Tesla Dynamic’s manufacturing subsidiaries, could theoretically call in favors from the Throne to win economic advantages. The complaint was overruled. However, if Kohl thought the wedding would placate the people of the Reich until the next examination, he was wrong.

20180214132507_1.jpg


Since the end of the war in 1986, the Red Army Faction had rampaged through the cities and towns of the former Occupied Territories, bombing government buildings and banks, assassinating politicians and corporate executives, abducting and ransoming civilians, and attacking examination polling centers. On March 3, though, the Red Army Faction launched an attack in Constantinople itself, detonating a truck bomb below the North Tower of the World Trade Center, a symbol of Roman economic power and globalization.


Aftermath of the bombing

The bomb opened a 30-m (98 ft) wide hole through four sublevels of concrete. The detonation velocity of this bomb was about 15,000 ft/s (4.5 km/s). Initial news reports indicated a main transformer might have blown, before it became clear a bomb had exploded in the basement.

The bomb instantly cut off the World Trade Center's main electrical power line, knocking out the emergency lighting system. The bomb caused smoke to rise to the 93rd floor of both towers, including through the stairwells which were not pressurized, and smoke went up the damaged elevators in the Twin Towers. With thick smoke filling the stairwells, evacuation was difficult for building occupants and led to many smoke inhalation injuries. Hundreds were trapped in elevators in the towers when the power was cut, including a group of 17 kindergartners (ironically from a town in the former Occupied Territories long plagued by the RAF), on their way down from the South Tower observation deck, who were trapped between the 35th and 36th floors for five hours.

Also as a result of the loss of power most of Constantinople's radio and television stations lost their over-the-air broadcast signal for almost a week, with television stations only being able to broadcast via cable and satellite via a microwave hookup between the stations and three of the Constantinople area's largest cable companies. Telephone service for much of the Ostend was also disrupted.

Six people were killed, five Port Authority employees and a businessman whose car was in the parking garage. Additionally, 1,042 people were injured, most during the evacuation that followed the blast. A report from the Imperial Fire Bureau states that, "Among the scores of people who fled to the roofs of the towers, 28 with medical problems were airlifted by Constantinople police helicopters". It is known that 15 people received traumatic injury from the blast and 20 complained of cardiac problems. One firefighter was hospitalized, while 87 others, 35 police officers, and an EMS worker were also injured in dealing with the fires and other aftermath.

The 1,336 pounds (606 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was placed so that the North Tower would fall onto the South Tower, collapsing them both. However, the tower did not collapse, according to the terrorists’ plan, but the garage was severely damaged in the explosion. Nevertheless, had the van been parked closer to the WTC's poured concrete foundations, the plan might have succeeded. Some of the terrorists escaped over the border to Russia several hours after the bombing. Over the next five years, the Athanatoi would locate and apprehend all of the RAF terrorists involved and put them in jail.


20180214132920_1.jpg


As a result of the bombing, the Roman government went on emergency lockdown. All members of the Diet were immediately sent home, while Kohl and his cabinet locked themselves in their offices in the Great Palace and Bukoleon. The Ecumenical Patriarch was escorted from Hagia Sophia, while the Kaiser and his family were escorted to a bunker under Blachernae until the threat was over. Kohl wanted to give a speech condemning the attack, but the bombing had disrupted his office’s broadcast signal, and it took a week before he could get it fixed. By then, Kaiser Otto had already taken a motorcade to Adrianople, where he made his own broadcast, promising retribution against the terrorists and justice for those killed.

Upstaged by the Kaiser himself, Kohl distracted the Diet with a treaty to end the Eimerican Wars for good…one of them, at least. Since the late 1980s, North Eimerica had been plunged into chaos by the collapse of the Eimerican Commune, CSSA, and the Union of Thirteen Republics. But the worst of the fighting had now passed, and many of the breakaway states, like the Assiniboine Republic and the Cherokee Spiritist Republic, had even taken the first steps towards liberalizing into democratic or meritocratic monarchies. Despite this, several of the breakaway states continued fighting. Kohl ordered sanctions tightened on those still at war, calling for them to attend negotiations held in the Cherokee capital of Conoy. Most obliged. A few, especially the Choctaw Republic, refused. As a result, Kohl provided Roman air support for an Osage-Tejan offensive against the Choctaw Republic, codenamed Operation Deliberate Force (Operation Storm in Tejas). This brought the Choctaw to the negotiating table.


Senator Slobodan Princip at the Conoy Conference

The conference took place from April 1 to 15. It was led by Roman Senator Slobodan Princip, UN Special Representative Karl Bildt, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, and Fusang Major General Chang Weisheng. The secure site was chosen in order to remove all major parties (the Cherokee had affirmed their neutrality in the wars of the other republics) from the comfort zone, removing their leverage against negotiating and to force the delegates to talk to each other instead of through the media. The final agreement, promoting peace and stability throughout the territories of the three former equalist powers of North Eimerica, was signed in Berlin on April 16 and witnessed by Tsaritsa Sbyslava, Russian Chancellor Viktor Chernomyrdin, King Magnus of Kanata, Kaiser Otto, Chancellor Kohl, the Mingzhong Emperor of China, and Chinese Chancellor Chen Shuibian. Aside from putting an end to the wars in North Eimerica, the Conoy Agreement also recognized the transfer of the former UTR’s core seven republics to Kanata as the Seven Nations administrative region.

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Despite this diplomatic victory, Kohl was still plagued by crises at home. Just four days after the signing of the Conoy Agreement, a domestic terrorist not associated with the Red Army Faction detonated a truck bomb in front of a government office building in Trebizond. The bombing killed at least 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed one-third of the building. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 cars, causing an estimated 652 million marks worth of damage. Extensive rescue efforts were undertaken by local, state, national, and worldwide agencies in the wake of the bombing, and substantial donations were received from across the country. The Imperial Emergency Management Authority (KNMB) activated 11 of its Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, consisting of 665 rescue workers who assisted in rescue and recovery operations. The Trebizond bombing would become the deadliest terrorist attack on Roman soil and the deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in Roman history.


Aftermath of the Trebizond bombing

Within 90 minutes of the explosion, the shooter, Theodoros Marvin, was stopped by police officers for driving without a license plate and arrested for illegal weapons possession. Forensic evidence quickly linked him to the attack, and he was charged within days (made easier by the fact that he confessed to everything). Marvin, a veteran of the Gulf War and a nationalist movement sympathizer, had detonated a rental truck full of explosives parked in front of the building. Motivated by his dislike for the imperial government and angry about its handling of the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992 and the Ulm siege in 1993, Marvin timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deadly fire that ended the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Ulm. He would be tried and convicted in 1997 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

South of Trebizond and on the evening of March 3, while the Roman people were distracted by the bombings in Constantinople and Trebizond, Rudolf Koenig, who had recently moved to Damascus from Ostafrika, was driving on a freeway when police officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Koenig complied and pulled over, but the officers arrested him and his two friends. After his friends were put in the police car, the officers surrounded Koenig and began beating and tasering him, striking him almost a hundred times with their batons. One officer later testified Koenig had resisted arrest and that he believed Koenig was under the influence of PCP, commonly found in marijuana. A subsequent test found no trace of PCP in Koenig’s body.

Unknown to the police, the incident was captured on a camcorder by a nearby civilian and later presented at Koenig’s trial as evidence. The footage of Koenig being beaten by police became an instant focus of media attention and a rallying point for activists in the Middle East, who decried the brutality practiced by policemen in the Reich, especially against minorities and African Romans, a traditionally overlooked and forgotten ethnic and cultural group in the Reich.

The officers involved were subsequently charged with assault and use of excessive force. Due to the extensive media coverage, the trial was moved from downtown Damascus to Beirut. The jury was composed of no African Romans, although the prosecutor was a Malian. On April 29, after seven days of deliberations, the jury acquitted all of the officers.

Almost immediately after the verdict was announced, riots ensued throughout the Middle East over the next two days. The Damascus Police Department had prepared for any unrest, but they were not prepared for the intensity. A crowd of more than 300 people appeared at the Damascus Superior Court protesting the verdicts, overwhelming the police officers stationed there. As the afternoon progressed, a group of people approached a convenience store in east Damascus and started attacking the employees and ransacking the place. The mayor of Damascus spoke at 5, appealing for calm, but that only inflamed the riots more. Minority groups raided stores all across Damascus and attacked drivers in their cars, even targeting other minorities. A mob surrounded the Damascus police headquarters in downtown and engaged the police, eventually rampaging through the Civic Center, torching cars, and blocking traffic on a highway. By then, the mayor called in the Imperial Guard, which began deploying to Damascus the next morning.


Imperial Guardsmen on patrol in Damascus

As news of the verdict spread, the riots also spread throughout the Middle East, with similar unrest occurring in Alexandria, Beirut, Amman, and Baghdad. Kohl ordered more Imperial Guard units deployed to maintain order, while the mayors of the affected cities declared dusk-to-dawn curfews throughout their downtowns. By the third day, dozens of people had been killed and hundreds more injured. Millions of marks in property damage had been done. Rudolf Koenig himself gave an impromptu conference in front of his lawyer’s office, calling for everybody to just get along. But the riots continued, and more cities throughout the Middle East reported civil unrest. Fearing the entire region could descend into chaos, Kohl activated Operation Garden Plot, temporarily organizing the Imperial Guard units in Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Arabia, and Aegyptus into a joint task force, which was deployed on the fourth day (May 2). It was the first time the Roman military had been deployed to quell a civil disorder since the riots in the aftermath of Abraham Green’s assassination. It took another day for the troops to bring the riots under control. On May 4, Damascus was the last city to lift its curfew, and Imperial Guard troops remained there until May 27.

The SPR (and its sister parties on the left, some of which had merged in preparation for the 1995 examinations) seized the opportunity to criticize Kohl’s handling of the riots, arguing that he was responsible for letting it spread to neighboring provinces. SPR candidate for chancellor Rudolf Scharping berated the CMU and Hohenzollern Faction for failing to address these social issues, particularly calling out Kohl for being in North Eimerica while this all happened. He said the violence resulted from the breakdown of economic opportunities and social institutions in the inner cities, especially for minorities like African Romans. However, Kohl argued the unrest was “purely criminal.” Though he acknowledged the verdict was unjust, he said he refused to condone “mob brutality.” The KRA’s candidate, Klaus Kinkel, on the other hand, argued the verdict was fair and the police should have used greater force to break up the riots. This had the effect of turning public opinion against the KRA going into 1994.

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As the year progressed, Tawantinsuyu lost its UN Security Council seat again, but this time the seat was granted to Vietnam, of all countries. Since its complete independence from China and liberalization in 1989, the Tran dynasty had invested heavily into economic modernization, building factories at record speeds. By 1993, Vietnam’s economy and GDP had grown larger and at a faster rate than Tawantinsuyu, which had been plagued by malaise following the collapse of many of its markets in North Eimerica. The Tawantinsuyuan military had also been soundly defeated in the Gulf War, and Cusco’s decision to side with Mexico only brought sanctions upon it. After Mexico’s defeat, Tawantinsuyu lost its reputation as a major power, and the Security Council voted to remove its seat.

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Two months later, Tsaritsa Sbyslava, who had been on the throne since 1917, passed away at one of her estates outside Tsarberg. The death of the old Tsaritsa proved to be one of the few events bringing Russians together, even as their country teetered on the edge of anarchy. Millions turned out for the memorial service and funeral of the woman who led Russia through most of the 20th century, from its fall to equalism and exile from the homeland to the two world wars to the triumphant return home. She would be sorely missed. But like most things in Russia, there were negative consequences to her death.

The Tsaritsa had been one of the few stabilizing forces in postwar Russia, keeping the frequently corrupt and incompetent government in check and commanding the respect and loyalty of not only the Russian people but also the military. However, she had twins. The eldest was Crown Prince Borislav, but the younger twin, Princess Svetlana, was a popular figure among many politicians who believed she would grant more powers to the Duma. The first succession crisis to hit Russia in centuries had just unfolded.

The Duma quickly announced its support for Princess Svetlana, but the military declared Crown Prince Borislav the legal heir and successor, citing the late Tsaritsa’s wishes for the succession. Despite not initially wanting the throne, Svetlana soon changed her mind, calling for an end to the unpopular economic reform program Molotov and Yeltsin had passed in 1987 and expanded in 1991 by Yeltsin’s successor Chernomyrdin. The reforms had caused prices to skyrocket, slashed government spending, and imposed heavy taxes on everything. This caused a deep credit crunch which shut down many industries and brought about a protracted depression, resulting in the Russian government declaring bankruptcy four times. Svetlana’s opposition to the reform helped her build up a substantial support base over the next few weeks. Borislav quickly followed suit, even calling for Chancellor Chernomyrdin’s resignation. This alarmed many Duma politicians. The Tsaritsa had never called for the resignation of any Duma member and respected the political process, for the most part. Chernomyrdin, fearing the worst, decided to get ahead of the problem.


Chancellor Viktor Chernomyrdin of Russia

On October 20, Chernomyrdin addressed the nation on TV, declaring he had signed a decree on a “special regime” in which he would assume the position of regent, with the executive powers of the Tsar, pending the results of a referendum which would define a limit on the Tsar’s powers and pass a new State Articles (the Augustinian-style legal code governing Tsarist Russia from 1917 to 1987 and postwar Russia from 1991). Soon after the address, several high-ranking cabinet members, senators, and generals all publicly condemned Chernomyrdin’s declaration as against the current State Articles. However, the decree itself technically was not against the State Articles, although many politicians feared Chernomyrdin would use Princess Svetlana as a puppet to become the true ruler of Russia. An extraordinary session of the Duma convened two days later to discuss emergency measures to defend the State Articles and remove Chernomyrdin in a confidence vote, which failed. By this time, public and political opinion had swung in favor of Prince Borislav’s claim, and Svetlana had changed her mind again to not wanting the throne. However, Chernomyrdin refused to recognize Borislav’s claim.

On November 7, Chernomyrdin released the text of his proposed State Articles to a meeting of provincial governors and cabinet ministers. However, the Duma refused to call for either new examinations or for a convention to rewrite the State Articles. Chernomyrdin declared he would deploy all means to do both, including circumventing the State Articles. The Duma, led by Vice Chancellor Rutskoy, increasingly began taking steps to oppose Chernomyrdin, including investigating cabinet members on charges of corruption. Chernomyrdin responded by sacking Rutskoy on November 13. When the Duma refused to acknowledge this, Chernomyrdin invoked his claimed powers as regent and dissolved the Duma on November 21, in violation of most of the State Articles (not to mention he was not recognized as a regent). Rutskoy called Chernomyrdin’s move a coup. The next day, the State High Court held that Chernomyrdin had violated the State Articles and called for his impeachment. The Duma declared the decree null and void, and Rutskoy was declared chancellor, with Borislav declared Tsar. Both Rutskoy and Chernomyrdin called for examinations to take place next March, and Chernomyrdin retaliated against Rutskoy by cutting electricity, phone service, and water to the Duma building.

Thousands of Russians, angered by not only the economic reform (living conditions had deteriorated beyond acceptable levels, GDP had declined, corruption was rampant, violent crime plagued most of the country, medical services were nonexistent, and life expectancy was down) but also Chernomyrdin’s antics, marched through the streets of Kiev in favor of the Duma, though the marches were confused and disorganized outside of the city. Sporadic strikes were launched in industrial centers. On November 28, Kiev saw the first bloody clashes between police and demonstrators. While the clashes occurred, Chernomyrdin quietly ordered the Interior Ministry to seal off the Duma building with everybody inside. By now, Chancellor Kohl, Kaiser Otto, the Orthodox Church, and the Slavic High Patriarch had called for Chernomyrdin to step down from his office and end the bloodshed. Chernomyrdin refused to step down, though. On December 12, Duma supporters barricaded the streets of Kiev and then stormed the barricades surrounding the Duma, freeing the politicians inside. Rutskoy appeared on a balcony and called for the storming of the executive offices and imprisoning of Chernomyrdin. At 4:00 PM, Chernomyrdin declared a state of emergency in Kiev. Mobs stormed the mayor’s office in the former Equicon HQ and then marched on a TV station, where they met special forces and soldiers loyal to the chancellor. A battle followed in which 62 were killed, damaging the TV center and disrupting broadcasts for most major Russian channels.

Meanwhile, the army had so far remained neutral in the riots. The generals deliberated for several hours on how to respond to the chaos. They did not like Chernomyrdin, but he was effectively their commander in chief, and Russia wasn’t in a good situation for a coup. Finally, the generals decided to side with the Duma. However, the battalions stationed in Kiev remained loyal to Chernomyrdin.


Russian Army tanks bombard the Duma

The Russian Army began moving into Kiev on December 14, hoping to neutralize the Kiev garrison before they could deploy. But the garrison had already deployed and had surrounded the Duma building by sunrise. A few hours later, tanks began shelling the Duma, targeting the politicians barricaded inside. Troops loyal to Chernomyrdin began storming the building. It took until the afternoon for the rest of the army to arrive. The Air Force began bombing the executive offices in the Kremlin, while commandos loyal to the Duma retook the Duma building from the pro-Chernomyrdin forces. With the military now against him, Chernomyrdin had no choice but to surrender. He reluctantly resigned from office and turned himself in to the soldiers sent to apprehend him. He would be imprisoned for life. Rutskoy was declared the next Chancellor of Russia, and Borislav’s coronation was planned for next January. The worst crisis to hit Russia since the 1917 revolution was over, with about 5,000 dead.

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Back in the Reich, Kohl went into an examination year on defensive footing. Although the CMU had gained seats in the 1994 Reichsrat (the KRA had taken most of the damage because of its stance on the Damascus riots), the SPR and its allies (the FMP and Greens, both of which had distanced themselves from the KRA) now controlled over 60% of the seats in the Reichsrat, just a few seats short of a supermajority. Adding to the chaos, another religious right faction had been officially formed, siphoning away many of the CMU’s more disgruntled supporters (especially in the former Occupied Territories and industrial areas hit hard by globalization) and capitalizing on the Roman nationalism Kohl encouraged during the war.

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Kohl and the CMU began preparing for the worst at the end of the year. He and his supporters launched their campaigns several months early, coinciding with Kaiser Otto’s sapphire jubilee (marked with triumphs and parades through Constantinople and Berlin) and the death and funeral of Senator Richard Mason, where Kohl gave the eulogy. In June, Kohl traveled to the Länder of Roman Lorestan, near the Persian border, to talk about his “blooming landscapes” vision for not only the Occupied Territories but also the rest of the Reich. He hailed Lorestan as one of the best examples of his vision. Like many of the populous states in the west, Lorestan had a high degree of representation in the Diet, and the politicians representing the Länder had consistently delivered on their promises, delivering policies and reforms that always benefited the people. He promised the same for the people of the former Occupied Territories. Soon, he said, they would enjoy the prestige, representation, and recognition the western provinces already enjoyed. Despite this optimistic speech, the CMU’s approval ratings didn’t increase substantially.

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Going into the examinations, the SPR consistently polled at least ten percentage points higher than the CMU and its allies combined. Kohl ran for another term as chancellor, hoping his reputation as the chancellor who liberated the Occupied Territories would save him, while the SPR ran Rudolf Scharping, the Governor of the Rhineland. Scharping’s candidacy, though, was challenged by the Governor of Lower Saxony, Gerhard Schröder, which significantly hampered Scharping’s campaign. Scharping had also made several missteps regarding his policies on the détente between China and Russia and Russia’s fifth bankruptcy, in which he argued that the former Occupied Territories should be helped before Russia.


SPR candidate Rudolf Scharping


Governor Gerhard Schroeder (2014)


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Other events, however tragic, slowly turned the tide in Kohl’s favor. On September 19, a disgruntled recently fired postal worker in Frankfurt an der Oder bought an old AK-47 and went on a rampage at a blood drive at a local community college, killing 54 innocent civilians, including the county constable and supervisor, before committing suicide. The shooting was the worst mass shooting in the Reich’s history (at least since the war) and ignited a national debate which was amplified by the examination campaign. Gun laws restricting the purchase of military-grade weaponry were strict in the western provinces, which led to extremely low homicide rates even in crime-riddled cities like Darmstadt, Paris, Madrid, and London.

But there were very few laws in the former Occupied Territories, where the legacy of Soviet rule left a very different attitude towards guns. The brutality of the equalists, combined with the anarchy during and immediately after the war, led many citizens to, see guns as their only defense against a society out to get them. It didn’t help that the war left millions of guns and other weaponry abandoned throughout the former Occupied Territories, many of which later ended up in supermarkets and shopping malls. Homicide rates in eastern cities were far higher than those in western cities. Crimes were more likely to be committed with a gun in the east than in the west.

Chancellor Kohl had promised a gradual social reintegration for the Occupied Territories, in which he would respect the current gun laws of the Occupied Territories (or lack thereof) and gradually strengthen them. There was also the issue of the gun lobby. Gun manufacturing companies had made millions of marks in the former Occupied Territories, and they weren’t going to let the Diet stand in the way of their profits. Thankfully, their influence was limited by the strict campaign finance laws of the Augustinian Code and the inherent anti-lobby nature of the meritocratic system, which was designed with this in mind. The shooting finally brought the issue to national attention, and all of the candidates for chancellor had to provide an answer.

Kohl quickly capitalized on the shooting, calling the shooter a coward and a depraved individual who committed one of the most despicable crimes in recent memory. He also requested the courts charge the shooter as a domestic terrorist instead of a “standard” mass murderer, while the CMU immediately introduced a bill in the Reichstag to strengthen gun laws in the Länder of the former Occupied Territories. His quick and strong answer to the shooting did improve his poll numbers in many battleground Länder and his core constituents, but they alienated many Bureau of Qualifications examiners (since the 1950 examination, examiners were randomly selected to represent their Länder in examinations; the 1995 examinations would be the first with widespread selection of examiners from the former Occupied Territories) who wanted a more moderate approach. While he did improve his numbers in the short-term, he might not gain as many examiners’ points come the end of December. Scharping acknowledged that the shooting was a tragedy, but he blamed the bleak economic situation of the former Occupied Territories for driving the shooter to violence and called for not only stricter gun laws but also a new economic program to help rebuild the former Occupied Territories and remove the root of violence there. His polling numbers, both among the general public and examiners, didn’t see a substantial immediate rise, but many examiners felt more confident in his handling of the situation, and he would likely gain more points in the final tally. Meanwhile, candidate Klaus Kinkel, in typical KRA fashion, argued that the solution was to instead loosen gun laws and arm every citizen in the Reich with a gun, even going as far as to call for a bill making ownership of an assault rifle mandatory to all adult citizens. As anybody would expect, this ended the KRA’s chance of capturing the chancellery. Not that they had a chance anyways.

December rolled around and January 1 came with the Kaiser giving his customary address to the newly convened Reichsrat and Reichstag. In the upper house, the SPR was the only party to gain seats (aside from the FMP, which gained exactly one seat), giving them over a third of all seats in the house. Together with the non-KRA liberals and the progressive Greens, they now controlled 65% of seats, just shy of a supermajority.

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In the Reichstag, the SPR, the Schweinfurt Faction, and the Linkspartei/Meritocratic Socialist Party (which performed best in its base in the former East Berlin and the areas around it) won the most points, each receiving about 11 percent of the total. The CMU and CSU came in fourth, receiving just nine percent. The other parties received the rest. Despite the apparent victory of the SPR and its allies, the Bureau of Qualifications declared the CMU the victors. The assembled left-wing parties had together won less than half of all points, while the right-wing parties had won roughly 54.85% of all points.

Some post-examination debate focused on the alleged flaws in the polls, almost all of which predicted an overwhelming SPR victory. Controversy swept Constantinople in the days following the examination as the SPR and other social meritocratic parties contested the validity of the results, calling for a recount. The Bureau of Qualifications then held a recount, with the CMU still the winner despite the SPR receiving the most points. Such an occurrence had never occurred before in the history of the Reich, but as technically nothing illegal had been done, the results were certified, and Kohl was quietly sworn in again the next day, afterwards flying to Scandinavia to preside over the signing of a free trade agreement between the Nordic countries and the reintroduction of the kroner, the first steps towards Scandinavian reunification.

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However, scandal would continue to follow Kohl. On January 21, Der Spiegel, known for breaking news of political scandals, published an article alleging the Chinese government attempted to direct financial contributions into the CMU, writing that the Athanatoi had proof the Chinese embassy in Constantinople was used to coordinate possible donations to the CMU in violation of campaign finance laws. A subsequent investigation found no donations were actually made, likely because the meritocratic system discouraged such donations. While nothing illegal had technically been done, this scandal damaged Kohl’s reputation so soon into his new term, delaying his efforts to focus on the issues he was concerned about, like climate change, an expedition to the North Pole, and the transition of more North Eimerican states to meritocracy.

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Things got even worse when the Indian ambassador to Burma was assassinated by Burmese equalists in March and Kohl was blamed for a mediocre response, which led eight months later to the complete takeover of Burma by the equalist militias. The Burmese monarch and his government fled the country, and the equalists declared the Second Burmese Socialist Republic in Yangon. Determined not to be seen as too soft on the unexpected resurgence of equalism, Kohl gave a speech before the UN General Assembly calling for action to restore the recognized Burmese government. The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the deployment of UN peacekeepers (mostly from the Reich, India, and China) to Burma.

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It turned out that an intervention in Burma, like the Gulf War before, was the one thing that could increase his popularity. His steadily declining approval ratings shot back up, and the CMU even gained seats when the 1996 Reichsrat convened, while the SPR and its allies lost most of their gains from last year. Things looked like they were again in Kohl’s favor.

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But if he wanted to keep this trend going, he had to do much more than win this war quickly.
 

wzhang29

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Ha, actual Nixon prosecuting the TTL equivalent of Nixon. Good one.

Although you did sully Ulm's name with the Waco thing. Other than that, no proble--

In June, Kohl traveled to the Länder of Roman Lorestan, near the Persian border, to talk about his “blooming landscapes” vision for not only the Occupied Territories but also the rest of the Reich. He hailed Lorestan as one of the best examples of his vision. Like many of the populous states in the west, Lorestan had a high degree of representation in the Diet, and the politicians representing the Länder had consistently delivered on their promises, delivering policies and reforms that always benefited the people.
the Länder of Roman Lorestan, near the Persian border
Like many of the populous states in the west
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zenphoenix

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By west, they mean everything not in the former Occupied Territories.:p
 

Brigadier44

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The former Occupied Territories look like they'll form the starting territory for whatever faction's going to start the Third Roman Civil War, seeing how they're so behind the rest of the Reich. I sure hope that it's not the neo-Angeloi heartland.
 

zenphoenix

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The former Occupied Territories look like they'll form the starting territory for whatever faction's going to start the Third Roman Civil War, seeing how they're so behind the rest of the Reich. I sure hope that it's not the neo-Angeloi heartland.
That's assuming I decide to have a third civil war.;)
 

spendabuck

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I think @spendabuck has the better suggestion. What I think would happen is DreamWorks is formed as a division of Disney (I will be using the name Disney here, because referring to Hitler here is a bit awkward:p) focusing on children's animated movies, becoming Disney's main animated film division for films not marketed under the Disney name. The Disney Renaissance would continue into the early 2000s, during which DreamWorks and its parent company would venture into progressively darker and songless subject matter (Atlantis would be a big hit, unlike in real life).

This implies Dreamworks replaced Pixar. Pixar's origins remain largely the same. It was formed by Lucasfilm in 1979 and then spun out as its own company in 1986, with Steven Jandali-Schieble (Steve Jobs) as its majority shareholder. But since Disney already has DreamWorks, it has no incentive to buy Pixar (and indeed any attempt to buy Pixar would draw the ire of antitrust regulators, since Pixar is DreamWorks' main competition). Instead, Steven Jandali-Schieble uses his clout as majority shareholder and his position as Apple CEO to have Apple buy Pixar in 1994. Apple invested 26 million marks in Pixar to make three computer animated films, the first of which was Toy Story. That movie's success convinced Apple to invest more into Pixar and set up a movie studio for live-action films. Apple Pictures would become a major player in the entertainment industry, especially after acquiring the rights to the Marvel superhero Spider-Man.

And this implies Apple replaced Sony. Sony's movie studio doesn't exist.:p

Yeah, Pocahontas won't work. I think you're referring to Malintzin, the female conquistador and Mexica defector, which might work as a Disney movie. Tarzan could still exist, only plot elements involving the colonists and explorers would have to be different because the Reich was mostly unchallenged in its colonization of Africa. There might also be a subplot about the Romanization of surrounding tribes and the arrival of hundreds of settlers from Europe (part of the Reich's Drang nacht Suden policy).

I might provide summaries of some Disney movies in later posts.
It's up to you, but can hand-drawn animation remain the norm in film as opposed to computer animation?

Also, there's probably quite a bit you could do to make Disney's later content darker and more serious. For example, The Emperor's New Groove could easily be replaced by Kingdom of the Sun, the original script of the movie which was far more serious. From Wikipedia:
Kingdom of the Sun was to have been a tale of a greedy, selfish emperor (voiced by David Spade) who finds a peasant (voiced by Owen Wilson) who looks just like him; the emperor swaps places with the peasant to escape his boring life and have fun, much as in author Mark Twain's archetypal novel The Prince and the Pauper. However, the villainous witch Yzma has plans to summon Supay (the evil god of death), and destroy the sun so that she may become young and beautiful forever (the sun gives her wrinkles, so she surmises that living in a world of darkness would prevent her from aging). Discovering the switch between the prince and the peasant, Yzma turns the real emperor into a llama and threatens to reveal the pauper's identity unless he obeys her. During his time as the emperor and doing Yzma's orders, the pauper falls in love with the emperor's so to be fiancé Nina (voiced by Carla Gugino) who thinks he is the emperor that has change his ways. Meanwhile, the emperor-llama learns humility in his new form and even comes to love a female llama-herder named Mata (voiced by Laura Prepon).[10] Together, the girl and the llama set out to undo the witch's plans.
Considering the main reason it was scrapped for the less serious movie was due to the underwhelming performance of Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it could be made if Disney continues to have box office hits. The latter film could be especially easy to make more successful; just get rid of some of the more tone-deaf elements such as the gargoyles, advertise the film better (from what I've heard it was advertised as some happy colorful Disney film, ignoring some of the darker elements of the movie), and possibly even go slightly darker. Considering DreamWorks is owned by Disney here, The Road to El Dorado was also meant to be more serious, though after producing The Prince of Egypt, Katzenberg decided he wanted to do something more serious. Now that I'm typing this, I just realized that that probably wouldn't work considering there was never any equivalent to Cortez/Pizarro and their conquests in the New World; maybe it could be set in what is now Neurhomania, with El Dorado being Andean as opposed to Mesoamerican?

Beyond preexisting films, there were also other films which were proposed but never filmed. For example, there were plans for films based around Homer's Odyssey as well as Don Quixote (though I'm not sure if the latter exists ITTL). Considering that DreamWorks is a part of Disney now as well, there could be more Biblical films in the same vein as The Prince of Egypt. DreamWorks actually did make another film, Joseph: King of Dreams, based on the Biblical story of Joseph, as a direct-to-video prequel to The Prince of Egypt. If it was made into a feature-length film and more time was spent on it, it could possibly also perform well. Another concept I think would be interesting to use is the idea of a sequel set around Joshua and the conquest of Jericho, picking up where The Prince of Egypt left off (Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai with The Ten Commandments, conveniently not showing any golden calf; we need that happy ending after all :p ). Ben Hur could also be interesting to see adapted to animation.
 

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Transitioning governments, crumbling economies, terrorist attacks, riots in the streets making the public lose trust in the police, conspiracies over votes not adding up... Peace has not quite arrived, it seems. Makes sense, given how recent the world war was.
 

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It's up to you, but can hand-drawn animation remain the norm in film as opposed to computer animation?
While I can certainly delay the advent of computer animation, it would be very unlikely for hand-drawn animation to remain the norm. Computer animation just gets cheaper and better while hand-drawn animation is tied to the skill of their animators. Most animation companies would switch to computer animation eventually, but I can certainly keep hand-drawn animation as a prestige art, with animators being highly paid and sought after by all companies (hand-drawn animated films would be held to a much higher standard than computer animated ones).
Also, there's probably quite a bit you could do to make Disney's later content darker and more serious. For example, The Emperor's New Groove could easily be replaced by Kingdom of the Sun, the original script of the movie which was far more serious. From Wikipedia:
I think Kingdom of the Sun would make a great movie, though we'd be missing out on the Emperor's New Groove memes.:p However, I'm not sure what the Tawantinsuyuan government would think of that movie. Or I could make it Disney's attempt to market to the Tawantinsuyuan market, like what they planned for Mulan in real life, only to meet the same criticism by Tawantinsuyuans (depiction of Tawantinsuyuan history and society is anachronous and too foreign-looking). It would still be successful though.
Considering the main reason it was scrapped for the less serious movie was due to the underwhelming performance of Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it could be made if Disney continues to have box office hits. The latter film could be especially easy to make more successful; just get rid of some of the more tone-deaf elements such as the gargoyles, advertise the film better (from what I've heard it was advertised as some happy colorful Disney film, ignoring some of the darker elements of the movie), and possibly even go slightly darker.
The Malintzin movie might do much better, as it is guaranteed to turn out the Neurhomanian population (it might also gain more publicity after Mexico bans it). As for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Wikipedia says it was a big success though? It got good reviews and made $325 million?), marketing as a darker and more realistic film (and removing the gargoyles) might make it more of a success.
Considering DreamWorks is owned by Disney here, The Road to El Dorado was also meant to be more serious, though after producing The Prince of Egypt, Katzenberg decided he wanted to do something more serious. Now that I'm typing this, I just realized that that probably wouldn't work considering there was never any equivalent to Cortez/Pizarro and their conquests in the New World; maybe it could be set in what is now Neurhomania, with El Dorado being Andean as opposed to Mesoamerican?
I remember discovering El Dorado somewhere in what became Neurhomania (though I forgot if it was the good or meh outcome) back in EU4, so I'm sure the movie would be similar to the original one, only darker of course. Malintzin and the other lesser known conquistadors would collectively fill in for Cortez and Pizarro, only less bloodthirsty.
Beyond preexisting films, there were also other films which were proposed but never filmed. For example, there were plans for films based around Homer's Odyssey as well as Don Quixote (though I'm not sure if the latter exists ITTL). Considering that DreamWorks is a part of Disney now as well, there could be more Biblical films in the same vein as The Prince of Egypt. DreamWorks actually did make another film, Joseph: King of Dreams, based on the Biblical story of Joseph, as a direct-to-video prequel to The Prince of Egypt. If it was made into a feature-length film and more time was spent on it, it could possibly also perform well. Another concept I think would be interesting to use is the idea of a sequel set around Joshua and the conquest of Jericho, picking up where The Prince of Egypt left off (Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai with The Ten Commandments, conveniently not showing any golden calf; we need that happy ending after all :p ). Ben Hur could also be interesting to see adapted to animation.
An Odyssey film would be epic, although personally I would rather have it be live action and a sequel to Sean Bean's Iliad movie. I'd also think there'd be movies following the other Greeks coming home from the war (Agammemnon and his betrayal and avenging by Orestes especially) and their reaction to the Bronze Age collapse, as well as a movie trilogy about Aeneas and his flight to Italy. I'm also interested in a Greek mythology cinematic universe which would follow many demigods and other heroes (Hercules, Atalanta, Orpheus, Perseus, Theseus, and others) as they fight monsters and go on quests, culminating in an Avengers-style movie about Jason and the Argonauts and then (after some more movies) an Infinity War-style movie about the Trojan War (separate from the Sean Bean movie series).

Don Quixote I think still exists, as does El Cid (films could be made of either, and they'd be done as more traditional family-oriented comedy films). Joseph: King of Dreams would be a feature-length film released in theaters and do better than it originally did. The Prince of Egypt would also have a sequel set around Moses' followers settling Canaan and conquering Jericho (focusing on Joshua), with the final installment in the "trilogy" about the young King David and his rise to power (culminating in Absalom's rebellion and David's battle against him, mirroring Saint Wihelmina's and Prince Kirill's fight).

Also, I'm now also interested in a live-action Bible cinematic universe spanning from Noah's Ark to the Babylonian Exile (and maybe further), though I'm not sure how that will work once they get to the birth of Jesus.
Transitioning governments, crumbling economies, terrorist attacks, riots in the streets making the public lose trust in the police, conspiracies over votes not adding up... Peace has not quite arrived, it seems. Makes sense, given how recent the world war was.
Did you really think I would make it that easy to win World War III?:p

Edit: though I have to admit I didn't see the Burma equalists coming and that really surprised me. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.:D
 

spendabuck

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I remember discovering El Dorado somewhere in what became Neurhomania (though I forgot if it was the good or meh outcome) back in EU4, so I'm sure the movie would be similar to the original one, only darker of course. Malintzin and the other lesser known conquistadors would collectively fill in for Cortez and Pizarro, only less bloodthirsty.
Obviously the film would be different anyway, but part of the climax is the protagonists closing off the main entrance to El Dorado to protect it from Cortez, so I'm not sure if it would make sense to just make the same movie but having Malintzin be less bloodthirsty. Plus, it would be a bit odd to have the same character in two unrelated films.

Maybe things from Pocahontas and The Road to El Dorado could be combined into a movie about Malintzin?
An Odyssey film would be epic, although personally I would rather have it be live action and a sequel to Sean Bean's Iliad movie. I'd also think there'd be movies following the other Greeks coming home from the war (Agammemnon and his betrayal and avenging by Orestes especially) and their reaction to the Bronze Age collapse, as well as a movie trilogy about Aeneas and his flight to Italy. I'm also interested in a Greek mythology cinematic universe which would follow many demigods and other heroes (Hercules, Atalanta, Orpheus, Perseus, Theseus, and others) as they fight monsters and go on quests, culminating in an Avengers-style movie about Jason and the Argonauts and then (after some more movies) an Infinity War-style movie about the Trojan War (separate from the Sean Bean movie series).
Considering myths are pretty well within the realm of public domain, I don't see any reason why what you just described (which sounds amazing) couldn't exist alongside an unrelated animated Odyssey film.
Joseph: King of Dreams would be a feature-length film released in theaters and do better than it originally did. The Prince of Egypt would also have a sequel set around Moses' followers settling Canaan and conquering Jericho (focusing on Joshua), with the final installment in the "trilogy" about the young King David and his rise to power (culminating in Absalom's rebellion and David's battle against him, mirroring Saint Wihelmina's and Prince Kirill's fight).

Also, I'm now also interested in a live-action Bible cinematic universe spanning from Noah's Ark to the Babylonian Exile (and maybe further), though I'm not sure how that will work once they get to the birth of Jesus.
That would be really interesting; maybe make the Bible 'cinematic universe' traditionally animated though, and have it be due to the success of The Prince of Egypt.

Something I actually just thought of; superheroes are still popular, but instead of the DC vs. Marvel rivalry, a rivalry between the Greek myth cinematic universe and the Biblical cinematic universe takes the forefront of nerd fights.

On the topic of superheroes and other franchises, does Disney still make similar purchases as they did in OTL (Marvel, Lucasfilm, etc.)? I'd honestly like to see the development of Star Wars without the influence of Disney; perhaps shortly after the first trilogy is released, a sequel trilogy based on the Legends universe is released, as it would never become non-canon due to Disney never getting involved.. After that, a far better prequel trilogy would be released, followed by various spinoffs (Rogue One, Solo, etc.) throughout the 2000s and 2010s. After that, maybe another sequel trilogy set after the second one.
 

zenphoenix

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Obviously the film would be different anyway, but part of the climax is the protagonists closing off the main entrance to El Dorado to protect it from Cortez, so I'm not sure if it would make sense to just make the same movie but having Malintzin be less bloodthirsty. Plus, it would be a bit odd to have the same character in two unrelated films.

Maybe things from Pocahontas and The Road to El Dorado could be combined into a movie about Malintzin?
Actually, I think making the Pocahontas movie about Malintzin is counterproductive. Malintzin isn't some damsel in distress or even a princess. She's her own hero. So maybe the Malinztin movie would be about Malintzin and her explorers searching for El Dorado (and then finding it not what they expected). Maybe I could have The Road to El Dorado be replaced with The Road to King Solomon's Mines. That might work.
Considering myths are pretty well within the realm of public domain, I don't see any reason why what you just described (which sounds amazing) couldn't exist alongside an unrelated animated Odyssey film.
So we'd have an animated Odyssey film, a Sean Bean Odyssey film, and the Greek mythology cinematic universe Odyssey film (one of the last in that cinematic universe). Three different versions of Odysseus. That would be epic.
That would be really interesting; maybe make the Bible 'cinematic universe' traditionally animated though, and have it be due to the success of The Prince of Egypt.
Oh, having the Bible cinematic universe be animated would be great, because there are some things in the Bible which might be better represented through animation.
Something I actually just thought of; superheroes are still popular, but instead of the DC vs. Marvel rivalry, a rivalry between the Greek myth cinematic universe and the Biblical cinematic universe takes the forefront of nerd fights.
The DC vs. Marvel rivalry will still exist (spilling over into their cinematic universes after the MCU gets started), but the rivalry between the Greek myth and the Bible cinematic universes would be...legendary.:cool: There could also be a Norse cinematic universe, but that wouldn't be as popular as there aren't that many stories aside from Loki's antics and Ragnarok.
On the topic of superheroes and other franchises, does Disney still make similar purchases as they did in OTL (Marvel, Lucasfilm, etc.)? I'd honestly like to see the development of Star Wars without the influence of Disney; perhaps shortly after the first trilogy is released, a sequel trilogy based on the Legends universe is released, as it would never become non-canon due to Disney never getting involved.. After that, a far better prequel trilogy would be released, followed by various spinoffs (Rogue One, Solo, etc.) throughout the 2000s and 2010s. After that, maybe another sequel trilogy set after the second one.
While I am 'generally' okay with the direction Disney took Star Wars (with a lot of reservations after watching the sequel trilogy, which I didn't hate), I think Star Wars would be better off on without Disney (Disney would still acquire Marvel though, because that was how we got the awesome Phase 3 instead of another producer-meddled Phase 2). I have already written detailed summaries on the prequel trilogy (released at the same time as in real life). While the premise and plot is generally the same (the old Empire is subverted by Palpatine and becomes the Republic), I changed a lot of stuff and moved some characters around. The Clone Wars and Rebels series would be official canon, and there would be crossovers with the prequel trilogy (retroactive, since the shows came after the prequel trilogy was finished) and the anthology movies. The anthology movies would have movies set between the prequels and original trilogy (Rogue One, Solo, Boba Fett, and of course Obi-Wan Kenobi), but there would also be movies based on the Expanded Universe and maybe even Knights of the Old Republic. The Expanded Universe will of course remain canon, but movies in the sequel trilogy (also released at the same time as in real life) would take liberties with some events and characters (because there are bound to be continuity errors regardless of what happens). I think I'll keep some elements and characters of the sequel trilogy, like Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo. Not sure about the rest. Maybe the second or third sequel trilogy might revolve around the Yuuzhan Vong.
 

CaptainAlvious

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I know I haven’t had the time to comment recently, but it is nice to get an update where we figure out what has happened to the world, through the story archs and character development was nice.:)

Random thought, but the third politician to the left for the picture involving the end of Eimerican Wars bore a resemblance to Bill Murray to me for some reason, I wonder if anyone else thought that as well?:p

I’ll come up with questions for cultural discussions later when I find the time to think of some questions.
 
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Go to the Lucasfilm studios. Kill all the directors for Solo.
Dew It
destroys bible again
busts out ol' reliable
NEIN
As Quicksilver would say, you didn't see that coming, did you?;)
Your so mean to Anders.
“No, I just want answers,” Angela said.
WELL NAH
“Now, you listen to me, you monster!” Erich said. “This man's name is Alberto Garcia-Diaz, but you probably know him as Ludwig Angelos. You should remember that. Because if my daughter or nephew come down with so much as a case of the flu, Ludwig is prepared to recite, chapter and verse, file for file, everything on your precious tape.”

The smoking man laughed. “It's a nice try, Hansen, but one old son of Markie isn’t going to scare me.”

“I'm sure you're thinking Ludwig is an old man and former Angeloi and there are plenty of ways you might kill him too,” Erich said, “Which is why he's had twenty other men and women memorize the information on those files. So unless you kill every Basque living in four Länder and two provinces... that information is available with a simple phone call and will be posted on the Internet in a day. Welcome to the wonderful world of high technology.”

The smoking man stared at Erich, no longer laughing. “You’re bluffing.”

“Am I?” Erich said.

The smoking man turned and stormed out.
Finally!
After all that's happened, after everything Anders and Angela have been through, if there really hasn't been any alien activity... that's gonna be downright tragic. Not unsatisfying, mind you; you've consistently had an alternate explanation for what's happened. It would just be such a punch in the gut for Anders.
My mind would break
That's assuming I decide to have a third civil war.;)
Please no
A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.:D
What do you mean by that :eek:
 

zenphoenix

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Random thought, but the third politician to the left for the picture involving the end of Eimerican Wars bore a resemblance to Bill Murray to me for some reason, I wonder if anyone else thought that as well?:p
That's Slobodan Princip.:D In real life he's a notorious war criminal. Unlike Bill Murray.:p
decapitates Ron Howard
busts out ol' reliable
destroys ol' reliable as well
JA
Your so mean to Anders.
Am I?:p
No u
What do you mean by that :eek:
It means I didn't see any equalist rebellions happening until they already succeeded. And I saw an equalist rebellion happening in China as well.:eek:
 

zenphoenix

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Stigmata, Part 1

First Church of Redemption, Ostrau, Silesia – January 5, 1996, 8:00 AM

“God tests our faith so that we may not take it for granted,” Reverend Faber said, "He gave us the Angeloi to test our strength. He gave us the Soviets to test our resolve. He gave us the war to test our faith and prepare us for the end of days. But I would like to save that for another day. I once gave counsel to a little girl. She was very distraught because her older brother, corrupted by godless equalism, had told her that Moses hadn't really parted the Red Sea. He said that high winds and strong ocean currents had been responsible. In hearing this, the faith of this child had been severely shaken. In order to restore her credence, she had but one question for me. She asked, Reverend, is there really such a thing as a miracle? Or are the stories in the Bible just make-believe, fairy tales. I assured her that yes, miracles really do happen. For did not Jesus not rise from the dead after three days and ascend into Heaven? Most people today tend to vest themselves in science and cynicism. They expect proof for all that they see, but miracles are wonders by nature. They need no rationale, no justification. You must witness the miracles of the Lord without question."

Faber raised his fists above his head and clenched them. Streams of blood trickled down and dripped from his hands. The churchgoers gasped and stood, staring in wonder at the miracle.

“My blood flows as a test of your faith,” Faber said, “Open your souls to the divine possibilities. It is then, and only then, that you will truly understand the awesome powers and the everlasting love and forgiveness of the almighty Lord. Amen!”

The churchgoers burst into applause as Faber retreated to his dressing room. He sat down and started adjusting his makeup. In the mirror, he saw the reflection of a well-dressed businessman, whom he had seen in the congregation.

“Yes?” Faber said.

“I was impressed with your sermon, Reverend,” the businessman said.

“Thank you,” Faber said, “I just wanted to tell these demoralized people that there is hope, now that the godless equalists are gone.”

“ I just want to tell you that some of us do believe,” the businessman said.

“I appreciate that,” Faber said, “It always does my heart good to know that I've touched at least one person.”

The businessman approached him. “Oh, I think you had quite an effect on a lot of people. Me, most of all.”

The businessman grabbed Faber by his throat and lifted him off the floor, slamming him against the wall.


4:00 PM

Angela and Anders knelt over Faber’s body.

“These ligature marks on his neck are consistent with rope or fabric burns,” Angela said, “Strongly suggesting he was strangled, but there seems to be an awful lot of blood loss here.”

“His parishioners said he was bleeding from his hands like the wounds of the crucifixion,” Anders said.

“Stigmata?” Angela said.

“The sign bestowed by God upon the righteous,” Anders said.

Angela checked Faber’s hands, which showed no signs of bleeding.

“I don't see any wounds here on his hands or wrists or otherwise,” she said.

“ No, I think this is a case of too much faith, which is a bit ironic given where we are,” Anders said, dabbing his finger into some “blood” and tasting it, “And too much sugar.”

“What are you doing?” Angela said. “Are you a vampire?”

“I killed three of them,” Anders said, "And they were psychological anyways."

“Sure you did,” Angela said, “I was conveniently busy when that happened.”

“Anyways, it's fake,” Anders said, “Just like the others,”

He opened Faber’s shirt to show tubes and a reservoir of red liquid.

“Wait, others?” Angela said.

“I've been tracking religiously motivated murders across the former Occupied Territories,” Anders said, “All of the victims have been so-called stigmatics and all of them have been frauds, like the Reverend here.”

“According to certain religious lore, at any given time there are twelve stigmatics in the world, representing the twelve apostles,” Angela said.

“It's a claim that's wholly unsubstantiated, though there have been many pretenders, eleven of whom have been murdered in the past three years,” Anders said, “Looks like this place has no shortage of faith, contrary to the stats.”

“Eleven?” Angela said. “Any clue as to the motivation?”

“I initially assumed it was a radical anti-religious splinter of the RAF, but I ruled that out,” Anders said, “ Either we're dealing with a psychotic religious fanatic who's hell-bent on exposing these kind of frauds, or a less programmatic psycho or equalist who harbors a murderous resentment towards the church, or maybe it's just a very disgruntled altar boy.”

“Well, that narrows down the field,” Angela said.

“Anyway, it's safe to say this guy carries a grudge, and if I'm right about one thing, the killer is here and he's looking for victim number twelve,” Anders said.

“I’ll get my Madonna tracks ready,” Angela said.


Fragopolis Elementary School, Eperies, Zips – January 6, 1996, 8:30 AM

A school bell rang.

“Alright, let’s settle down,” Frau Thiede said, “I trust everyone has studied his or her flash cards for today's quiz.”

The kids groaned. One of the students, Keven Kryder, shot a spitball at a girl.

“Geek!” the girl shouted.

Thiede noticed the incident immediately.

“Kevin Kryder,” she said, “I assume, Kevin, that in the last 24 hours, you've become quite the math wizard. Why don't you come up to the board and share with us your gift of numbers?”

The other kids laughed and pointed at Kevin as he walked up to the blackboard.

“Let's try some division,” Thiede said, “You do know the division sign, don't you, Kevin? Let's divide 11 into 170.”

Kevin picked up a chalk and started writing. As he did so, blood appeared on his fingertips. Looking over, he noticed his chalk had blood on it. He dropped it and turned to Thiede.

“Ewww!” the kids shouted. “Blood!”

“Mein Gott!” Thiede said.


School infirmary – 9:30 AM

Angela and Anders walked into the infirmary and greeted Carina Maywald, from the local social services office.

“Thanks for contacting us so quickly,” Angela said.

“When I read the Athanatoi's alert, I thought immediately of Kevin,” Carina said.

“You said on the phone that there had been a previous incident,” Angela said.

“Last year,” Carina said, “Kevin arrived at school with bleeding wounds on his hands and feet. Our first concern is always an abusive parent. We have plenty of those here.”

“Was that the case?” Angela said.

“Well, it appeared so, at least at first,” Carina said, “Kevin's father was arrested, and we took the boy as a ward of the court. But the state dropped charges for lack of evidence. The mother sued and won custody. Herr Kryder was institutionalized soon after.”

“Institutionalized for what?” Anders said.

“When he was released from jail, he locked himself and Kevin in the house,” Carina said, “Made all the local papers. He was waving a gun at the police, saying he had to protect the boy, that Kevin was chosen by God.”

“Let me talk to you for a minute here ...” Anders said, taking Carina aside.

Angela walked over to Kevin’s bed, where a nurse wrapped a bandage around Kevin’s palms.

“How's he doing?” Angela asked.

“Fine,” the nurse said.

“Hi, Kevin,” Angela said, “My name is Angela Hansen. Can I talk to you a minute?”

“Am I going back to the shelter?” Kevin said.

“We don't know just yet,” Angela said, “Right now, we have to find out what happened. Can you tell me how you got those cuts on your hands?”

“No,” Kevin said.

“No, you can't tell me, or no, you don't know?” Angela said.

“You want me to say my Dad did it,” Kevin said.

“I don’t,” Angela said, “I don't want you to say anything that isn't true.”

“Frau Hansen, I don't feel that good,” Kevin said.

Angela placed her hand on Kevin’s forehead.

“He feels a bit feverish,” Angela said, “Like he's burning up. Did you take his temperature?”

“No, I didn't,” the nurse said, putting a thermometer in Kevin’s mouth, “Open.”

“You're a very brave boy, Kevin,” Angela said, “You have nothing to be afraid of.”

Out in the hall, Frau Kryder approached Carina and Anders.

“Where's Kevin?” she said. “Is he alright?”

“He's doing just fine,” Carina said, “The nurse is just changing his bandages.”

“Oh my God!” Frau Kryder said. “I thought this was all over.”

“Frau Kryder?” Anders said, holding up his badge. “I’m Anders Humboldt with the Athanatoi.”

“The Athanatoi?” Frau Kryder said. “Who called the Athanatoi?”

“We're here because we have reason to believe that Kevin may be in some danger,” Anders said.

“In danger from what?” Frau Kryder said.

“As strange as it might sound, someone may be targeting people like Kevin,” Anders said, “Targeting people exhibiting wounds that might be interpreted as having religious significance.”

In the infirmary, the mercury in the thermometer shot past 103 degrees. As the nurse handed Angela a cup of water, the top popped off. Angela stared at the broken thermometer. She had never seen that happen before. She and the nurse looked at Kevin.

“I didn't do anything,” Kevin said, “It just broke.”

In the hall, Frau Kryder continued talking.

“Kevin's just a normal kid,” Frau Kryder said, “He probably just hurt himself out on the playground.”

“I'm sure there's an explanation, Frau Kryder, but right now everybody's primary concern should be for Kevin's safety,” Anders said.

“I'd like to put him back into the shelter until we can sort this out,” Carina said.

“You don't think I did this to Kevin,” Frau Kryder said, “You think I'm the one who cut his hands like that?”

“We don't know how he got the cuts, but we'd like some time to evaluate his case, Frau Kryder,” Carina said.

“I would never hurt my own child, do you hear me?” Frau Kryder said. “Now, I fought a battle over my son before, and that tore my family apart. And I'm not going to fight it again.”

She stormed out. Carina rolled her eyes.

“I love my job,” she said.

Anders, however, just winced. He turned to Angela as she left the infirmary.

“Let's get out of here, Angie,” Anders said.

“Did she say something?” Angela said. “People here aren’t as politically correct as in the western provinces, you know.”

“She tore her family apart for her son,” Anders said, “Just like my mom did for me and Anna.”

“Listen, Anders, the kid's hands were definitely cut,” Angela said, “Have you determined how his hands were cut?”

“No, not yet, but my guess is that the kid did it to himself,” Anders said, “The boy has his father taken away. He hurts himself to relieve his dad of guilt and to get him back.”

“Maybe we should talk to his father,” Angela said.

“He's in an institution,” Anders said, “You know I don’t like institutions.”

“It’s worth a shot,” Angela said.

“Reminds me too much of…well, you know,” Anders said.

“Well, the father said he needed to be protected,” Angela said, “Maybe he knows from whom. We should see if he has anything.”

Anders sighed. “Fine.”


Konare Mental Institution – 11:00 AM

Michael Kryder sat up and looked at Angela and Anders.

“He's bleeding again, isn't he?” he said.

“Yes,” Angela said, “How did you know that?”

“Because the faithful know,” Michael said.

“Herr Kryder, the claims you’ve made for your son may have put him in danger,” Anders said, “Do you know that?”

“He was in danger long before I ever made the claims,” Michael said, “Since the day he was born, they’ve been watching him.”

“Who?” Angela said.

“The forces of darkness,” Michael said, “They will come in the form of a powerful and respected man. They want to claim all souls. You must understand, this is the great war between good and evil. God will find someone to end it. Someone who is strong enough to make the sacrifice.”

“He's chosen you?” Anders said.

“I'm merely a messenger,” Michael said, “One who has in turn received the message from another messenger.”

Anders turned to Angela. “Let’s go, Angie, this guy creeps me out.”

They turned to leave.

“You must come full circle to find the truth,” Michael said to Angela.

Angela turned back. “I don't know what that means.”

Michael smiled. “You will.”


Wenceslas Home for Children – 9:00 PM

The kids gathered around Kevin, listening intently to his story.

“The two kids are running down this long hallway,” Keven said, “But all the doors are locked. There's nowhere to go. Soon both will be toast. They can hear his bloody leg dragging on the floor. The mutant is on their trail, hungry for the taste of young meat.”

“What's it look like?” a kid asked.

“You really want to know?” Kevin said. “It looks like the devil. And he's bald, because all his hair has burned off in hell. And his fingers are like pitchforks - little barbs on the end. So all he has to do is point at you, and you can't get away. With each step, he gets closer. Step by step by step. He's so close now that even the furniture starts to shake. Step by step by step.”

The door opened, and a large bald man entered the room. The other kids saw him and scattered, but Kevin calmly remained in his chair, holding up his hands.


January 7, 1996, 9:00 AM

Anders and a police sketch artist sat down with the kids.

“What color hair did he have?” Anders asked. “Was it brown, or blonde, or ...”

“He was bald,” one kid said, “He didn't have no hair.”

“'Cause it all burned off in hell,” a second kid added.

Anders stood up. “How tall was he? Was he about my height? Taller, shorter?”

“Taller,” the first kid said, “And he was dressed all in black.”

Anders nodded at a shelter employee, and the staff cleared the kids out of the room. Angela, meanwhile, noticed a bloody palmprint on a piece of fabric as Frau Kryder walked in.

“What happened to Kevin?” she said. “Where is he?”

“Kevin was abducted from this room,” Angela said, “Several of the children witnessed it. We're getting a description of the man who took him.”

“But you were supposed to protect him,” Frau Kryder said, “You said he would be safe.”

“We're sorry, Frau Kryder,” Anders said, “We're doing everything we can. Angie…”

They moved to the corner of the room.

“Did you get a composite?” Angela asked.

“Yeah, looks like Kevin was abducted by Homer Samson's evil twin,” Anders said, showing her the police sketch, “D’oh, or should I say, D’ohne?”

“This isn't the killer, Anders,” Angela said.

“I agree,” Anders said.

“No, I mean it doesn't match the MO,” Angela said, “None of the previous victims were ever abducted.”

“None of the previous victims were ten year old boys or actual stigmatics,” Anders said.

Frau Kryder walked up to them. “Is this the man that took Kevin?”

“Yeah,” Angela said, “We're not sure how accurate that is.”

“It’s Oskar,” Frau Kryder said, “Oskar Junge. A friend of my husband. He did our yard work.”

Oskar Junge’s house’s attic

Oskar showed Kevin a small carving of a bird, along with other carvings of animals.

“I carved them all myself,” Oskar said, “It's Noah's ark. Do you like it?”

“When are you going to take me home, Oskar?” Kevin said.

“There’s no reason to be afraid,” Oskar said, “I’m not going to hurt you. We’ve been watching you, Kevin. You’re a very special boy. You know that, don’t you?”

“I want to go home,” Kevin said.

“It’s not safe yet,” Oskar said, “I’m your friend, Kevin. You have to trust me. Think of me as…your guardian angel.”

He heard a car pulling up and looked out the window.

“Don’t say a word,” Oskar said, “I’ll be right back.”

He grabbed a shotgun and went down the stairs. As he ran to the front door, Angela kicked down the door and stormed inside with Anders, weapons raised.

“Imperial agents!” Angela said. “Put down your weapon! Put it down right here! Down, now! Put it down!”

Oskar put down his shotgun.

“Where’s the boy?” Anders demanded.

Oskar didn’t answer. Angela walked around him to search the house.

“Please don’t hurt him,” Oskar said to Angela.

She found the rope for the door to the attic and pulled it open, climbing up.

“Kevin?” she said.

The attic was empty.


9:15 AM

Angela forced Oskar into a chair in the attic and handcuffed him to it.

“Where's the boy?” Anders asked. “What have you done with Kevin?”

“He can't go home,” Oskar said, “It's not safe there. I told him that.”

Anders shoved a blood-stained towel in Oskar’s face.

“Is this Kevin Kryder's blood?” he asked.

“Yes,” Oskar said.

“Did you hurt him?” Anders said.

“No, I'm not the one that wants to hurt him,” Oskar said.

“If it's not you, then who is it?” Angela said.

“I was only asked to protect the boy,” Oskar said.

“By who?” Anders said.

“By God,” Oskar said.

“God!” Anders exclaimed. “That's quite a long distance call, isn't it? Wonder how much it cost.”

“You don't understand, unless someone protects Kevin ...” Oskar said.

“It's the end of the world as we know it, right?” Anders said.

“He who has ears, let him hear,” Oskar said.

“And he that has a tongue, let him speak,” Anders snapped, “Now tell me where he is!”

Oskar looked at Angela. “You believe me, don’t you?”

Angela took out her Walkman and played “Like a Virgin” from Madonna.

“My religious convictions are hardly the issue here,” she said.

“But they are,” Oskar said, “How can you help Kevin, if you don't believe? Even the killer, he believes.”

“And townsfolk wonder why I sleep in on Sunday,” Anders muttered.

“Mass on Christmas, fish on Friday,” Oskar said, “You think that makes you a good Christian, don’t you? Just because you don't understand the sacrifice, because you're unwilling, don't think for a moment that you set the rules for me. I don't question His word. Whatever He asks of me, I'll do.”

Oskar stood up and tore the handcuffs with his bare hands. Angela and Anders raised their guns at him.

“Sit down, Herr Junge,” Angela said.

“I just want to go back to Heaven,” Oskar said.

He threw himself out the window. On the ground below, he got to his feet and started running. By the time Anders and Angela ran outside, he was nowhere to be seen.


Kryder residence – 8:00 PM

Kevin walked through the front door.

“Mom!” he called. “Mom! Are you home?”

The doorbell rang. Kevin turned around and looked through the peephole, seeing a well-dressed businessman outside. He fled into the house. At the front door, there was a scraping sound, and the doorbell glowed red hot before falling to the floor, smoldering on the carpet. The door opened, and the businessman entered.

“Kevin?” the businessman said. “I know you’re here, son.”

He walked upstairs and over to a closet. He opened the closet and looked around, noticing a large wicker basket with blood around it. He picked it up, and Kevin glared at him. The businessman’s eyes turned pitch black. As he reached for Kevin, Oskar appeared and tackled the businessman to the floor. Oskar turned to Kevin.

“Run, Kevin!” he said.

Kevin ran down the stairs. Oskar continued struggling with the businessman, but the younger businessman had the advantage. The businessman pinned him to the floor, and drew a silver-colored angel dagger.

“You want to see Heaven again, angel?” the businessman said. “Let me help you.”

The businessman stabbed Oskar with the blade. He screamed as light emanated from his eyes and mouth and the angelic energy in his body was released. After killing Oskar, the businessman stood up and headed to the stairs, but he stopped upon hearing the door kicked open again. He looked to the window and jumped out.

At the bottom of the stairs, Kevin ran into Anders and Angela, who had just walked in.

“Kevin, what is it?” Anders said.

Kevin pointed upstairs. Anders ran up the stairs, where he found Oskar dead. On both sides of his body, the image of angel wings were scorched into the floor. Meanwhile, Angela checked Kevin’s bandages, seeing bloodstains on the back side of his hand.

“Are you the one who was sent to protect me?” Kevin asked.
 

CaptainAlvious

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Oh dear, looks like we’re finally seeing some Angel senaniaguns again.:p Now I’m wondering how Oskar survived the destruction of Heaven and why Demons are coming back.:confused:

What are Paris and Venice like in the Reich and what American cites would they represent? I assume they would be mostly similar to OTL since I think most of Paris’s landmarks (Eiffeltower, Notre Dam cathedral etc) still exists and both Paris and London would be popular vacation spots and the kinds of cites couples go to on dates.

I wonder if Eile Wisel still exists since he was a Jewish Holocaust survivor and the Holocaust in TTL was targeted towards Muslims? While I’m at it, does Upton Sinclair and his book the Jungle still exists since he was socialist? I ask this because their works were required reading in my English and History classes.:p That does remind me, does Brave New World by Aldous Huxley still exists in this world?

I wonder if Mortal Combat and Doom still exists since they helped establish the ESRB rating system if I recall.

I guess since you said you’ve watched this anime and I’m not sure what other animes I can ask about I suppose I should ask about it. What would Dragon Ball Z (and the other Dragon Ball series) be like here?

Edit: I wondering if Studio Gibli films still exist here. I suppose they could be Chinese but they probably don’t exist unfortunately since it would be hard to Sinoize Studo Gibli and Hayao Miyazaki.
 
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