First of all, Jesus Christ, nothing to see here. Just alt Winston Churchill's father-in-law having his grandson murder a Russian man because they're unpeople without souls. Oh, and his grandson is American Heydrich. Jesus.

Speaking of Jesus, the introduction of alt Billy Sunday is going to be belligerently insane, even by TTL's standards. I can feel it.

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With the way that families are really beginning to dominate the Union and with the larger-than-Trump personalities within them, I feel it quite appropriate that the dominant families begin replicating Custer's previously posted coat-of-arms (emblem of the Custer's Company) as they too are "strong men of Christian chivalry." This is a "totally not monarchy guys" approach to them, but more of a "Protestant Knights of the Kingdom of God" type of thing. Also, the way I explained away 1.0's rampantly diverse uniform choices for the officers and generals could also reflect this. They are a bunch of blow-hards with "noble Strong families of Pinnacle Blood" that consider their uniforms their suit of armor and a very stylistic way to express their personal taste. It also makes them feel important instead of a bunch of stuffed suits working for the President. They might not have much power in actuality, but the respect they get simply from a job title and a cool uniform is enough to placate the rapidly gentrifying Union military leadership (this may become an issue later on, with stuck up officers refusing to work with family rivals and causing huge headaches).

Also, I loved how I turned that personalized hood ornament I briefly mentioned in the Becoming a Man chapter into a sigil for House Hendrick. Also, if Ryan really is the foundation of the Space Force in later years, I find the use of the Latin phrase "nothing is heavy with wings," "Alis Grave Nils," a very interesting choice for a motto. Also, their symbol is an Eagle grasping a fish. So that's quite appropriate as well. Also, expect to see much more Horatio in the Great War, and also likely Ryan's father Bruno.

*Enters room full of American Aristocrats*



OOC: I really love that you're playing up the whole "dynasty" aspect of the Union. Nothing "Better" than a fascist empire run by feuding delusional families! At some point we absolutely have to see the Goodyear Family Crest. Also, is this going to lead to some crazy ass addition to the Strong Man Theory or something that there are "Strong/Pinnacle Families" that are Better than the other Betters?

They will get covered in the Great War! I know keep finding one thing after another to write about about the lead-up, but I promise it starts after next chapter or the one after.

*Grins in Greedy Carolinian*



this madness is really screwin with my head..

Sometimes I randomly think of TTL and it screws with me big time. For instance, yesterday I was listening to Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition while I studied Roman archaeology for school. I took a minute for a break to log on and read, and then the full force of it hit me. I was literally doing something a Yankee from TTL would do. Albeit, their texts would say Pinnacle Man a lot more. But still, it just goes to show that Napo really created a TL that is realistic and resonates.



The Reverend-Colonel Billy Sunday speaks before his congregation in Philadelphia, 1910

The next step of my transition from a child into a young man came, as I said previously, when I was ten years old. It had been only a few months since the day I shot the Inferior blasphemer in the back of the police van. You see, I was very immature and playful as a young boy and toddler, and cared little for reading the Good Book or the Books of Manifest Destiny. I believed in right and wrong and loved my country, but that was about the extent of my religious nature. But around the time I raided the paper store with my grandfather I began to become more and more politically, religiously, and culturally aware of exactly what was occurring around me. Manhood was somewhat forced upon me, but it was what was needed to help a silly young boy grow up.

The day that I would undoubtedly call the most important of my life was the day I gave my life to Jesus Christ and the Prophet Burr and felt the sweet waters of Manifest Destiny wash my sins away. Though I had thought about asking to be baptized since I was about eight years-old, I never felt confident enough. I was surrounded by so many great Christian gentlemen, from my father, grandfather, and teachers, that I felt about two inches tall compared to them. Surely God had no need for me, a lowly child. But I began to see and feel how I could make a difference. How, eventually, I would be head of the Hendrick family and hold considerable clout through name alone. I began to see I could be used by the Lord Jehovah to help fulfill the prophecy of Manifest Destiny in at least some small but meaningful way. I felt self-worth for the first time, and I knew I was ready to be baptized. I just wanted to pick the best moment.

My father Bruno had asked me if I wanted to go see the new Reverend-Colonel. Reverend-Colonel Dwight Moody had just recently passed away and the Council of Jehovah and elected a new man to head the Fundamentalist Church. It was a gentleman by the name of Wilhelm Sonntag, or "Billy Sunday" as he had taken to calling himself. That son of Nordreicher immigrants was a much, much younger man than any of his predecessors. Only 48 years old, he was a striking figure in a well-made suit and slicked hair. He had been a soldier during the Holy Nippon War, and had lost a testicle. This partial loss of manhood drove to prove himself a Strong Man still, and this he did. Even as a toddler I had heard of Billy Sonntag and his Circuit Riders. Everyone knew him. He was a celebrity and one of the first American superstars and showmen. His revivals had been held from Vermont to Metropolis and his Circuit Riders drove Colonel Fords all around the country, preaching the Gospel.

I told my father I would love to go see the new AFC leader speak. He was to appear at the AFC Tabernacle of Sandusky on July 4, 1910. I was almost giddy on the auto ride to the church. I had heard he was one of the most energetic and vigorous preachers since the Prophet, and so had pretty much everyone else. Wearing their Sunday best, thousands converged at the Tabernacle for the Independence Day sermon. I wore my Custer Youth Brigade uniform and all my merit badges, with my pinch-crown hat respectfully stowed under my arm. As we filed into the church, the organist was warming up, plinking out the notes to "Victory in Jesus" as people took their seats. Much of it was standing room only, though metal folding chairs and been brought in to make up for the lack of enough pews. A crude microphone system made sure the hundreds still outside could hear the great man speak. The microphone itself stood on a pulpit draped in the national flag. That was where Sunday would appear.

The service began about an hour later. At the beginning, the organ's triumphant rendition of "Old Time Religion" filled the air and a 100-member choir, dressed in snow-white robes, sang out the words, backed up by violinists. Four actual members of the Council of Jehovah then appeared in the rear of the church, coming out of the consultation chamber behind the baptismal pool. This was extremely rare, as Councilmen rarely appeared at revivals, usually sticking to the Tabernacle of the New Jerusalem in Philadelphia where they cloistered and mad policy. The song stopped. Each white-clad man carried an emblem of the AFC. The first man had, like the others, his face covered by his pointy white hood and he carried a simple wooden cross. The second man carried scythe, representing death. Another carried a cage containing an olive branch, symbolizing peace and life. The fourth Councilman carried an ancient musket of the War for Independence, symbolizing the Christian soldiers that gave their lives for Manifest Destiny. In their other hands they carried candles, freshly lit. As they proceeded to the altar in front of the pulpit, the first man planted the cross upon it, fitting it into a silver holder. The other men left the scythe, olive branch, and musket upon the altar as well. Finally, the one who had carried the cross began chanting, "THE OLD TESTAMENT. AND THE NEW. CHRIST AND PROPHET. MANIFESTUM. FATI. PATRIOTS. PURITY. THESE BOOKS SHALL LEAD US TO MANIFEST DESTINY."

The crowd completed the prayerful phrase, "MANIFEST DESTINY SHALL HEAL OUR WOUNDS AND SORROWS. FOR GOD OUR LORD HAS LIFTED US ABOVE ALL OTHER NATIONS." I, too, joined in, raising my right arm to the heavens with everyone else. Then the four Councilmen touched their torches to the cross, setting it ablaze.

The first man again spoke, saying, "Let this Cremation of Sin commence. Come all ye who are weary and heavy-burdened and cast your lot in with Jehovah and the Prophet, and let the words of the Reverend-Colonel of the American Fundamentalist Church wash away your sins. All hail!"

"ALL HAIL!" we chanted dutifully, again raising our right hands. I was already shaking. I was so excited for the big man himself to appear. I could barely sit still. That was well, for the next part of the elaborate ceremony involved standing again, as the different branches of the services trooped their colors. A Custer Youth Brigade Eagle Scout (the highest CYB designation entailing the collection of every merit badge) led the soldier, sailor, marine, and aerotrooper, carrying a national flag. How I envied him! If it were me carrying that flag my heart would have likely to burst out of my chest. It still practically did as the national anthem filled the air. Following the troopers came two small girls dressed all in white carrying a large portrait of the Prophet Burr. This they placed in front of the altar with extreme reverence before turning and saluting the audience.

Then a deafening hush fell over everyone. No one spoke. All just waited. I looked around excitedly, trying to tell where he would come from to take the stage. Suddenly, the lights in the church turned low and several spotlights were turned onto the stage. Again, total silence was our master as we sat transfixed waiting for the Reverend-Colonel to appear. Then, much to our shock, the spotlight suddenly swooped to the atrium over the stage! Unbelievably there was the Reverend-Colonel, flanked by more musicians in all-white. "I'll Fly Away," a hymn which would have great meaning to me personally later in life, was struck up by these musicians and their guitars, fiddles, and banjos. The chorus below joined in as well, filling the church with the song like as to shatter the stained glass windows. Using a winch system, the platform the Reverend-Colonel and his musicians were on repelled from the ceiling as if they were angels descending from heaven. I was spell-bound, and I'm pretty sure everyone else was as well. The man himself stood perfectly still, his arms outstretched, a Bible in his left hands and the a single-volume edition of the Books of Manifest Destiny in the other. His eyes, even from this great distance, were piercing, like a mighty lion of Christ. The platform hit the stage with a thud as the music reached a crescendo.

Sunday took a sip from a glass of water next to the microphone, sat his Bible and Sacred Books upon the altar, took a step back, and let it rip, as they say. His voice trembled with the wrath of Jehovah, his holy words pouring fourth like the sweet honey of the land of Beulah.

"Greetings, my brothers and sisters in Christ and Prophet, All hail!" he clicked his heels and shoved his right hand in the air, which was quickly met by everyone else with lightning response. "This revival, this Cremation of Sin, is a meeting I have been looking forward to, and I wish to thank the church elders and the wives of the Sandusky Fundamentalist Tabernacle here for their hospitality. It is a pleasure to be here, and an honor as your recently-chosen Reverend-Colonel to speak from this pulpit as the captain our Body of Christ. The topic of today's sermon will be the atonement we, the Chosen Betters, shall find through the Blood of Christ and the Words of the Prophet. Many of today's America raise their hand and are eager to proclaim, 'Why of course I love Jesus and the Prophet Burr!' But how many of you guys and gals really truly honest-to-God believe it? Because, shucks y'all, I was a sinner once, but there's a hell of a lot of sinners out there still. It isn't possible all these people can be telling the truth or there wouldn't be anymore sin. Conversion is a complete surrender to Jesus and the Prophet. To accept that Jesus Christ is one with the Holy Ghost and Jehovah the Father and that Aaron Burr, all hail his Name, is their Prophet. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouths. I think you need to go down on yours knees in the straw, pray all hours of the night, and all nights of the week, speak in tongues, and beg the Prophet and Christ for deliverance from the fiery pit of damnation, because that's where you'll all wind up, spitroasting, unless you acknowledge Christ as Lord and Burr as Prophet!"

The crowd sat silent. A sense of fear rose up.

"Matthew stood in the presence of Christ and he realized what it would be to be without Christ, to be without hope, and it brought him to a quick decision. 'And he arose and followed him,' that's what the Bible says, it does. Yessir, I say that in your very midst right now are champions of America, outward showboats of the Holy Books and line-towers of party policy, who put on a false face every single time they open their damn porch door and parade around like Chosen when they are in fact living in the cesspit of sin itself. These False Chosen can be any one of us, at any time. And if we are to fulfill the prophecy of Manifest Destiny and turn the enemies of the New Jerusalem 'like unto glass,' then we need to convert some fools fast and loud because, brother, there's a storm coming, and we ain't ready. I feel it in my bones. I feel it. I sense it. I have foreseen it in my nightmares. The End of Days approaches like a thief in the night and America isn't ready! You have heard of the rumblings in Asia and Europe! You have heard of the heinous atrocities committed by the Satanic Luciferian emperor of Russia. You have seen how Europa just keeps getting closer and closer to getting that mad man to snap. Now, in rounders, teams draft players and coaches to best compliment their team as a whole. If I was Satan, I'd be looking mighty hard at Viktor Romanov as my star hitter. Hell, Viktor could be Satan right now, the Antichrist in the flesh, uniting all the hordes of mongoloid bandit-rapists and slant-eyed half-breed devils full of miscegenated black blood, the Devil's 'creation.' That scion of Satan Viktor pushes further and further into China every day. Every day, as they have for years, men die in Greece, fighting a dumb war over which sockpuppet is gonna sit on their throne. All over the world, one domino after another is a-fallin', and I'm a-tellin' you to get your affairs in order because Judgement Day is coming, and it ain't gonna be pretty for any of you."

Everyone's eyes widened and some of the women began to look forlorn, imagining their sons and husbands dying in an apocalyptic cataclysm. I sat perfectly still, soaking up his warning. I knew he was right. Every day at the corner store, the old men sat around a debated global politics around the cracker barrel, where I'd help myself to a snack and listen to them go at it. For months, they had been talking about a war coming, and now here was the Reverend-Colonel in the flesh warning me in person. The great man grew more intense as he ripped off his suit jacket and began to rush about the stage, giving elaborate sound effects to his "guns," his fingers, and mimicking a soldier being shot in the gut.

"Get your affairs together and give your soul to Jehovah and Prophet because you might give it to a Canadian grinder before you know it! But I am not here to exclusively preach damnation to you! I come to share Light with you, the Light of the Good Books! The road to heaven is a blood-stained path. It is the Blood of Christ, who died for our sins so we could become the Chosen, the Betters of the New Jerusalem. Though the apocalypse is a sobering thought, it is still a glorious event! For it is a path stained with the blood of Martyrs and our enemies and it shall lead God's Chosen to go forth and conquer in his name and build the New Jerusalem upon this his Rock, this, the Fundamentalist Church. It is the dawning of the Final Judgement, when Christ shall ride down from Heaven on a white horse, flanked by all the martyrs and patriot-saints from all of history. As First Kings tells us, 'Be strong, and show thyself a man!' Do not be afraid if your trust is in Jehovah and Christ, for thine shall be the Kingdom of God. Because sooner then you might realize the guns might be a-poppin' and the hellhounds might be a-trottin'. Now, before I go and continue my sermon, which might take a while, I'm gonna cut straight to the chase! Are there any among us who wish to be brought to baptismal pool? Are there any here who wish to have their sins swept away in the Blood of the Lamb and the Words of the Prophet? Who here feels the call of Jehovah and the Angel of Destiny? Stand up! Come forth, my children!"

I knew, deep in my heart, that it was time. I stood up proudly and shook my father's hand before filing into line to accept my redemption. Before the throngs of people Billy Sunday took me and asked me if I believed in Christ as my Savior and then if I believed Aaron Burr was his Prophet. I said yes, and he grabbed me and dunked me once under the water. Then he asked me if I believed the Testaments, Old and New, and the Books of Manifest Destiny, were divine. I said yes, and he dunked me again. I was about twentieth in the line of several hundred, and the congregation was already in a frenzy, speaking in tongues and handling snakes. The chorus and band blared forth "I'll Fly Away" as if their lives depended on it. The Reverend-Colonel saluted me, much to my surprise and honor, and exclaimed, "We got another one for Jesus, y'all! PRAISE!"

"PRAISE THE LORD AND ALL HAIL!" chanted the crowd as I stepped out of the baptismal pool in my soaking wet Custer Youth uniform. I was finally a man. I raised my arms to the sky and thanked the Lord and Prophet.

After the baptisms, which took hours, the Reverend-Colonel was still going strong. He preached, he expounded, and he cast out bugaboos. One woman was brought before him writhing and screaming, shaking in convulsions. As she twisted and contorted on the floor he grabbed the olive branch from the altar with the lit cross and began smiting her in the spirit, sending her flying across the stage. "BE GONE FOUL DEMON! IN THE NAME OF JEHOVAH, GOD OUR LORD, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, CHRIST THE KING, AND THE PROPHET BURR, I COMMAND THEE TO LEAVE THIS WRETCHED WOMAN! BE GONE IN THE NAME OF CHRIST!" he screamed as loud as he could, splashing her with anointing oil. At first, the demon seemed to be holding out against him. Then he whipped the national flag off the pulpit and began whipping her with it, "THIS FOURTH OF JULY, IN THE NAME OF FATHER WASHINGTON, FATHER FRANKLIN, AND THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, I COMMAND THEE BACK TO HELL, VILE CREATURE! BE GONE!" I had never seen a real exorcism before! Truly, I thought Sunday was a man wise with the powers of the Other Side, as much as had been seen since the days of the blind Christian gentleman Mr. Tobias. At last, the demon departed, leaving the woman weeping at Sunday's feet, her body going limp. As assistants carried her away, Sunday began flicking the flag at the crowd, demanding the devil leave the building. "SATAN! THIS IS GOD'S TABERNACLE AND YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE! BE GONE! LEAVE MY PEOPLE BE!" As he led the crowd in the most hair-raising rendition of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" I have ever heard or heard since, Sunday straddled the pulpit before leaping atop it, dancing with the joy of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, still clutching that beautiful flag.

It was the happiest day of my life. And over the next few years as I was deployed as a drummer and signal boy in the Great World War, I would often recall it, even dreaming of it, as I slept in the muck and filth of the trenches, wise beyond my years, enduring horrors that surely seemed as apocalyptic as any since Crucifixion. Through all the slaughter and chaos, I would cherish my Bible and Holy Books, pocket editions, and they led me through the Great World War and still lead me to this day. The Bible I carried that day at Reverend-Colonel Sunday's revival became the first object ever sent to the outer atmosphere by the Space Force. The hymn that was played during my baptism in the waters of Manifest Destiny, "I'll Fly Away," I would make not only my family's personal song, but indeed the anthem of the Republican Union Space Force.

The following has been an excerpt from BECOMING A MAN: THE RYAN HARVEY HENDRICK STORY (First Edition, Douglas Publishing, 1955) by Ryan H. Hendrick, Supreme Chief of the Space Force

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I'm working next couple days so don't know if I'll be able to post new chapters until my next day off. I know I write a lot, but deal with it, because my mind runs a million miles a minute. lol


The time is 9:00 am. The day is the first of October, 1911. The temperature is 60 degrees and the weather is gorgeous. But there are no birds in the sky. Instead of chirps and tweets, the only sounds that can be heard are the screams of the dying, the wounded, and the broken. The 20th Quebec Royal Regiment of Foot are flying across the shell-pocked fields as fast as their feet can carry them. In neighboring farmer's fields, other regiments are doing the same. The 22nd, the 31st, and the 50th are all filled with terror and have suffered severe casualties in a very short period of time. None of them have ever seen anything like what is currently nipping at their heels. They went to war in bright blue and red uniforms, trimmed in gold, marching to the beat of a drum while daisies were flung at their feet. They can't take what has just been unleashed.

Behind them, just a few hundred yards away, is the 13th ORRA Mechanized, the Butchers of Mexico. Dozens of armored trucks race across the fields, their rear turrets mowing down scores of Quebecois as fast as ammo belts can be fed through the guns. Behind these vehicles are long columns of infantry, some shock troopers in full plate armor, biting at the bit to kill for Faith and Homeland. A huge vehicle, three times the size of a traditional autocarriage, is leading the assault. Colonel George Patton, twenty-six years of age, stands atop the vehicle holding an American flag. "Onward, you sons of bitches! We're gonna whip these frog bastards all the way to the Plains of Abraham!" he cries, tilting the flagpole forward. The men let out a cheer and pick up speed, climbing over logs and fences and trenchworks. Others wait for the massive vehicles to bulldoze through the tangled masses of barbed wire that litter the border so they can safely push on. Thousands of Yankee boys in blue are on the march, taking pot-shots at the retreating Quebecois as they move forward.

As the sun rises to its zenith this day, over 8,000 Quebec Royal soldiers will lay dead. Some with a bullet in the back, others blown to bits beyond all recognition by artillery. Some still sit atop their horses, both man and animal rotting in the noonday sun. Behind the advancing columns of American infantry come the support staff, field doctors, and nurses. The Invasion of Quebec is underway. The world has finally plunged into total war. It will be years before its sees peace again. The American Army pushes forward...



Gone Fishin'
@Napoleon53 , you should give us Hendrick's private journals sometime. Maybe in the context of someone in his family finding them and being forcibly returned to sanity by the guy's sheer evil, only to be condemned as insane by the AFC and quietly executed or unpersoned.
As the sun rises to its zenith this day, over 8,000 Quebec Royal soldiers will lay dead. Some with a bullet in the back, others blown to bits beyond all recognition by artillery. Some still sit atop their horses, both man and animal rotting in the noonday sun. Behind the advancing columns of American infantry come the support staff, field doctors, and nurses. The Invasion of Quebec is underway. The world has finally plunged into total war. It will be years before its sees peace again. The American Army pushes forward...
So it begins, I hope that the Quebec Royal Military gets it's ass into gear and tries to at least make a stand, maybe from throw some Metis at the American's as a relief force I doubt they wouldn't go down without a fight. That being said though I am excited for the Republic to have a battle with evenly matched opponents for a change, it should be interesting. Anyway take it away Reverend Al Green:
Was bored, thought of something horrifying even for this world:


Mao Zedong "The Red Emperor" the first Emperor of the Mao Dynasty of China (19XX-XXXX)

*Immediately thinks of the Lesser Mao from Fear, Loathing, and Gumbo*
*Sees Billy Sunday Revival*

*Shouts curses in Frightened Presbyterian*

I mean, Jesus Christ. Billy Sunday baptizing Reinhard Heydrich while Yankee Cultists have convulsions and handle snakes, and then whipping a woman with the American flag to exorcise her of demons and "slay her in the spirit," before dancing on a pulpit speaking in tongues and waving aforementioned American flag. I don't know what's nuttier, that mental image, or the fact that you have constructed a TL where such an event is realistic, not some weird fever dream. The AFC and MDP have officially reached levels of industrialized insanity unseen anytime IOTL. They have these gigantic revivals, their Circuit Riders, and mass media. Think of it this way. Even an RU with a smaller population (I'd say 10% smaller) than the OTL US leaves you with about 68.4 million people. Out of that number, let's say that 1 in 5 are Inferior. That leaves roughly 54,750,000 people who are Betters, all of whom have by this point become brainwashed, hateful drones. That's slightly smaller than the population of OTL's Nazi Germany circa 1933. However, when one considers the fact that the RU has much richer land, and is much easier to defend, that more than makes up for the population difference. Even if the Union doesn't get all of Canada and California in the War, they can gain ground for their war cult. Add in a population boom in the 20's, and you have a Union that is nothing short of terrifying. Especially when you consider that most Germans were not super ardent Nazis, due to the short life span of the Nazi Party. The AFC has existed for 100 years now. People believe, and that's scarier than people using the cult for their own advantage.