A Shift in Priorities - Sequel

Do remember that most of the infrastructure is still functional and can be operated well enough by the survivors, so they aren't totally destitute and with only a little help will be able to be self-sufficient. Not rich or able to export much but at least they won't starve.
 
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
(Middle African proverb)

Evidently, the British nation had ceased to exist. So, what should happen with the remaining British colonies in Africa? It was a ponderous question. There were approximately twelve million aliens dwelling in Kenya and Uganda, and forty million in Nigeria. Added together, these were as many aliens as Middle Africa had citizens. Integrating such a multitude was impossible. – But, obviously, ignoring them wasn't a good plan either...

The Zugebe cabinet was sitting in permanence. Ordering intervention in Somalia had been one thing, but trying to solve this quandary now was quite another challenge. One needed to find a strategy for handling those pesky aliens. British rule had been pretty convenient for the Middle Africans: too weak to bug, but strong enough to keep affairs home and dry.

British rule had been fairly indirect, engaging the traditional elites. Couldn't one just imitate that approach? Max Sikuku's innocent suggestion hadn't found favour. Plain old tribal societies wouldn't work with so many people. The British had introduced European health standards, hence, population numbers had exploded over the last decades. In 1924, there only had been 18.5 million inhabitants in Nigeria... – But wasn't even 18.5 million a figure one couldn't handle?

And there was the oil... Representatives of EVEG, Rosneft, Hokushinkai, Standard Oil and Indian Oil were already convening in Lagos. NOPEC was done, no question. Who would get the prize? And who would award it? Kevin Fenwick, Chief Controller Nigeria in succession of that truculent female general – and former NOPEC high–up, was a marrowless chap, happy to drown his sorrow about Britain's demise in gin and tonic...

No, this was going to lead to nothing, decided Max after long hours of fruitless debate. The problem was too big. However, doing nothing was a solution as well. The folks in the former British colonies were as scared of the Middle Africans, as the latter were afraid of having to deal with the former. Perhaps it would even work out without major bloodshed...
 
I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself.
(Jack London)

British rule over Canada had ended. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, those not joining the convoy to Malta were entitled to apply for US citizenship. That was part of the agreement brokered between Fleet Chief Controller Joseph Mercer and US Secretary of State Martin P. Durkin. The agreement did not say, but implied, that the persons applying for US citizenship were not required to move to the US. Hence, by force of factual approach the two provinces might become states of the US, should Congress admit them.

The Québécois had proclaimed the République du Québéc. A certain Maurice Bélanger had been elected president – by the two or three thousand settlers who actually were persevering in the icy wastes. No, they had no intention of joining the United States, they had declared. – But most probably, people in frosty Washington were thinking, they would come running rather sooner than later, when had they found out that ice and snow were not going to go away...

In the far west, Chief Controller Angus MacInnis had – overnight – mutated to President MacInnis of the Free State of Cascadia. And, no, Cascadia had no intention of joining the US. However, one was ready to entertain most cordial relations and was encouraging trade. – Because the marine brigade that had crushed the expatriate coup had not been withdrawn, MacInnis could even command a potent army. It soon became known that he had invited envoys from Japan and Korea. Evidently, he planned to revive old business relations.

The centre of former Canada was considered uninhabitable for the time being. The icy winds originating from the Baffin Glacier were also affecting the US Midwest. One would have to wait until the weather improved...
 
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There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.
(Edgar Allan Poe)

Iceland had not been afflicted by the English Plague, although the peril of infected British fishermen landing on its shores had indeed existed. But the Royal Danish Navy had been on guard. Umpteen vessels had been compelled to change course, and six had been sunk. The onrush, however, hadn't lasted long: after a fortnight, when the struggle on the European continent had just begun, it had ebbed away. The sea had become empty.

Since a week now, Icelandic trawlers were allowed to leave harbour again. The danger had passed, the authorities had declared. A supply of antidote had arrived by airplane, and had been stored away in Reykjavik, just as a contingency. – Sture Jasleifson, skipper of the small trawler 'Alrún', was on his third post–pest tour today. He was, compassion for the many poor souls that had perished aside, glad that the fierce English competition was a thing of the past.

That, unfortunately, didn't mean that the fish stocks had already recovered from the deprivations of the Food Crisis. The traditional cod fishing grounds close to the island were empty. One had to steam far and even farther for catching anything... It was galling. Fuel and lubricants were taking more money than the tiny draughts were yielding. But what could one do? Icelanders were dependent on fishing; agriculture didn't work.

What was that? Sture squinnied and felt for his binoculars. Man–of–war! But strangely deep in the water – and looking desolate. He called for Björn, his ship hand. "Look! – What do you think?" Björn gasped. "Ghost ship!" he exclaimed, "Let's get away!" – Sture shook his head. "No, let's approach the ship. There may be something valuable on board. We need money. After all, you want to be paid for your work, don't you?" Björn winced.

The deserted man–of–war turned out to be HMS Boadicea. The name was displayed on a small plate below the bridge. It took three hours, until Sture had finally managed to board the vessel. There were corpses, fairly decomposed already. Not enough corpses for a complete crew, which Sture estimated at eight hundred. So, those lying around had been the last to live. Was the pest still active in the corpses? He hastily recalled what he had heard about contagion: physical contact and droplet infection. He should be safe, as long as he didn't touch the cadavers.

There were no valuables. Only sordid clothes and cheap crockery. He found some worthless British money. And, yes, there were weapons, rifles, pistols, ammunition, stuff that was difficult to sell. These Englishmen had been thorough in preparing for their end. All documents were gone, even the maps had all disappeared. Sture cursed. It would be hard work to get the guns over to 'Alrún'. Damn the English! Bastards!

Was this – or, rather, had this been – a woman? He took a closer look at the remains. Yes, indeed! What had a woman been doing on a vessel of the People's Royal Navy? – He shrugged his shoulders. It didn't matter. He'd better hurry to get his job done, the wind was freshening...
 
I saw, and look! a pale horse, and the one seated on it had the name Death. And the Grave was closely following him.

Has this time-line officially become dystopian yet? I've lost track whether it killed more people than in OTL.
 
I saw, and look! a pale horse, and the one seated on it had the name Death. And the Grave was closely following him.

Has this time-line officially become dystopian yet? I've lost track whether it killed more people than in OTL.

That's a good question. Have more people died ITTL compared to OTL?
 
That's a good question. Have more people died ITTL compared to OTL?
By Sheer Numbers....A little more here but by more natural and unnatural catastrophes that war, ie Europe ruinned by a biological weapon that war, China still regressed to warlordism, but Japan is Intact, US Internal Conflict are still lower WW2 and Korea at this point.
Barely a little more just here this world unnatural disaster are more infamous that our wars.
 
Jesus christ, I come back to this TL after a year or so and it turns out that England accidentally the north Atlantic with a giga-plague. Ouch. Remember back when this threat started and we talked about how this was a pretty good world all things considered? Yeah NO.
 
Jesus christ, I come back to this TL after a year or so and it turns out that England accidentally the north Atlantic with a giga-plague. Ouch. Remember back when this threat started and we talked about how this was a pretty good world all things considered? Yeah NO.
Maybe in OTL we're lucky comparing the number of OTL missed calls too
 
Jesus christ, I come back to this TL after a year or so and it turns out that England accidentally the north Atlantic with a giga-plague. Ouch. Remember back when this threat started and we talked about how this was a pretty good world all things considered? Yeah NO.
That was also before the sequel thread. In the original 1918-1949 thread life did seem generally better then our timeline. Well maybe not for the Chinese who were fire and A-bombed by the Russians for Vladivostok.
 
Jesus christ, I come back to this TL after a year or so and it turns out that England accidentally the north Atlantic with a giga-plague. Ouch. Remember back when this threat started and we talked about how this was a pretty good world all things considered? Yeah NO.
It was far better for quite a while. Even now it is worth keeping in mind how utterly disastrous the Cold War was for most of the world and the widespread horrible influence it has on most things today, honestly considering the date I would still rate this TL better than OTL and it is hard to imagine something more damaging than the Cold War happening so it is likely to remain so.

Or to put it another way it is just that a lot of people dying at once sounds worse than systems propagating human suffering and loss overtime that will not end, or even change, any time soon.
 
Life is a constant process of dying.
(Arthur Schopenhauer)

How had they done it? – In the news it had been depicted as one–off action, but it wasn't, couldn't be... Even if one had to concede that the Nyemtsi were the uncontested masters of chemical warfare, they still couldn't perform magic. They had used Posal, without doubt. The stuff had become famous during the G'Norebbe Putsch in Middle Africa, and the Okhrana had succeeded in securing a sample. Hence, one was quite familiar with its properties.

It could be used for area gassing, but to achieve an optimal result, one had to keep the area saturated for some time. This was no problem if one delivered it by artillery shells. But the Nyemtsi had done it with their air force. – One had tested delivery from the air: an initial strike was possible – but only in selected places. Gassing a major city from the air was impossible...

Well, one could drop gas, of course – and do a lot of damage, but killing the whole population simultaneously wouldn't work. Yet, the Nyemtsi had done it. How? What was their secret? – It was unsettling. One had known that the Nyemtsi were possessing tremendous capacities for chemical warfare, but one hadn't thought they were capable of annihilating whole cities in one action.

Even nuclear bombs couldn't kill all inhabitants of a major city. – One had to find out how the Nyemtsi were doing it. Orders went out to the Okhrana and the Rasvédka: immediately send agents to Frankfurt am Main, Aachen, and the other towns gassed. Try to find remnants of the delivery system and secure them.
 
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