Changed History - JP

This week's pitch took us into uncharted territory, a new genre in speculative fiction that neither of us had ever

      made a stab at previously: alternate history. Each of this week's stories has to do with current events in the

      year 2006-- if a single event in history had occurred differently.



ANNOUNCER: We interrupt this program for an announcement by the President of the United States.

(Cut to the President, addressing the people from Unity Center in Kansas City. To his right sits King Theodore III of the Empire Republica. To his left, Prime Minister Gerard of the New Union. Out another level sit Yoshimoto of the Japanese Exile and Fernand Touselara of Mexico.)

PRESIDENT GORE: My fellow Americans, I come to you today as President of the United States of America, but also as a representative of the American Alliance. Last week, with the help of its newest member, the Japanese Exile, the Alliance enriched uranium for the first time. Today, at 9:53 AM, scientists detonated an atomic bomb in the deserts of New Mexico. These scientists have come together with open arms, putting aside the disputes of the past to work side by side at a pace that is nothing short of astonishing. Not since before the revolution of Aaron Burr in 1808 have our people been so unified. Where once we were five disparate, warring nations, today we stand as one.           

I cannot overstate the importance of today’s events. For a century and a half, America has sat aside while Europe and Russia fought the battles that wrote history. We hoped that history would pass us by, leave us be. We thought that we could remain a continent on our own, separate from the rest of the world. When the Empire of Japan first invaded Baja, our eyes were opened. The world had come to us, and in a strong and painful way.           

But today is not a day to reflect on the divisiveness of the past. We have seen far too much of that. From the very first days of the Civil War, when King Aaron I took up arms to form the Empire Republica, we have fought tooth and nail for the land beneath our feet. Our borders have shifted, once, twice, a hundred times. We have seen blood beget blood, again and again, as the American Revolution turned to the Civil War turned to the Baja revolt against Spain, and finally to the formation of the New Union in the north from the mixture of the blood of the United States and the Empire Republica. But we learned to forgive the blood of our past when Japan occupied Baja, coming together to fight a common enemy. We have extended that same forgiveness to the Japanese Exile, the new occupants of Baja, and they have brought the last piece of our continent back into the fold.             

Today is a day to reflect on the power of unity. We face a grave enemy, an enemy who has mercilessly annihilated those who stand before it, who has reduced the island of Japan to an uninhabitable wasteland. And this enemy continues to grow. China, now, belongs to the Soviet Union, as well as all of Eastern Europe. Our allies in Western Europe call out for aid; they alone stand watch on the dark fence between us and the ever-expanding threat of communism. Beneath that iron curtain, all light, all freedom, is snuffed out by the surging tides of oppression. When next the curtain lifts, those tides may sweep out to drown us all.           

That is why King Theodore, Prime Minister Gerard, President Touselara, Emperor Yoshimoto and myself have agreed that the American Alliance must have the power to defend itself when the time comes that the Soviet Union turns its eyes to our continent. It is in the name of security for all nations and in the spirit of good faith that Emperor Yoshimoto, brushing aside the wounds of the recent past, brought to us the secrets to creating an atomic bomb. We have explored them together, and we will share them together. From now on, all military facilities constructed on the continent of North America will be joint ventures, managed by this council in the name of the American Alliance.

            Today, with the means of our protection in hand, we also deliver this warning to the Soviet Union: so long as you remain within your borders, we will take no hostile action to you and your own. But America, all of America, from Canada to the Land of Fire, is free land. The arms of the American Alliance extend beyond its borders, and we embrace our neighbors to the south, as well. We are a peaceful people, and it is in the name of preserving peace that we develop the weapons of destruction we need to protect our own. But we will protect our own, and we will not tolerate the breath of repression on our shores. No soviet soldier will set foot on American soil without reprisal. Let it be known that today, at long last, America stands united. Thank you, and goodnight.