How is this timeline so far?

  • Great

    Votes: 39 48.1%
  • Good

    Votes: 30 37.0%
  • Okay

    Votes: 8 9.9%
  • Bad

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • Implausible

    Votes: 3 3.7%

  • Total voters
    81
PPAC is an interesting butterfly.
That gave me a blink for a bit, since I only recognize it as another way to talk about a certain theater that was one of the few good things of early Buddy. (ITTL it might even retain the Ocean State Theater name for a while longer, and ITTL expanded into the Ocean State Performing Arts Center by rescuing other theaters, such as the Leroy in Pawtucket and the Stadium in Woonsocket. Cheap, easy way to score political points in order to keep downtowns, and hence the arts, a going concern here.)
 
Yes, a sane Rudy timeline is plausible and this one is very well done!
What we know about 2022 Rudy, utterly implausible.

What we knew about 1980s Rudy, completely plausible.

Kudos! We are racing towards something horrible and I can't wait to read it.
Thank you!

I’m surprised there isn’t more tbh. Even as recently as 2012 he was considered a Rockefeller Republican due to his pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ+ stances. Though, I honestly didn’t get the idea of Democratic Giuliani until @Oppo used him in his Ted Kennedy timeline.

Plot twist: Rudy was working for Cianci the entire time
That would be a fun twist but it's not what I have planned.
PPAC is an interesting butterfly.
With a far more left wing America I’d thought there’d be some equivalent. I’m thinking of also making a left wing Federalist Society (maybe it’s called the Douglas or Marshall Society?).
 
Thank you!

I’m surprised there isn’t more tbh. Even as recently as 2012 he was considered a Rockefeller Republican due to his pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ+ stances. Though, I honestly didn’t get the idea of Democratic Giuliani until @Oppo used him in his Ted Kennedy timeline.


That would be a fun twist but it's not what I have planned.

With a far more left wing America I’d thought there’d be some equivalent. I’m thinking of also making a left wing Federalist Society (maybe it’s called the Douglas or Marshall Society?).
IOTL there is the American Constitution Society, but that isn't as snazzy. John Harlan was the guy who dissented on Plessy v. Ferguson so he might be a good pick.

Also am I remembering right that Scoop Jackson implemented UHC?
 
IOTL there is the American Constitution Society, but that isn't as snazzy. John Harlan was the guy who dissented on Plessy v. Ferguson so he might be a good pick.

Also am I remembering right that Scoop Jackson implemented UHC?
Yeah, I’m definitely going with The Harlan Society. Thank you!

Jackson passed a public option with strong regulations on the healthcare industry. The number of Americans with healthcare is near universal at 95%.
 
Thank you!

I’m surprised there isn’t more tbh. Even as recently as 2012 he was considered a Rockefeller Republican due to his pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ+ stances. Though, I honestly didn’t get the idea of Democratic Giuliani until @Oppo used him in his Ted Kennedy timeline.


That would be a fun twist but it's not what I have planned.

With a far more left wing America I’d thought there’d be some equivalent. I’m thinking of also making a left wing Federalist Society (maybe it’s called the Douglas or Marshall Society?).
This is far flung as hell, but what about the Houston Society, after Charles Hamilton Houston, could work instead of Marshall.
 
Thank you!

I’m surprised there isn’t more tbh. Even as recently as 2012 he was considered a Rockefeller Republican due to his pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ+ stances. Though, I honestly didn’t get the idea of Democratic Giuliani until @Oppo used him in his Ted Kennedy timeline.


That would be a fun twist but it's not what I have planned.

With a far more left wing America I’d thought there’d be some equivalent. I’m thinking of also making a left wing Federalist Society (maybe it’s called the Douglas or Marshall Society?).
Bull Moose Society?
 
This is far flung as hell, but what about the Houston Society, after Charles Hamilton Houston, could work instead of Marshall.
Looking into him he’d be a great choice but as you said he’s pretty obscure. Personally I really like "The Harlan Society" so I'm going with that.
 
I'd like to apologize for the lack of an update in the last twelve days. Currently I've been working a decent amount and despite marching band ending I still have a good amount of time sucked up by my job. So again, sorry.
 
I'd like to apologize for the lack of an update in the last twelve days. Currently I've been working a decent amount and despite marching band ending I still have a good amount of time sucked up by my job. So again, sorry.
quality>quantity, great work!

Also beloved liberal Rudy is more than enough to tide us over.
 
Thank you!

The chapter is currently at 3,000 words and I plan to make it the largest chapter so far.
Let me assume - combination of the nuclear accident you've forewarned about, the FBI otherwise closing in on the Mafia (after all, the Bonded Vault heist happened just before the POD, and Ray Sr. is definitely getting on in years - if not dead already as per OTL), and the banking crisis? ;)
 
Is it wrong that i feel a teaser (ie 100 words) would be great to tide us over for now? Also love the story especially the rudy twist
 
Let me assume - combination of the nuclear accident you've forewarned about, the FBI otherwise closing in on the Mafia (after all, the Bonded Vault heist happened just before the POD, and Ray Sr. is definitely getting on in years - if not dead already as per OTL), and the banking crisis? ;)
Partially correct. The nuclear accident is part of it. The banking crisis is not yet but the Mafia is being closed in on by Giuliani, the Italian government, and the FBI. Unfortunately, that takes a temporary back seat due to the nuclear accident. I will say that Cianci and his wife will have a conflict as Sheila’s sick of Cianci and after his corruption puts her family at risk with the nuclear accident she’ll be done with him. Anything else would be a spoiler, especially for Rhode Island politics.
 
Rhode Island politicians and bankers in the 80s:

C54DD0F7-4EF2-4A30-B40B-DBF524A9098B.jpeg
 
Partially correct. The nuclear accident is part of it. The banking crisis is not yet but the Mafia is being closed in on by Giuliani, the Italian government, and the FBI. Unfortunately, that takes a temporary back seat due to the nuclear accident. I will say that Cianci and his wife will have a conflict as Sheila’s sick of Cianci and after his corruption puts her family at risk with the nuclear accident she’ll be done with him. Anything else would be a spoiler, especially for Rhode Island politics.
As long as Sarault ultimately still gets his just desserts, and Metivier does not become mayor of Pawtucket, I'll be happy.
 
Is it wrong that i feel a teaser (ie 100 words) would be great to tide us over for now? Also love the story especially the rudy twist
Go to my test thread and I posted a glimpse into the future. It contains some spoilers and current political figures so if anyone has any comments then it's best to keep them in the test thread.
 
Chapter XXX: Radiation and Revolution
The town of Diamond Hill was just waking up when tornado sirens blared at 7:45 AM. In fact, it wasn’t just Diamond Hill as any town within fifteen miles had their tornado sirens blare at full volume, but the sky was blue, and the wind was only a slight breeze. After a minute an EAS warning came on every TV in a five-mile radius.

1658430386569.png


‘WARNING. STAY CALM. DO NOT PANIC.’

‘THERE HAS BEEN A REPORTED FIRE AT THE DIAMONDHILL POWER PLANT. WE ADVISE THE CITIZENS OF DIAMOND HILL AND CUMBERLAND TO EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY IN AN ORDERLY FASHION.’

It was then the people of Diamond Hill and Cumberland noticed a cloud of smoke coming from the nuclear power plant. The call for an orderly evacuation was ignored soon after as the cloud of smoke got larger, and the people quickly realized that there was no way the tiny Diamond Hill and Cumberland fire departments could do anything. Combined the departments had five fire engines and one aerial ladder truck which was a slight problem considering the complex was massive, with three cooling towers, three reactors, nine containers for nuclear waste (with only one being ¼ full), and three, four story buildings that housed the daily operations for the reactors, and three two story buildings that housed emergency backup systems in case of an accident.

Interview with firefighter Edwin Johnston III for the documentary “Two Days That Shook the Nation” (1994)

Johnston: “When we got the call at 7:20 from a frantic employee that a fire had started. He said the fire started from the ceiling which made us believe it was an electrical fire. But the caller clearly didn’t know what was going on as when arrived at the power plant a small explosion rocked building one which controlled reactor one. At that point we realized things were a lot worse than we thought. Me and ten others rushed in and made our way to the fire.”

Narrator: “Unfortunately for the DHFD and CFD inside the building as the fire had spread throughout the building at an accelerated rate, trapping over a hundred in the burning building. Furthermore, the explosion was caused by a heater near the control room, which killed nine people attempting to escape the second story through a window”

Johnston: “The fire was way to large for us to effectively deal with, so we called for backup at 7:38. I didn’t get a response whether we’d get backup from surrounding towns, but we were informed that the fire was spreading to the control room and the room that held the circuit breaker. What we didn’t know was that the same room that held the circuits that controlled building one also controlled building two which go figure controlled reactor two. If that wasn’t bad enough the circuit room was also where the boiler room was, which meant that not only would we see power and control lost in two buildings but also a massive explosion. Did I also mention the corrupt motherfuckers didn’t even install a working sprinkler system?”

Narrator: “Soon after the transmission to the firefighters within the building of the catastrophic consequences of failing to contain the fire a group of twelve firefighters rushed to protect the control room on the second floor, accessing it with the ladder truck. Unfortunately, it would be in vain.”

Johnston: “Around thirteen minutes after we arrived on the scene, we started to beat back the fires. But at 7:47 I heard an explosion that ruptured my eardrums before I was thrown across the hallway thirty-five feet before hitting a wooden door. Next thing I know I woke in route to Boston in a medical helicopter.”

(End of clip)

The evacuation had been going fairly orderly before the explosion rocked Diamond Hill and Cumberland. At that point the police who were maintaining control lost all of it as debris rained down onto cars, houses, and people. Combined with the billowing smoke from the nuclear power plant people had one goal and that was to get the hell out of Rhode Island. Families abruptly stopped packing and hastily left, ignoring all stop signs and speed limits. This unsurprisingly was a disaster. In Diamond Hill seventeen car crashes were reported and in Cumberland fifty. In total fourteen people would be killed and thirty would be injured when the evacuation of Cumberland and Diamond Hill was complete in a record one hour.

The scene at the Diamond Hill Power Plant was catastrophic after the explosion. Thirty-five firefighters were inside the building when the explosion happened and in total twenty-eight died and five were injured and that wasn’t even counting the forty-three workers who were killed in the explosion. With a majority of the firefighters either dead or injured fighting the fire became impossible. If that wasn’t bad enough the reactor was also impossible to control due to power being cut off and the control room was barely functional. Furthermore, reactor two was briefly uncontrollable due to the power being shut off but luckily building four, which was built in case power was lost in another building, provided reactor two with emergency energy and was cooled down before being shut off.

With 73% of the firefighters dead or injured and the reactor beginning to melt down, which was only worsened by the fire that was heating up the reactor.

1658430608946.png

Injured Diamond Hill resident being evacuated.

A minute after the explosion went off a government official who was monitoring the plant at the time of the explosion called the FEMA director for Rhode Island to report the situation that was spiraling out of control. By 8:00 AM Governor Claudine Schneider declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard. But this move came with resistance from her advisors and state politicians who were the main reason that Rhode Island was on the precipice of nuclear annihilation. While several anonymous state senators (who were protected under the Anonymity Act passed shortly after the disaster) claimed that deploying the National Guard was reckless and would cause mass panic. Of course, their concerns were really not getting caught once the National Guard inevitably realized that the place was poorly built and poorly maintained. Which would lead to questions about who exactly allowed the Diamondhill Power Plant to be terribly constructed and pass safety inspections with flying colors. Fortunately, Schneider was not corrupt and proceeded to mobilize all seven thousand National Guard soldiers to deal with the disaster. Unfortunately, the estimated mobilization time was twelve hours and time was not on their side. Schneider made the call to request military assistance from nearby air bases in Massachusetts and Connecticut who could mobilize and arrive in Diamond Hill within forty-five minutes. She would also request assistance from the Newport Naval Base.

Twenty minutes later her requests were approved but an additional ten minutes later she got a call from Buddy Cianci. Due to the possibility of the Diamondhill Power Plant disaster affecting other states such as Connecticut and Massachusetts the US government was taking over the response. The two men appointed to lead the effort to prevent the worst disaster in American history were Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Adjutant General John W. Kiely were appointed by Cianci to oversee the containment and rescue efforts.

Interview with former Secretary of State Alexander Haig for the documentary “Two Days That Shook the Nation” (1994)

Alexander Haig: When I was appointed to spearhead the rescue effort, I was less terrified and more honored to serve this great nation once again. When I first heard that there was a nuclear accident in Diamond Hill, I wasn’t too concerned, after all, we weren’t the Soviets or the Chinese who couldn’t build an elevator or a plane correctly. Of course, to my horror I was wrong. Me and Kiely swiftly dispatched twenty National Guard engineers who within three minutes found enough OSHA violations to have the manager of the plant executed by firing squad. The CEO of Rhode Island Power (RIP), Ricky Fulbright* was one of Cianci’s best friends from what I could tell, considering he always seemed to be lingering there along with DiPrete and Lay. On the plane ride to Cumberland, where me and Kiely agreed to set up our base of operations, I got a call from Kiely. That’s when I first found out radiation was leaking out of the reactor at high enough levels it became dangerous for firefighters and workers to be on scene.”

(End of clip)

Buddy Cianci was a mess the day of the meltdown. When he had first found out about it his advisors could tell he was worried sick. Everyone was so all of his advisors and cabinet members brushed it off. But Cianci wasn’t worried but tortured by the Diamond Hill Disaster due to one reason. It was all his fault. Unlike his other crimes in Italy, Latin America, and his other criminal activities in America he felt culpable for his actions. While his crimes abroad he brushed off as liberating other countries from the scourge of Communism or as just business he knew damn well he shouldn’t have allowed the Diamondhill Power Plant to cut corners. After all, two nuclear bombs brought Japan to her knees, but Diamondhill had three reactors and if even one exploded, Rhode Island would be annihilated. In fact, Cianci’s cousins, uncles, aunts, and nephews who he cared deeply for and had showered with money and gifts who would be killed if the meltdown wasn’t stopped. To make matters worse for Cianci he knew that this was the beginning of the end for his criminal empire as if the meltdown was stopped before New England was irradiated Congress would investigate Diamond Hill Incident and quickly find out about the bribes Fulbright had paid him and the protection Cianci gave him. If the power plant suffered a full meltdown, then Cianci wouldn’t be impeached but surely killed. But now his priority was making sure the latter didn’t happen and his cabinet had an emergency meeting, minus Haig who was on his way to Cumberland.

But the meeting didn’t even last a minute before Cianci’s wife burst in with clenched fists, tears in her eyes, and with steam coming out of her ears. Her and Cianci locked eyes and she said, “are you fucking happy now?”

“I’m in an important meeting Sheila. Just fuck off and let me fix this shit.”

“Fix this? You fucking caused this problem you fucking thug! Now my family is going to be killed because of you taking bribes.”

Cianci began to sweat as his cabinet stood in shock at the accusation. Quickly Cianci replied “get her out of here,” pointing to Sheila Cianci.

“Okay, hold on,” said Rumsfeld. “Sheila, what bribes are you talking about?”

“Oh, he didn’t tell you about the bribes Ricky gave him so he wouldn’t have to follow basic safety regulations at a nuclear power plant? Or what about his fraud he committed with Edwin Meese in New York City? Or the assassi-”

“I said get her the fuck out!” screamed Cianci and the secret service agents obliged. “Crazy bitch am I right D-?”

Pete Du Pont, Secretary of the Treasury jumped from his seat before he could finish his sentence and yelled “did you take bribes from Fulbright? Yes or no.”

“No.”

“Then what the hell is your wife talking about?” shot back Du Pont who was starting to become more pissed off by the second.

“Guys, it’s a difficult moment for her right now, she’s probably hysterical about the situation in Rhode Island and as we know they don’t exactly have the best relationship,” quipped Edwin Meese who was desperately trying to save himself from Sheila’s accusation.

“Sounds like a bunch of fucking bullshit Nixon would say” replied Rumsfeld.

“Okay guys, not to kill your fun but we have millions of lives at stake currently and if millions die because we can’t stop arguing then we’ll be lynched in the streets by the American people!” Screamed Administrator of Veterans Affairs Nikki Rowe. The room was dead silent for a good twenty seconds before the meeting continued with a tense atmosphere. The meeting itself was successful with Rumsfeld and DiPrete managing to come up with a plan to stop the reactor from exploding. The plan was to rewire the cooling system to a separate control system in Diamond Hill, allowing it to function as normal and hopefully decrease the temperature of the fire and at the same time surviving workers would vent the reactor.

Kiely unfortunately have to wait though for military engineers to arrive on scene who would be bringing heavy duty hazmat suits and unparalleled expertise. He decided though to send in workers who would vent the reactor to decrease the pressure. At 8:23 AM the plan was put into action and workers were given the green light to vent the reactor. The plan was successful.

For a moment.

Then it all went when to hell. What Kiely had failed to account for was the possibility of hydrogen leaking out of the storage tanks and that’s exactly what happened. As soldiers arrived via helicopter a hydrogen tank that was damaged in the initial explosion had slowly been leaking and it had finally built up enough that it could cause serious damage to the reactor shell. All it needed was a spark and it found one in the rubble of building one. The explosion shook the ground and sent debris three hundred feet in the air and severely damaged the reactor shell that was preventing radiation from being launched into the atmosphere. Now the hydrogen explosion had cracked the shell and completely destroyed building one. With this, controlling the reactor was now impossible and the only hope now was to try and cool down the reactor. But that was easier said than done as now their only option was to douse the reactor in water before it was too late. But for the time being they had to fix another problem. Out of the seventy-five people who were either turning the valves or starting to rewire the cooling system twenty were killed and five were injured, not to mention radiation levels spiked to horrific levels. The time given until radiation sickness set in was one hour and Kiely knew that every second counted. So, with news that reactor one was gradually decreasing, but still burning and releasing radiation he gave the order for the National Guard to evacuate the plant.

1658433005730.png

The burning power plant shortly before the explosion.

The National Guard attempted to move fast, not only to save the severely injured but to also save themselves from severe radiation poisoning. The operation itself took thirty-two minutes and twenty seconds, with one-hundred fifty people being successfully evacuated in that time. Twenty minutes after the operation had ended at 9:39 AM Alexander Haig landed in Cumberland. Immediately he was bombarded with the bad news that had just happened in the last two hours.

Three minutes later at 9:39 AM Haig and Kiely discussed further containment plans with Claudine Schneider, Ricky Fulbright, and Cianci. The following is the recording from the phone conversation between the five. Released to the public shortly after the reconstruction of the US’s intelligence agencies in 1998.

“Let’s get straight to the point, this incident is an unmitigated disaster,” said Kiely with a grim voice. “Reactor one has suffered a critical failure and from what we can tell the chance of it exploding and turning New England uninhabitable is unlikely, as the pressure has decreased by 18% and is decreasing at a steady rate. The bad news is that radiation is being released from the plant at an accelerating rate. Currently, our evacuation zone is ten miles but me and Haig are preparing to increase that zone to twenty-five miles. The problem we’re running into is that Rhode Island is at risk of becoming an evacuation zone.”

“From our current estimates the panic that would be caused by increasing the range of the evacuation zone would be anywhere between a dozen to possibly hundreds of people due to the panic it would create” chimed in Haig. “Once we increase the evacuation zone people are going to know that the situation is catastrophic.”

“They already know Alexander!” said Schneider. “Two massive explosions have already rocked the plant and radiation from what the National Guard has told me, is going to reach Providence in an hour.”

“The radiation that’ll reach Providence is very small compared to the radiation here. It won’t be noticeable in the grand scheme of things. The wind is fortunately on your side but that cannot be said for Massachusetts who is going to get the majority of the radiation.”

“And what the hell are you going to do about it Alexander?” Said Fulbright.

“Unlike you Fulbright we’re going to take proper precautions and not cut corners.”

“What the hell did you just accuse me of?”

“We know about the OSHA violations you committed asshole. No one with a shred of morality or intelligence would cut corners on a fucking nuclear power plant.”

“Both of you shut the hell up!” Screamed Cianci. “What’s the plan to prevent turning Rhode Island into a wasteland?”

“Our plan is to hook up pipes to the reactor and pump water into it to cool it down. But that will take most likely a day to complete as radiation levels will only allow the engineers to work for short periods of time, decreasing the efficiency and speed of the construction. Our temporary solution is to use helicopters to pour water on the reactor to cool it down” replied Kiely who was losing his patience with Cianci and Haig. At this point he just wanted to end the phone call and put his plan into motion.

“What about the damaged shell of the reactor?” asked Schneider.

“Ten minutes after the explosion I ordered the National Guard and USAAF to airlift cement blocks to cover up the cracks.”

“Thank you, Kiely and Haig, for the quick response.”

“We’re not out of the woods yet. Radiation is still being released and that brings us to our second issue. The evacuation.”

(End of recording)

The main cause of death during the Diamond Hill Incident was not radiation poisoning but instead the panic that gripped New England. The rush from Cumberland and Diamond Hill had been notoriously bloody but that was only a warmup. At 10:00 AM Alexander Haig went on national television to confirm what Rhode Island had already known. The Diamondhill Nuclear Power Plant was melting down and radiation had been released into the atmosphere. From the very beginning the evacuation was a disaster, with Alexander Haig being put in charge of explaining the situation to the public, which was an unmitigated disaster. Haig was the worst possible person as he used hyperbolic language and very poor choices of words. For example, when he was explaining who was in charge of the operation to contain the radiation he said “I’m in control here” as he was on television and not running the operation. He had meant to say “we’re in control here” but for whatever reason he messed up and made the response look as incompetent as the RIP Company. That wasn’t even the worst of it, as Haig then made his infamous “cancer comment.” In the middle of his speech to the American people he said, “if you don’t evacuate, risk dying from cancer in a day.”

1658433391158.png


The comment was hyperbolic, as there wasn’t enough radiation to kill someone in that short of time. Unfortunately, the comment caused the people of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut to panic. Within an hour the largest movement of people in American history had begun, with 150,000 people attempting to leave Rhode Island. The panicked rush to get out of Rhode Island overwhelmed the National Guard and state police who were faced with thousands of incidents of traffic accidents, hit and runs, looting, and armed robbery as people did anything to escape and criminals took advantage of the disaster.

In Providence a notable case of criminals taking advantage of the situation was the Mafia, who charged absorbent prices to ferry people to Connecticut. The Mafia, unsurprisingly, was connected to just about every politician in Rhode Island and Cianci. Naturally the politicians, in exchange for protecting the Mafia took a cut of the lucrative business. Those who could not pay immediately had their homes ransacked by Mafia thugs.

By the time the disaster was declared to be contained nine hundred twenty-seven people were dead from traffic accidents, looting, hit and runs, or murders during robberies gone wrong.

Once the disastrous evacuation begun FEMA Director Julius Becton attempted to control the refugees, but FEMA officials and the National Guard failed miserably.

As this disaster was unfolding Kiely and Haig got to work cooling down the reactor. First, helicopters commanded by the USAAF dropped water on the reactor, with some missing and some hitting the reactor head on while most water landed a little past or short of the reactor. At the same time pipes were laid by military engineers who connected the pipes too the water system. It was then when the military found out that radiation had seeped into the water system of Diamond Hill. The military rushed to cut off water from Cumberland and other surrounding towns. Furthermore, this also presented a greater risk for those laying the pipes as they came into contact with radioactive water. Still, the military soldiered on and slowly but surely the pipes were laid after twenty-two hours of non-stop work. Now came the hard part and that was covering up the cracked reactor shell. The concrete blocks that were to be used to cover up the cracks weren’t easy to come across not many companies made ten-ton solid concrete blocks. So, the government enlisted help from concrete companies from around New England and flew them into Cumberland and Diamond Hill.

Once they arrived Haig ordered the operation to begin and the USAAF began to construct a tomb for reactor one. Kiely on the other hand begun the final preparations to connect the pipes to reactor one. The decision had weighed on Kiely and Haig’s mind for the past day, but both knew that the decision had to be made. Kiely and Haig made the decision to send only those over thirty-five to lay the pipes. But they didn’t have enough thirty-five and older soldiers to lay the pipes, so they lowered the age to thirty. Kiely gave one last speech to the soldiers and gave them an hour to connect the pipes to a vent on the right side of the reactor shell. The crew of fifty left in a chinook helicopter and after a three-minute ride landed at the power plant. The pipes were laid and after fifty minutes they were cycled out for a new crew that finished the job. Kiely and the rest of the soldiers held their breath until a voice came on over the radio. “This is captain Crystal; pipes are good to go.” It was then Kiely screamed “turn on the water!”

Water poured into the reactor and to the relief of Kiely and the United States not a single drop of water was leaked from the pipes and the reactor was flooded with cold water. The entire United States, at 8:46 AM breathed a sigh of relief as the worst was avoided.

That didn’t change what needed to be done.

The fact that this catastrophe happened was enough to everyone, not just in Rhode Island but the rest of the United States. Even after the disaster was declared to be over and it was safe to return to most towns in Rhode Island Rhode Island had been drastically changed. For starters, around 1,311 people were dead from the disastrous evacuation, numerous explosions, and accidents during the containment effort. In total thirty-nine people died from acute radiation poisoning and five hundred-seven people would die of leukemia (mostly soldiers hut also some residents who refused to leave) that was caused by the accident. Diamond Hill was determined to be uninhabitable due to the dangerous levels of radiation and radiation entering the water supply, the latter also made Cumberland uninhabitable. In fact, the Blackstone River was determined to have soaked in radiation that leaked from reactor one and was determined to be dangerous for any activity and subsequently the US government would fence it off with a ten-foot tall, barbed wire fence. Containment procedures for Diamond Hill and Cumberland were similar but the fear of cancer was enough to discourage all but the insane from entering either town.

Two hours after Governor Schneider declared the accident to be over the Diamond Hill Disaster was made a seven on the INES scale. In fact, the Diamond Hill Disaster is officially the second worst nuclear disaster in world history, only surpassed by the detonation of nuclear bombs.

When Rhode Islanders who had fled returned to their homes often times, they’d find them looted and if they were unlucky, they couldn’t go home at all. To rub salt on the wound, Rhode Island’s economy was on the verge of collapse, with most businesses being closed for two or three days. Fortunately, FEMA got its act together and handed out water and food to the people of Rhode Island as grocery stores were closed. Furthermore, the Rhode Island state legislature passed a relief bill unsurprisingly was abused by corrupt banks who got millions in aid they didn’t need.

This was enough for the Rhode Island people. Like the Dorr Rebellion there was no chance that Rhode Island was going back to normal. The people were sick of the corruption that plagued society and sick of corrupt politicians. When the United States Congress launched an investigation into the disaster the people of Rhode Island were pissed. What was there to investigate? Ricky Fulbright was a mass murderer through and through and his accomplices were the police, DAs, and politicians who took bribes from him. This was only confirmed when the National Guard released a report detailing the hundreds of safety violations Fulbright had under his name. At first it was just a few hundred people in Providence on May 23rd who protested the corruption. The next day the protest swelled to 10,000 and by the end of the week 440,000 people protested in all of Rhode Island. Their demands were simple: All corrupt politicians resign and admit to their crimes.

Instead, the politicians ignored the people, minus Governor Schneider who promised to cooperate with the DOJ. This was not enough and in response the protestors threw pennies and trash at state legislatures and cops who dared to go into the streets or leave the capitol building. The flash point came when Governor Schneider attempted to deploy the National Guard to control the increasingly violent crowd who had stormed Providence City Hall. Schneider denounced the storming of City Hall as an undemocratic attack on Providence, but this only dug her own grave further. Kiely had watched her speech while meeting with his fellow National Guard members who had suffered radiation poisoning. After the speech he asked to use the phone in a patient's hospital room and said to Schneider “go fuck yourself, you and your fellow corrupt thugs ought to reap what you sow for once.”

The storming of Providence City Hall was the first domino as the police's lack of response gave protestors the security to strike against the corrupt system. Adding fuel to the fire was Bishop Louis Edward Gelineau who had grown to hate the corrupt politicians and after the Diamond Hill Disaster decided to join the protests. The priests under him were terrified at the idea of joining the protests, believing it wasn't the job of the Catholic Church to get involved. Of course, as we all know the Pope is Nicholas VI, not Pius X and the Catholic Church was no longer going to sit on the side lines when revolutions begun. Just as Pope Nicholas VI and Cardinal Gustavo Guterriez had done before in Latin America, Gelineau lent his support to the protests and denounced the politicians whose greed had destroyed Rhode Island. At this point, the politicians had lost all entities that had supported them.

A day after City Hall was stormed, on June 1st the Rhode Island Revolution officially begun. The State Legislature was empty as most Rhode Island politicians had fled for Massachusetts and 200,000 people surrounded it. The police quickly abandoned any plans to defend the capitol building, being severely outnumbered and all. The National Guard was nowhere to be found as most had contempt for the government and the corrupt thugs who had caused the Diamond Hill Disaster. The atmosphere was tense that day, but everyone knew what had to be done. At approximately 11:04 AM the Rhode Island capitol building was stormed and most of the Rhode Island government resigned, including the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Speaker of the House, and Secretary of State. The United States stood in awe as the Rhode Island government collapsed like an old cabin does when its wood has rotted until the weight of the roof becomes too much.

The US government had no clue how to approach the crisis, as tanks rolling into Rhode Island would be very unpopular to put it mildly. But then again Cianci didn’t want to set a precedent that people could just overthrow the government. So, Cianci came up with a plan that could keep the corrupt system intact and pacify the masses who were now on their way to the Governor’s mansion. The plan was to convince Kiely to be elected Speaker of the state House and then have Schneider resign, putting Kiely in charge until he could figure something out for the 1986 election. Cianci and his cronies were also gambling on Kiely being incompetent enough to allow them to sabotage the investigation without being noticed.

Kiely was reluctant but agreed to Cianci’s plan, believing that only he could prevent Rhode Island collapsing before new elections were held in 1986. Schneider, facing no choice resigned two minutes after Kiely was elected as Speaker of the House, thus becoming the last Governor of Rhode Island to be from either the Democrat or Republican Party. Soon after Kiely’s ascension to the Governorship he invited the FBI to investigate all members of the state legislature and Governors, specifying in his inaugural address (that was held on the steps of the stormed capitol building) that no one, including himself was above the law and that no one who opposes an investigation is innocent. His second act as Governor was too order Ricky Fulbright to be arrested on charges of 1st degree murder and negligent homicide, which he was in Maine after trying to cross into Canada and guarded 24/7 by federal marshals to prevent him being killed by Rhode Islanders.

Cianci was relieved to see Kiely pacify the angry Rhode Islanders who had returned to their homes but still kept a close eye on Kiely, making sure he actually meant what he said. But now came Cianci’s political nightmare. His cabinet was not exactly happy with his wife’s outburst and Pete Du Pont resigned along with Donald Rumsfeld and Nikki Rowe. When the press asked why Du Pont and Rumsfeld had resigned, they said “Cianci’s incompetence during the Diamond Hill Disaster was the final straw.”

Questions about Cianci’s actions during the Diamond Hill Disaster mounted, with journalists tearing into the disaster and the corruption that had nearly caused the end of Rhode Island and killed over a thousand people. Naturally, the question came up on whether Cianci was complicit in the corruption.

Cianci’s response? Pin the blame on Alexander Haig who he blamed for causing the panicked response which, well he was. The media tore into Haig viciously and Haig was sacked by Cianci. In response Haig attacked Cianci as a criminal and said, “he’s definitely of the same ilk as Fulbright.”

But unfortunately, Haig was disgraced, and no one gave a damn about his opinion. In fact, his accusation only made Cianci looking better as the media portrayed him as a sore loser and highlighted his speech for the next month as Cianci worked from the shadows to protect him from the Congressional investigation that was closing in on him and his cronies. Unfortunately, Haig, Rumsfeld, and Du Pont's resignation gave Cianci another chance to centralize his power, appointing Oliver North as Secretary of State, Elliot Abrams as Secretary of Defense, and Tennessee Senator Ray Blanton as Secretary of the Treasury. Blanton especially was useful for Cianci, as he was easily one of the most corrupt Senators in America history meaning he could easily be bribed. Even better for Cianci was that the Democrats liked Blanton, who had been Jackson's Secretary of Agriculture and a popular Senator who got along with Republicans. During his confirmation hearings the conservative Republicans balked at the idea of putting Blanton in charge of the Secretary of the Treasury. However, Cianci bribed Blanton to change his political positions to make him similar to Pete Du Pont.

Again, another problem got in his way and that was his wife Sheila who was done with his crimes. At this point all she wanted was a divorce and to see Cianci rotting in a jail cell. So, she confronted him in the Oval Office on May 26th. She got straight to the point and said, “I want a divorce.”

“Okay Sheila, ya have a lot of nerve coming in here and demanding a divorce after you nearly destroyed my presidency.”

“Nearly destroyed your presidency. You’ve been doing that the last three years Buddy.”

“I didn’t say I took bribes too my fucking Secretary of the Treasury.”

“Maybe don’t take bribes and cause a nuclear meltdown dumbass!”

“Sheila. Do me a favor and shut the fuck up. Be a good wife and enjoy your time in the White House as you’re never going to get a divorce.”

“If you dare to bribe any judges I’ll go to Congress and tell them everything. Propaganda Due, Riina, all of it!”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Screamed Cianci who leapt out of his seat and proceeded to get in Sheila’s face. “If you go to the press, I will fucking destroy you. I know where your family lives and as you clearly know I have the connections to destroy everything you love if you even fucking think about destroying me!”

“Do you think you can keep me in chains?”

“Yes. I’m the one whose ran this country for the past four fucking years! Congress, the FBI, DOJ, and military may think they're in control but just like in Italy the real government is in the shadows, and that government is me!” Roared Cianci who proceeded to shove Sheila to the ground and then he leaned over her and whispered, “do you understand now?”

Through her tears she managed to reply with “yes,” and she ran into her bedroom that might as well be a prison cell.

1658433094956.png

Sheila Cianci recounting her story for BCC (2017).

*=fictional
 
Rhode Island Power gave me a really dark chuckle amongst the chaos, not going to lie.

I love how even in this timeline Haig can't get his goddamn words out in the right order when it really matters. Of course, this is far more serious than in OTL. In a way, despite hating him in OTL, I felt a little sorry for the old fool getting shoved out of the way.

Blanton especially was useful for Cianci, as he was easily one of the most corrupt Senators in America history meaning he could easily be bribed. Even better for Cianci was that the Democrats liked Blanton, who had been Jackson's Secretary of Agriculture and a popular Senator who got along with Republicans. During his confirmation hearings the conservative Republicans balked at the idea of putting Blanton in charge of the Secretary of the Treasury. However, Cianci bribed Blanton to change his political positions to make him similar to Pete Du Pont.
Oh come on, how corrupt could he-- *googles Blanton* Ah. Well then. That all makes sense.

It's odd, at the beginning of this timeline I had thought that Cianci's crimes were a little over the top. This is not a problem, by the by, all timelines have an element that might seem over the top or bizarre by their very definitions, I'm more interested in entertainment. But after reading up on Cianci and bringing his misconduct prior to the office of President back to haunt him in a big way, it actually puts a lot of this into perspective. Of course it seems over the top, he was only the Mayor of a single area in OTL. But given more power and who knows where that would have taken him? I'm fully on-board with this, this is a really fun timeline to read.

The one thing I am a little unsure of is how he treated his wife. Now naturally she divorced him in 1983, so clearly their marriage was always on the rocks. But to be outright abusive? I get that he's now in full panic control and meltdown mode, but....eh. It's a minor quibble. Can't wait for the next chapter.
 
Top