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Alternate History Thursday: WAR!

Is good for absolutely nothing.  The song was right about that.  But we’re not talking about that song, we’re talking about something that actually happened.*

When we last left our heroes (or villains as some might call them), The Nation of New York had started a war with the United States of America (Minus New York City).  Most of the bridges connecting Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx had been destroyed months ago in separate acts of aggression, but now things were getting bad.  The aircraft carrier that was dispatched last month was loaded up on refugees and sailed out of the harbor prior to any major conflict, but they didn’t go far.  The President, knowing the options on the table transported them down the coast to Florida, he claimed it was the best place for them.  In reality he was getting them as far away from the blast zones as possible.  While it was unlikely that much would spread past New Jersey, he couldn’t take the chance that radical New Yorkers had traveled far enough out of state to cause problems.

Luckily for America, they have the world’s most powerful Navy, and another aircraft carrier was sent up to collect more refugees.  However, the hurricane prevented docking.  All for the better because of the attack that happened on the city.  Somehow, the rebels had gotten their hands on surface to surface missiles and had mounted them atop most of the tallest buildings in the city.  (As luck would have it, they left The World Trade Center alone, they felt that those towers acted as a nice shield masking the true location of the launches).

The RNYs took potshots at the carrier group, never really doing any damage, but causing headaches.  After a week of non-stop attacking, the President played hardball and ordered a response.

Things did not go well.

Citi Corp Building

The City Corp Building was demolished.  To the average RNY, this was motivation enough to surrender.  But the ruling class had too much pride, or more likely too much stubborn New Yorker in them to give up that easily.  They hunkered down and spread out.  The last of the known tunnels out of Manhattan were used to spread themselves and their explosives wide.  The President was not going to start an urban war on the streets of the most famous city in the world, so he had the Air Force keep buzzing the building tops trying to demotivate the populace.  Unbeknownst to them, no one was in those buildings.

Where they went is still a mystery, but once it was discovered that the island was nearly empty, all bets were off the table, bad things were about to happen.

*in an alternate reality, duh.

As is customary

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Alternate History Thursday: Carriers

The President was having nothing of what the city of New York was doing.  With their intent to secede, it was clear that a state of war was about to exist.  However, these were still Americans there, and he didn’t want them all to be punished for the crimes of a select few crazies.  As such, he sent an aircraft carrier out of Norfolk to help evacuate anyone who wanted.  As luck would have it, the entire Yankee team chose to leave.

New Yorkers are a stubborn bunch though, they weren’t going to let this go quietly.  The rioters started to peter out, without electricity there was difficulty getting around the city since the subways were out of commission.  As people left their office buildings and apartment high rises, they realized they would have many flights of stairs to climb if they wanted to return.  Because of this they often just left the city completely.  Buildings which once held thousands of people on a daily basis stood empty.

Those buildings, empty of people and without power soon began to crumble.  Hurricane season is in full force and even though a major storm rarely hits the city, a category 2 hurricane made landfall on NYC.  Some of the buildings, empty of weight and without any power to them began to sway.  One or two fell over in the storm.  The official count is unknown because rebels used the storm as a cover for their counter assault against the acting government of the country of New York.

While it is not known officially who fired the missiles, the official story is radical American Loyalists attempted a coup within a coup to regain control of the island of Manhattan.  It was mostly a failure and ultimately resulted in the first full scale war on the continental United States since the Civil War.  (Unofficially, the CIA funded, and directed the strike in an attempt to re-unify the nation).

The young new nation is about to be in the midst of a war with the most powerful country on the planet.  Even if y2k crippled both sides, most of the military hardware is 40 to 50 years old and in perfect working order.  There’s little New York can do to prevent their own destruction.

Listen to the song, it’s better that way:

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Alternate History Thursday: Electricity Gone

Things have quickly spiraled out of hand in the great city of New York.  Soon after the bridges were leveled, and the tunnels blown up, the Mayor of NYC officially declared his intention to secede from the State.  He wasn’t totally crazy, he wasn’t going to secede from the Union, only the State.  However, the Governor wouldn’t have any of it.  It was either be a part of the state, or leave.  This sentiment was echoed by The President.  The Mayor immediately decided that his gold was worth more then enough to start his own country, and at 8 million people, it would be a respectable country in it’s own right.  Unfortunately, gold would end up being it’s only export.

They would have to import practically everything from the mainland.  This was their weakness.  And so, fittingly, on July 4th, all power to the island of Manhattan was cut off.

The lights had gone out on Broadway.

This is the turning point where the Mayor lost control of his city.  Without electricity those hundred story buildings were impossible to get into or out of.  The water pumps weren’t able to get up all the way either.  Food started to go bad, though there was still a steady supply coming in from approved importers.  Though, that didn’t last long because the union workers on the docks went on strike, or just sailed to the greater NY/NJ/CT area and claimed asylum.  Riots started up along the edges of the city which remained connected to the state.

Through it all, there was a dedicated group of individuals who vowed to fight.  They were determined that if they couldn’t have NY as it was, no one else was entitled to it either.

The city, and the country was about to be on the brink of a war.  Who would survive, who or what would fall, and how much longer will it last?  August is around the corner, and with it come some major anniversaries, will they be honored?

As always, listen to the song while you read, it’s better that way:

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Alternate History Thursday: No Bridges, or Power

The situation with the Federal Reserve Bank is getting out of hand.  Conventional wisdom said to let the world have it’s gold, after all, what good is it if you can’t use it as a bargaining chip.  Much of the rest of the country is coming back online and being functional again.  Except for New York State.  The Governor of New York has asked the President of the United States of America for assistance.  The President is a very popular guy in New York, so he thinks he can ease tensions by making a personal appearance with the Governor of New York State, and the Mayor of New York City.

There’s a big extravaganza planned for June 06, D-Day.  The day was chosen because it represents when one group of people came and liberated another.  That’s what the Governor and President saw this meeting as.  The Mayor on the other hand did not.  Using the ceased arms from one of the many armory’s on the island, the Mayor built up a small militia of followers to protect him.  Not wanting to make it seem hostile, the President came with just his usual Secret Service detail.  This is still America after all.  At least, that is what everyone thought.

The morning of June 06 came, and the meeting took place.  Everything seemed to be going as planned, progress on a future was being made.  Concessions were talked about, arguments were made, and The Great NYC summit was underway.  Talks went on for about a week, The President personally presided over some of them, but had 49 other states to attend to.

By June 19th everything seemed to be coming to an end.  That is, until word got out that China was exerting it’s great economic strength on the President to release the gold from the Fed, and let them take ownership of it.  That was a problem because that gold didn’t belong to China.  Hong Kong it argued was a much safer place for this great resource, and much closer to the developing technological powerhouses which would end up using the gold in computers.

The Mayor of NYC saw this as a loss of faith in the city.  Not just by the President, but by the world.  New York City was never one to go down quietly, so on June 19th, all entryways onto the island were cut.  Bridges were blown, tunnels imploded, ferries sunk, and airport runways mined.  Important people, and regular people alike were stranded on the island, and there was no idea if or when they would be allowed to leave.  What is going on?

As always, hit the break for the song.

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Alternate History Thursday: 42nd Street

While 42nd Street doesn’t exactly cut Manhattan in half, it was the proverbial divide of the city.  Those in the north who were closer to the mainland were convinced that the government’s story was correct, there was nothing to fear, this was only a temporary glitch on the way towards a better world tomorrow.  As you go closer to the water, closer to downtown, closer to the financial district, and more importantly, closer to the World Trade Center, this view was shared less and less.  With all of the money, both virtual, and physical, that’s concentrated downtown, there was less convincing towards the government’s official story.

It did not take long before a power struggle started in lower Manhattan, particularly by the financial district, and the New York Federal Reserve.  You might be getting a Die Hard with a Vengeance vibe, and you’d be accurate in your prediction, however, it doesn’t happen this month.  The seeds are planted though, that’s what I’m telling you.

Because most of the gold held in the NYFR is foreign owned, it didn’t take long before each of the nations tried to reclaim their money, and bargaining power.  However, as trustworthy as those nations are, their representatives were not.  The first few withdrawals of gold were pretty standard, until word hit the owner nations when multiple withdrawal requests came through from one nation on the same day.  It was then that gold withdrawals were halted from the reserve.  As you can imagine, that didn’t go well with the sovereign nations.

The Federal Government ordered the reserve to release the gold, but by this time the Mayor of New York City, who fully believed in the global conspiracy theories regarding the event, was defiant.  Unfortunately, there was too many other real issues that the President had to worry about, and the National Guard was busy literally, putting out fires across the nation and trying to rebuild crumbling infrastructure to get the economy back up.

By June of 2001, the state of New York was more or less back in working order.  The less part being the five boroughs of New York City.  It wasn’t martial law that was declared, it was more like secession.  Not from The Union, but from the state of affairs of the world.  It wasn’t voted on, it wasn’t unanimous, but it was the new status quo.  A series of events has started to turn, and there is no turning back now.  Alliances are being built, while bridges are being burned.  New Yorkers would take it all in stride.  Just you wait an see.

As always, hit up after the break to watch the video while you read this post, it’s much better that way, trust me.

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Alternate History Thursday: Times Square

With just days to go before the new year, the world was on it’s toes.  The City of New York was already on lockdown, Streets were closed, screens were being erected, and just as many people were leaving the city as were entering it.  The festivities were reaching a fever pitch as celebrities were slowly streaming into the city ahead of their New Years Eve performances.  Security was tight, and no one knew who was going to be playing what when or where.  It was chaos.  But the good kind of chaos.  Remember, this is a pre-9/11 innocent New York, nothing can go wrong.  That’s exactly the mentality that would prove their downfall.

On New Years Eve, as the time passed by spotty reports from around the globe started to come in of computer failures.  Remember however, this is the early days of the internet, and no smart phones, much of the news was difficult to corroborate or confirm.  People didn’t want to be brought down to reality on this party, so they ignored it.  Cell coverage was spotty at best because of the super saturated towers and lines so no one thought twice when connections were dropped.

It’s countdown time. TEN. NINE. EIGHT. SEVEN. SIX. FIVE. FOUR. THREE. TWO. ONE. BLACK.  Right as the ball was supposed to drop and confetti rain down, Times Square was plunged into darkness.  The majority of the people in Times Square thought this was all a part of the plan.  After all, what better way to celebrate something doom and gloom but by making fun of it.  Since the backup generators that are there for just an occasion kicked on in under 10 seconds, all seemed fine.

To those who were watching on television at home it was a different story.  All at once their TV feed cut out, their electricity turned off, the water stopped working, and phone died.  For those at home, it was no joke.

The state of New York had gambled against Y2k and lost.  But in the beginning it wasn’t apparent how widespread the loss was. It was probably for the better that things like smart phones weren’t around at the time, because it would have caused mass hysteria quicker had they been there.  The people living in the suburbs of New York were left to their own devices.  Since the following day was a holiday, most went to bed after the lights were out and figured it would all work itself out in the morning.  Most all the cars were not effected by the issue simply because they were not technological enough at the time, and those that did work were owned by people who had personal drivers who didn’t use those cars anyway.

All in all, at 12:01 AM January 01, 2000, New York State was in a state of denial.  The populace wasn’t fully aware of the gravity of the situation, and neither was the authorities.  As the night wore on, those who worked for the authorities were woken up to loud bangs on their doors.  The only way to reach people was in person.

Even when the morning newspapers didn’t arrive, most of the general populace didn’t think much, just delivery guys who partied too hard the night before.  No, it wasn’t until around noon that day that word had spread to enough of the people to hit a breaking point.  Y2k happened, and it messed things up.

Now what?