Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 172

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 172

…We were expecting to get away earlier, but the Blue Ridge Angel has to undergo some sort of Federal inspection…

Blue Ridge Angel-001

“When he gets there, make sure you have a 24 hour bodyguard for him.” Constance knows that the world is about to find out that his (Libby) demise was greatly exaggerated. “And do not trust anyone and I mean anyone. If President Truman personally invites him to the White House, have him produce 2 forms of identification.”

“Billy knows what is at stake,” Ace being the de facto security chief for the Crusades, which is akin to being the FCC censor for the Mickey Mouse Club.

Meeting Ace at the airport this time does not mean Meigs Field, but rather Midway Airport. “That whole airport has a footprint of one square mile,” he tells her, as if she would know the difference. With houses and businesses on all four sides, passenger planes must literally drop from the sky, in order to have enough runway length to come to a stop.

“What time are you flying in?”

“We are leaving out of Kansas City tomorrow night at 5:00. We were expecting to get away earlier, but the Blue Ridge Angel has to undergo some sort of Federal inspection before they would let us out; took their sweet time at that.”

“Don’t you find that a bit odd?”

“The CAA has been a little prickly lately, word has it that there are changes afoot, seeing that jet airplanes crash faster than props. Plus, Kansas City is a regional hub, so they are grabbing planes and pilots left and right,” Ace relates. “And like the IRS, they have us by the shorthairs.”

“You’ll be okay, didn’t you ‘gradiate’ from the Wilbur Wright Flying School?”

“Civil Aeronautics Administration approved, summa cum lousy. Hey, if you think theySumma Cum Lousy-001 are bad automobile drivers out there, take a ride with an inexperienced airplane jockey,” Ace is one of the world’s most experienced civilian flyers out there and has seen his share of close calls. When the plane can carry 30 or so people, like the one he is about to take off in – in a few minutes, the potentialRelated image death toll far exceeds any single car accident. “I’ll see you at about 7:30. That should give me time to park this thing and take care of my entire Bible toting army.”

“Is any of the Good Book rubbing off on you?” she can only hope.

“I’ve turned a few pages,” there may be hope for him after all.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 147

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 169

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 169

Chapter Fifteen

 RAINMAKER

DOJ

Department of Justice Building

“It seems we have a problem in Chicago.”

On the fifth floor of the U.S. Department of Justice building, at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital, there is an unadvertised meeting between Deputy Attorney General, a newly created position in 1950, and the Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s STB (Science and Technology Branch), who is now reporting on the special project under his watch, in the Operational Technology Division.

Urgent and Secret Agenda 03-20-1951

  • Department of Justice-Deputy Attorney General Ross Malone
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Science and Technology Branch – Executive Assistant Director Gilbert Conroy
    • Ops Technology Division
  • Subject: Project Forever Mastadon

Need-to-Know Priority 1-1A-1B

“You are aware of our building at 5046 Greenwood, correct,” Gilbert Conroy needs to confirm that he and Deputy Malone are on the same page.

“Chicago — yes of course. We’ve had that building or at least owned that property since goshdamned Ulysses Grant, but I try to keep my distance from it. It appears that we have lost control of who has access.”

Project Mastadon has been operational since 1942, taking over that Chicago address from Project Tora Tora.”

Tora saved us the embarrassment of having the training center at Navy Pier bombed into tomorrow back in WWII, spent some time there myself, perfect cover.” Gilbert Conroy has been a part of many covert-ops. “But this Mastadon thing has become a real reach for the department. What are we try to protect this time… the theory of evolution? From what we at Ops Technology hear, Willard Libby is on the Libby Dead or Alive-001verge of turning modern anthropology on its ear.”

“Libby is dead,” Malone informs Gilbert.

“The hell you say! We didn’t kill him, did we?”

“Not exactly, but our Forever Mastadon operatives did.”

“Shit!” the business of protecting the nation’s interests can become smutty. “But what does that have to do with Greenwood?”

“When we hired a guy named P. Joseph Winters to run Mastadon we thought he was a legitimate business executive who could provide us solid organizational skills and the shared vision of a scientific community, separate from religious right-wing Creationists.”

Way to go!


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 144

An Independent Russian Investigation from WIF

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 Ways that Russians

are Misunderstood

Around the World

Today, Russia is arguably one of the most controversial countries on the planet. Much is said about them one way or the other (primarily due to Vladimir Putin), and very few countries have as many stereotypes (especially negative ones) floating around about them. While it’s understandable for many Westerners to be worried about Russian influence on their governments or people, it’s also important to be able to separate the Russian people and culture from their government, and to understand who the Russians really are — and not just what we know from crude and often demeaning stereotypes… or potential meddling in United States politics.

10. Russians Don’t Look At Governance The Same Way Many Westerners Do

Many Americans and other Western countries have trouble understanding Russians’ idea of government, because Westerners cannot imagine a life where they could have so little personal freedom. To Westerners, personal freedom — or at least the appearance of it — is practically a life or death matter. Now, Russians see things differently. It isn’t that they are naturally submissive or something, but the Russian people have never really had anything like the Democracy that many Western countries enjoy… and the Russian people go back a very long way.

When you haven’t ever had something in the first place, you’re hardly going to find yourself missing it greatly or fighting for it. For this reason, personal freedoms are a much lower priority for many Russians, and they don’t entirely understand why so many countries are worried about those issues. Particularly when they haven’t fixed other problems yet. This doesn’t mean there’s no one in Russia interested in Democracy, but by and large, you aren’t likely to find many willing to risk prison for something they’ve never even had to begin with.

9. Russians Look European, But Are Also Sort Of Asian

Perhaps one of the things that makes it so difficult for Westerners to deal with Russians is that they look so similar to many of us, despite thinking so drastically differently. This likely stems from their cultural origins. The larger portion of Russia is, geographically, essentially in Asia, but the more populated part is in what some call “European Russia” — a portion of Russia that’s still considered part of Eastern Europe. This is all quite confusing, and borders are all, of course, man-made to begin with, but the overall issue is that the Russian people hardly fit in any normal cultural box.

Even the ones from “European Russia” are still much farther East than most people who are considered to be from Europe, and this likely changes their thinking. They’re also part of a country that has much of its territory in the actual continent of Asia, which means many people from the European part will still have their culture influenced by the more Asian part. For this reason, some in Russia have said they felt they have a more unique identity, which is actually part Asian and part Eastern European.

8. Napoleon Made Them Incredibly Paranoid Long Ago; Now Others Think Them Aggressive

Americans Tchaikovsky’s Overture of 1812 well, and some even confuse as being in reference to the American War of 1812. However, at that same time in history, there was a war going on basically all over the world because of a little guy named Napoleon. This titchy fellow had been stirring up the nest all over the place, and had even pushed his way into Russia. Now, today many people look at this as a folly of Napoleon, and talk about how Hitler later repeated the same mistake: Attacking the hardy Russian people during the harsh winter.

However, the truth was that Napoleon came far closer, at least in the Russians’ minds, to completing a successful invasion than they were comfortable with. They were absolutely terrified, and never forgot it. Well over 100 years later, the term “Bonapartist” would still be a fairly common term in Russia. They feared the idea of a warrior general rising up and going on a rampage so much that they immortalized Napoleon’s name with a specific word for his little invasion attempt into their country. Many people today think the Russians are just aggressive, but this near-miss so long ago drove them to shore up their borders, and it’s primarily for this reason they’ve been so hostile to those closest to them since. The truth is that the Russians only won with scorched earth tactics and great losses. Napoleon scarred them forever.

7. Russian National Pride Goes Back A Long Way, But Has Clashed With French Culture

Some people don’t understand why Russians are willing to forego so much comfort for the good of their country, and many people like to claim it’s Soviet propaganda. But the Russian people have been behaving this way for some time now. Considering the country of Russia is really one of the oldest surviving countries and cultures in the world, it’s not surprising that they have a gigantic wellspring of national pride, whether the situation warrants it or not. They also have a history of dictatorships, which means they’re used to simply being proud of their country and letting others run it.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Russians have always remained truly proud and obsessed with Slavic culture. A situation that still exists (to a smaller extent) today — but blew up shortly after the time of Napoleon — is the fight between the Slavophiles and the Francophiles. The Slavophiles wanted to keep Russia Slavic and focus on Slavic cultures, traditions, dress, and customs. However, enthralled and enraptured by the French, many young people were now dressing in French fashions, taking up their customs, and studying their culture and language. This has changed the Russian people even further over the years and, if anything, has made them even more incomprehensible to the rest of the world.

6. The Russian Concept of “Poshlost” Explains Why They Often Think Of Wealth Differently

These days you have people who like to make fun of people like the Kardashians, or joke about how they became famous for doing literally nothing at all. However, at the same time, many of those same people view being in a position like the Kardashians as something to aspire to. Now, despite misconceptions, the Kardashians still have a lot of work to do to maintain their empire of nothing. But many see their lifestyle as an aspiration because it’s perceived as a life where they can just chill and enjoy the finer things while not having to work or do… well, anything. In many ways this almost makes them the ultimate American dream, but Russians would find the whole thing ridiculous.

While there are some Russian billionaires today, and Russia has a lot of corruption, those who are at least in business or working are given a great deal of respect by the common person regardless of their ridiculous wealth. It’s only the playboys, who don’t really work or do anything, that get the true disrespect. In Russian literature, there’s a concept that many of the greats like Pushkin, or Lermontov, wrote about called “Poshlost.” Poshlost has been called untranslatable, but we will try our best to explain the concept: it’s used to refer to outer beauty, or empty wealth that is flaunted, while the individuals behind that wealth spend most of their time lounging, trying to look important, and contributing nothing of value to society at all. In a way, it was a backlash to the fashionable trappings of high society brought forth by the Francophile fad.

5. The Idea Of Struggle Is Entirely Embedded In The Russian Cultural Ethos

One of the things many people in America, in particular, understand least about the Russians is their willingness to accept a life without a lot of particular luxuries, and without a lot of options in general. This isn’t because the Russians are just masochistic and enjoy taking punishment, or are trying to prove some kind of specific point. Nor are the Russian people necessarily taking one for the team in order to advance the cause of the current government. The biggest reason most Russians are okay with things being that way is because, within in their ethos, the idea of struggle is deeply embedded.

In many ways, it may by their most important cultural value: Working hard and muddling through to get by is seen as extremely important. For a culture that’s often had to deal with poverty and want, even under their most benevolent leaders, this was something they had to learn as a people very early on. In many ways it has defined them, and explains why they are willing to accept what many in Western culture would consider unacceptable. They are simply far more accustomed to hardship, so they don’t act like everything is out of sorts when things get difficult.

4. The Origins Of Their Language, And Its Structure, Give Them A Unique Perspective

The Russian language, and most Slavic languages, use the Cyrillic Alphabet; however, the origin of their written language is rather strange. The people of the region had mostly used spoken-word and wrote little down when two Catholic missionaries named Cyril and Methodius traveled to the region. These two decided to help create an alphabet and written-word system for the language spoken by the people of the region, and something similar is in use today in most Slavic Countries. Now, this gives them a rather unique language structure and perspective.

The language itself was formed entirely by natives of the region, but the written form was made up mostly by outsiders who didn’t entirely understand their thinking. This has created a language system where the written word (and, as they’ve evolved together, sometimes even the spoken word) are hard to articulate the way the writer would want. Many writers like Pushkin took the written form of Russian to its limit to extract as much wordplay as possible, but they could only go so far, despite their genius.

3. Russians Are Generally Thought Of As A Drunk Country – But There Is A Lot More To It

One of the most famous stereotypes about the Russians is that they are huge drunks, and may even be bigger drunks than the Irish. People talk about teens using mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and other awful things, but in any country with poverty and bored children, things like that aren’t uncommon. And while people like to act like the average Russian just pounds alcohol like there’s no tomorrow, even among the heavy drinkers there are customs to drinking, and it’s only when you ignore them and actually do start pounding for no reason (which is relatively rare) that you have a real problem.

In Russia, drinking is a big social thing, but it is accompanied by lots of little bits of food, toasting to friends, and good conversation and camaraderie in general. Russians like to toast to things while drinking so they have a reason to imbibe, and it’s custom to eat a bit of food after each shot or drink — both for your health, and to avoid a hangover later. Many Russians will simply not drink if they don’t at least have a little bit of bread so they can have a little bite with each drink.

2. Internet Pirates Are Often Russian, But Due To Poverty – Not Inherent Cultural Dishonesty

The Pirate Bay, and other popular torrent sites, have always had a huge amount of torrents coming from Russian hackers. Many who pirate a lot are all too familiar with their written “Russian Accent” and have noticed that many torrent-ed movies have Russian subtitles. Now, some people have noticed this and come to the conclusion that Russians are inherently dishonest or thieves, but this is not really the case.

For starters, an incredible amount of Westerners use torrent sites — even middle class Westerners — so it’s a little bit hypocritical to brand Russians as thieves. However, more to the point, many common Russian folk feel compelled to do these things because they are desperately poor, and simply cannot afford the content otherwise. In many cases it may not even be available for legitimate purchase within their country, so they have to resort to piracy in order to get past government censorship. Russians aren’t generally a bunch of horrible cyber thieves; well, at least not any more-so than most other modern countries and people. Also, while Russians aren’t more dishonest, necessarily, they are better educated than many countries when it comes to IT.

1. The Russian People Usually Know Full Well When They Are Being Fed Propaganda

A lot of folks think that the Russian people are easily fooled, and that Ol’ Putin completely has the wool over their eyes. They believe that Putin’s propaganda machine has managed to get people under his spell, and that they are basically putty in his hands. However, the situation — and the Russian people by extension — are a lot more complex and complicated than that. The Russian people are well aware of the concept of propaganda, and have a word called “Pravda” (which some of you may be familiar with) due to the ironically named Soviet Propaganda paper of the same name.

Now for those who aren’t aware, Pravda means “truth,” but it can also mean a lot more (or less) than that. Some know that Pravda was used sarcastically as a phrase to subtly disagree with Soviet propaganda, but most Westerners don’t know how long this phrase has been in use, or how many things it can mean (and it can mean dozens of things). After all, Russians may not have as many words as some languages, so they often use the same word to mean many things.

Pravda can mean actual truth, but it can also mean that you know you aren’t being told the truth, and are very slightly sarcastically saying “Oh yes, of course I believe that,” when you both know it’s a lie. And this is the funny thing about the Russian propaganda machine: It often knows it isn’t really fooling anyone, and the people often know they aren’t being fooled, but everyone pretends the propaganda is working anyway in order to avoid any kind of confrontation with the government.


An Independent Russian Investigation

from WIF

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 140

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 140

…Most anything can happen at a Top Secret facility and the fire chief is reminded of that. “I absolutely hate killing myself…

“My Penty?” Daniels is guilty by association. From out of a handy dandy tool belt he pulls out a powerful penlight to guide their way. “What is this place?”

Waterfall Glen

“It must be an interconnecting tunnel system. I bet it leads to a bomb shelter.”

“I guess you never know when the Soviets are going to launch a missile at a prime target.”

“Exactly. Hey, if we head this way I think we can make Waterfall Glen,” Martin beckons Daniels toward the rugged terrain beyond the Atom-smasher perimeter. After making a straight southerly line, they come to a steel door with a sign warning: “Beware of Wild Animals”. “I’ll take my chances with the carnivores; you can keep your Devil!”

The sign did not warn them that the other side of the door had a cliff-side exposure; the gully below is easily two hundred feet down. “I think we better go up,” Daniels suggests.

“Up is good.”

They scale to the top of the ridge and follow the plume of smoke and flashing lights roundabout Building Four. Kamen knows the Laboratory firefighters pretty much by name and tells the Chief what he could about the fire. He leaves Satan off of the suspect list, instead blaming it on a Bunsen-burner.

“A Bunsen-burner, isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well, neither of us smokes and there wasn’t a toaster oven in there so, you bet your beaker it was an experiment gone badly.”

Back inside the charred office, Martin heads to the fireproof file cabinet. The top compartment is missing the Carbon Dating file, meaning the fire was a worthwhile consequence.

“Would you please report that there was at least one fatality in the fire…? Director Zinn will sign off on that; no names just unrecognizable bodies.” Most anything can happen at a Top Secret facility, don’t you know and the fire chief is reminded of that. “I absolutely hate killing myself.

“That means we need to get you back to the University safe house, so Penty has to look hard to find me. I think I can stay dead for 24 hours.”

“Just ask Willard; pretend dead is much more fun than the real thing.” There is a lot of that going around lately.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 123

America Dismantled Devastated Destroyed – WIF Fiction

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 Sci-Fi Writers (Not Gwen)

On How America

Will be

Ripped Apart

In American history, there are many incidents that could have drastically changed, or even destroyed, America. Altered versions of these “What If” events are a popular genre of science fiction called “alternate history.” To help visualize their Alt-Histories, authors often supply maps of the ALT-USA… and that’s precisely what we’re going to take a look at today. Warning, though: Below Be Spoilers.

10. The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle is a TV show based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name. In this universe, history diverged from our own when Franklin D. Roosevelt was assassinated by Giuseppe Zangarast in 1933. This was based a real event, but in our history Zangarast missed FDR and killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak instead. In Dick’s history Roosevelt was killed, and without him America struggled under the Great Depression and became extremely isolationist. This allowed the Axis powers of World War II (Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan) to become victorious in Europe and in the Pacific.

By 1945, the Axis powers have invaded North America from both the Pacific and the Atlantic. A Nazi atomic bomb in Washington DC forces America’s surrender, and the occupation creates the division of the United States between Germany and Japan; much like how, during our timeline, Germany was divided into the East and West. The events in The Man in the High Castle TV show take place in the 1960s, and maps show that Germany and Japan had split America between them with a small neutral zone separating the two.

9. Revolution

Revolution was an American post-apocalyptic NBC TV show that takes place in 2027. In this universe, a mysterious 2012 event called “The Blackout” caused all electricity to permanently cease to function. The show, produced by JJ Abrams, followed the survivors as they deal with the consequences of a world without electrical power.

After the Blackout, America descends into chaos and fragments as technology reverts back to pre-electricity, steam-powered tech. Most of the action in the TV show takes place in the Monroe Republic, which is made up of Northeast America. The character Monroe was able to seize power after setting up a tyrannical military dictatorship that takes away the guns of its people. The West Coast is dominated by the California Commonwealth, and Texas exists as a separate republic… which is pretty much par for the course. The Southwest is abandoned to the desert, and a reemergence of a nomadic lifestyle takes over in the Midwest Plains Nation.

8. Southern Victory

Celebrated science fiction author Harry Turtledove created an alternate universe called Southern Victory. In 1997 he released the first of 11 alternate history books, How Few Remain. In this universe, history diverges during the American Civil War (which you probably guessed based on the title) on September 10, 1862. In real life on this day, a Confederate messenger lost Top Secret Order 191, which outlined the South’s invasion. With these secret plans, the North was able to check the invasion and slog on to eventual victory. In Turtledove’s universe the secret plans weren’t lost. This allows the South to successfully launch a surprise invasion and defeat the Union Army of the Potomac, and eventually the South captures Philadelphia. Capturing such a large city enables the United Kingdom and France to ally with the Confederate States of America, forcing an end to the war with the South declaring independence from the United States on November 4, 1862.

On the map you can see how America wasn’t able to afford buying Alaska from Russia, and the Second Mexican Empire (which at the time was still ruled by the Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian I) crumbles into poverty. In our universe, Maximilian ruled Mexico until he was killed in 1867. In Turtledove’s history the bankrupt Mexico allows the South to purchase the northwestern regions of Sonora and Chihuahua, giving them access to the Pacific. The series continues with North and South being mortal enemies who ally with other world powers to fight each other over the next hundred years.

7. Jericho

In the CBS TV show Jericho, a shadow government plans a coup via a nuclear attack on 23 major cities in America, using small bombs smuggled to their targets in cargo vans. After the bombs detonate, civilization breaks down and the American government is destroyed. The first season of the show dealt with a small town as it tried to keep its citizens alive during the aftermath of the nuclear attack.

The show pulled in low numbers and was canceled after one season. Jericho’s fans revolted and launched an online campaign for CBS to do a second season, sending nuts to CBS (it actually makes sense in the context of the show, if you haven’t seen it). Eventually, over 20 tons were mailed to the network. This online outcry was an “unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime-time television series.” CBS caved and made a second season, where it was revealed that civilization had returned but the coup planners had only succeeded in seizing Western America, while Texas became independent (that seems to be a theme in these kinds of alternate histories) and the Eastern USA stopped enough nuclear bombs that some form of federal government survived the WMD attack.

Even with the successful nuts viral campaign, CBS still canceled the show after the second season. However, the universe lived on in comics, which revealed that the East and West USA fragmented into smaller nations while some parts of America were occupied by UN forces.

6. The Handmaid’s Tale

Celebrated author Margaret Atwood first published her book The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985. A 1990 film adaptation of the same name was released, and in 2017 Hulu adapted it into a critically acclaimed series. In Atwood’s America, a polluted country is wracked by falling fertility rates, which cause huge civil unrest. A staged attack wipes out the President and most of the federal government. In the chaos, a Christian Fundamentalist movement calling itself the “Sons of Jacob” seize control. Some surviving elements of the government flee to the West, where America still exists, while east of the Rockies is ruled by a new government called “Gilead.”

The new Christian theocracy decrees Baptists are heretics and brutally suppresses its followers, causing much of the American South to be in continuous revolt. Gilead is able to keep the remnants of America and the world at bay by threatening to use nukes that are seized after coup’s success. A number of areas are radioactive, implying that there was nuclear sabotage or that Gilead demonstrated its nuclear might. Condemned criminals and opponents of the new regime (which are often one and the same) are sent to these areas as “clean up” teams, but due to their high mortality these men and women really face a death sentence.

5. Dies the Fire

Stephen Michael Stirling’s Emberverse series spans 14 novels, with the first book Dies the Fire being released in 2008. More installments are expected as the series chugs right along.

In the Emberverse universe a mysterious event called “The Change” alters the laws of physics, throwing the world into chaos. After the Change, modern technology stops functioning, throwing the world back into the Iron Age, with people arming themselves with swords and bow and arrows. Large population areas collapse when food runs out, and from the ashes of urban centers emerge large cannibal groups that create “Death Zones.” From more rural areas, city-states emerge. This is the universe that Dies the Fire sees for post-apocalyptic America.

4. A Canticle for Leibowitz

Walter M. Miller, Jr. first published A Canticle for Leibowitz in 1959. The award-winning book is considered a classic and has never been out of print. It’s a post-apocalyptic story that takes place 600 years after a horrible nuclear war, which sparked a movement to destroy all knowledge called the “Simplification.” During this movement, all books are destroyed except for some hidden away in a Catholic monastery, the Abbey of Saint Leibowitz, in the deserts of the American Southwest.

After all knowledge is wiped out during the Simplification, America reverts to tribal, feudal societies. Sometime in the 600 years after WWIII, the Catholic Church relocates from Rome, Italy, to New Rome, somewhere in the former United States. Surrounding New Rome are a number of Catholic papal states. Also emerging from the fragments of Western civilization are the Empires of Texarkana, Laredo, Denver. Back at the Abbey of Saint Leibowitz, the monastery keeps its vast collection of pre-war books and knowledge alive by painstakingly copying them by hand. From these books, civilization is reborn.

3. The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins released the first book of her Hunger Games trilogy in 2008, and the novels were adapted into the blockbuster series starring Jennifer Lawrence as the story’s heroine, Katniss Everdeen. Over their cumulative worldwide releases, the four movies pulled in almost $3 billion dollars. So… we’re guessing you’ve probably seen at least one of them.

The Hunger Games takes place sometime in the future after a great war. Rising sea levels have swallowed up vast parts of North America, leaving a new nation called Panem to rise. This dystopian nation is divided into 12 districts that each specialize in specific goods or services.

A lot of the story takes place in District 12 (D12), which is thought to be in the coal-rich Appalachian region. D11 grows grain, and D10 raises livestock. Both are very large, given their tasks of feeding an entire nation. Close by is D9, which processes the food. D8 produces and treats textiles, while D7 specializes in forestry. D6 specializes in research and development, while D5 does genetic research. D4 is on or near the ocean, while D3 works with Information Technology and D2 specializes in weaponry and training peacekeepers. D1 produces luxury goods for the Capitol District and has a diamond mine – possibly the now-commercially closed Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine. The secret, rebellious District 13 is hidden away in bunkers thought to be in the Northeastern part of America.

2. Crimson Skies

Jordan Weisman and Dave McCoy created the Crimson Skies universe first for a board game released in 1998, and then a video game franchise produced by Microsoft Game Studios beginning in 2000.

History diverges from our universe when, in the 1930s, a series of deadly diseases devastate America and the country becomes increasingly isolationist to the point where the federal government devolves all power to the states, leading to the Balkanization of the United States into a series of small regional-states. With no federal government to pull the nation together interstate highways decay while at the same time aviation technology takes off. With a focus on air travel, roads and trains are abandoned in favor of the skies. With so many city-states there are many grievances, which quickly turn into open war. From the chaos of near constant warfare, large groups of air pirates raid commerce and other settlements.

1. The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead has been airing on AMC since October 31, 2010, and is based on a comic book series of the same name created by Robert Kirkman. Even with declining ratings over the last couple seasons, the show was renewed for a ninth season and Forbes’ Paul Tassi has talked about how the series should catch up to the comic books by season 9 or 10. After that, Kirkman hopes the show will diverge from its source material (which it has already started to do, given a few major cast and character shakeups).

In this alternate reality, America has been overrun by a zombie virus that reanimates the dead. The story starts off with the main character, Rick Grimes, waking up from a coma to find the world overtaken by the un-dead. He and a group of survivors first go to Atlanta, and then after meeting another group head to the nation’s capital, Washington DC – which is the general area around which the show now takes place. The main locations are the Alexandria Safe-Zone south of the capital, the Hilltop colony north of DC, and in the urban core of the city, Ezekiel’s Kingdom. They fight against Negan and the Saviors, who are based east of Washington DC at The Sanctuary. Everything outside of these areas is more or less abandoned, given over to the hordes of the walking dead.

Oh, so that’s where they got the title.


America Dismantled Devastated Destroyed –

WIF Fiction

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 80

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 80

…Billy Graham bends the President Truman’s ear…

“Mr. President, we are approaching a slippery slope, a scenario in which religion is being pushed aside in favor of a godless society.” Billy Graham could not be more sincere.

“The Founding Fathers designed the Constitution around religious freedom, how can that be threatened?” wonders the leader of the Free World.

“There is spiritual warfare going on, Sir. Satan continues to exert his corruptive influence at every turn of man’s development and if he can assure his deceptions about evolution rule the day in America’s classrooms, God will essentially being shunted into an inconsequential corner, at least where the greater populous is concerned.”

Graham frames the danger with a story, “You are familiar with the analogy of the frog and the pot of boiling water, well the heat is being turned up on our people and they are ignorant of any danger. Before they know it, they will believe his pack of lies.”

“The devil you say? Like a rebellious child, he opposes God’s authority.”

“Yes the Devil and his minions. It seems to me that he is using the nation’s collective exhale from the horrors of the last war to swoop in and erode our moral fabric. And do not think for a moment that you aren’t a prime target for his misdeeds Mr. Truman. You are the leader of the free world, a world free to worship the God who created us in His own image. This nation looks to you for direction; an ethical President makes for a moral country.”

“And I thought Hiroshima had consequences,” Truman has quietly shouldered tremendous burdens in his service to the United States of America while not getting the credit for it. His dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur in the Korean Theater has people calling for his head, never mind all the other good stuff. “I had a discussion with my spy guy, Director Hillenkoetter, about the Libby Affair and he tells me they have an embedded agent, code name “Rogue”, deep inside the organization responsible and are in the process of penetrating the core leadership.”

An important ally has taken this matter to heart.

“Other than CIA involvement, I must leave a portion of this battle to those best equipped, like you and the Catholic Church. For my part, I will use my weekly radio address to reinforce the importance of God’s role in shaping the country and its policies… remind the people about why we fought for our independence… I might even use that ‘frog in a pot’ story, if you don’t mind.”

“The frog will never jump into already boiling water,” Graham underlines the punch line.

Harry Truman suggests, “That would be the President’s job.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 74

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 71

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 71

…Eddie D. has a dream PART 1…

That next night, while Eddie D. was back at home having finished his Elgin undertaking, with that and the rest of their doings continuing to be shielded from Pentateuch, asleep in his bed, he is given a dream.

He has a vision of himself sitting up in bed and being lead away by a comely waif. They go to an unknown place, like nothing Chicago has to offer, lofty and commanding. Below he can see himself, at some ceremony being presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Howard McGrath, the Attorney General of the United States. It seems weird, to this dreamer, that he is receiving an award for civilian service, when he is in fact a member in good standing of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). But in this alternate reality, he is rewarded for his heroic work in capturing foreign nationals who were threatening the nation s during the end days of WWII; Communists, Nazis, Fascists, sympathizers, spies.

“We the members of the Cabinet of the United States of America hereby award Edward Eddie's Cousins-001Francis Dombroski the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of these United States.”

All of Eddie’s many repeated stories whither in the specter of this fresh personal notoriety. Not only that and but all of his cousins were there cheering him adoringly, how cool is that?

The headlines will read:

“Chicago’s Eddie Dombroski to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Roosevelt”

He doesn’t realize that the Medal of Freedom is fairly common, as compared to the Medal of Merit or certainly the Medal of Honor, but none of those matters as Eddie is honored as a hero.

As good as that makes him feel, Eddie D. is sensing that same bone chilling cold that occupies a part of his recent memory, at North LaSalle Street and the phantom 39th Floor. ‘But I am a hero, my neighborhood is holding a block party in my honor, Mayor Kelly has declared November 12th Eddie Dombroski Day with the Key to the City and all,’ he whispers longingly.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 67