If I recall, Washington not being sterile was from Classic, but I wouldn't rule out that Napo has kept that in Redux for later.
Oh duh I misread it 😅 I have a headcannon that George Washington IX is living as a bitter exile in France. @Napoleon53 said he wanted to do an update on the OG illuminati and my idea was to have a chapter where he's narrating it (along with some of the other PODs) as part of his family's story, only for it to turn out the person he's talking to is an ORRA agent who pops him to tie up a loose end and prevent any possible challenge to Oswald's legitimacy.

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This seems like the kind of disguise an American spy would use in France, right up until he opens his mouth and his true New England accent comes out right before he pulls the trigger. "It's er uh just been rehvoked!"
 
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Wait what?
Yeah, apparently the idea was actually floated IOTL but they thought better of it.
There was some ballot-stuffing on both sides, but not enough to really blow the whole thing up like it did ITTL.
And the actual candidates (as far as we know) weren't directly involved in it, just some over-zealous supporters.
 

Worffan101

Gone Fishin'
The entire world could've been salvaged from Armageddon if only he'd become a freaking Zap Zephyr fanficcer instead of supreme leader...
 


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I learned how to do glow letters. I feel like my editing skills have grown a million miles a minute lately. I am just feeling nonstop creativity.​
 
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A CAPTIVE LISTENER: RIDE THE WAVE

A CAPTIVE LISTENER:
RIDE THE WAVE

chuckey.jpg


Tick tock.

Tick tock.

Tick tock.


The sound of the German-made clock on the wall filled the room, followed by the sound of someone opening a window. The light hurt Joe Steele's eyes as they fluttered awake. He had been dead. Surely, as sure as anything ever was, he had breathed his last that night. Was it last night? How long had it been? Now what was he doing alive, light flooding through the window of his bedroom in the Presidential Mansion? He heard birds outside. He felt a gust of wind blow in through the aforementioned window and tickle the hairs of his mustache and enter his dry, withered lungs. Why was he alive? Why had he awoken to this? He knew, deep down, he absolutely should have perished. His long tribulation was supposed to finally be at an end. His sins were to finally catch up with him and pull him to the afterlife.

He couldn't move.

Try as he might, he couldn't even move his head to see who had opened the window. He could hear that person flick a lighter open and could smell the scent of Morton's, but he couldn't move to see them. He couldn't move his fingers, his toes, and it was taking everything just to breathe through his already decrepit lungs. An intense wave of terror, sheer panic, shot through his brain like a missile detonating on a Peruvian elementary school. He was paralyzed, completely and totally immobile. He tried to speak, but the only noise that escaped his throat was a rattling squeak. His eyes darted around as much as his position would allow, but still he could see no one to cry out. Trying to scream left him even worse-off, sounding even more minuscule and mute as the attempt to speak.

He was paralyzed.

A prisoner in his own body, Joe Steele felt tuberculosis blood fill in the back of his throat and forced a gagging, wretched cough, sending blood running down his cheeks and chin like a victim of chemical warfare from thirty years prior. This was his worst nightmare. For decades, he had held his health together through sheer iron will, determined to accomplish his goals before hopefully merciful and peaceful demise. This was the opposite of that wish, to see his name tarnish because of Sunday's crimes, thousands of dead boys in the Southern Continent, and now to lie here with no voice, no power, as everything crumbled around him.

"You're awake," said a familiar male voice from over by the window. He could hear the man exhale and then start walking his direction, floorboards squeaking underfoot. As the man came into view overhead, Joe had trouble focusing his eyes, but he knew that silhouette anywhere. It was Chuck, his son-in-law. Leaning directly over him, an apathetic smirk on his face, Chuck raised a hand to just in front of Steele's nose and then snapped his fingers rapidly three times. Seeing a reaction in the eyes, Chuck smiled more broadly and then took another drag of the cigarette. "And you're still kicking in there! Wow. I gotta say, you are one tough motherfucker, Mr. President. You shoulda died, what, er ah, oh, fifteen years before I was even born. Others probably would have with your illness, and plenty have made it even less than that. But here we are, nonetheless. I'm 29. You've lived with this shit for forty years. That's impressive. But, do you know what isn't impressive?" Chuck asked as he leaned in, cigarette smoke blowing out of both nostrils and onto Steele's pale, bloodied face. "You right now. You look like shit. But a severe stroke will do that to you."

Chuck stood back upright and proceeded to the foot of the bed, where he plopped down and continued to puff away on his cigarette and sent smoke rings into the air. "Yup, you had a stroke, old man. And I am afraid that's as good as news gets for ya. Doctors say you'll be a vegetable forever. It would probably be merciful to just shoot you in the temple than let you, an old broadsword like yourself, rust away on a velvet funeral pyre like this. And I'm sure you are worried about the country. I would be, too. I mean, hell, you're whole fucking legacy is at stake right now. You went from the god of war to divisive or even hated by some because of your close working relationship with that kiddie diddler. I mean, I'm cold, but that's a bit much even for me. I get it though. It was a power move. Totally understandable. I might even do the same thing if it meant getting an uncooperative church under my heel. Yeah, checks out. Still, that pretty fuckin' cold. But anyway, don't you worry, because I have already assumed control."

Joe's son-in-law looked over at him, a quiff of brown locks blowing slightly as another breeze entered the room. The wicked smile seemed to go from ear-to-ear. "Yup, that's right. I was sworn in as President a few minutes after the doctors said you were a lost cause, Joe. I already went down to the War Room and sacked that dusty old fuck Ashton. I'll rework the Navy and RUMP posthaste. You would love the plans I already set in motion to salvage some sort of acceptable outcome for your murderous little vanity project down south. Imagine a never-ending war, an unwinnable war. Oh, sure, we can win it, er ah, conventionally. We already have crushed their largest cities with Peacers. But there's too damn many of them under every rock and tree. We'll never be able to win, not in twenty years. And you told our grunts they could, ah, homestead down there? Where the radiation is as thick as the Black Bliss residue and the mosquitos? You're either insane or a bigger liar than I am, and I can tell some whoppers. That shit won't be livable for years. But I'll work it out."

Taking his cigarette between two fingers, he extinguished it by smothering it out onto Steele's blanket. It might have been on Steele's leg, burning his skin, but there was no feeling or signals sent to his brain that told him such. Chuck continued his monologue as Steele's spirit dropped further and further into an abyss by the second. Chuckling, his son-in-law stood up and crossed his arms, saying, "You're a miserable bastard, Joe. Just like all the Joe's in my life, you're a miserable bastard. I already killed one Joe, might as well go for the trio. I'm shipping my old man off to the farm, before his big mouth gets me into any hot water. And in case you are wondering, I poisoned you. Yup! Hah! Bet you didn't see that one coming." Chuck shuffled over and once again put his face inches away from Joe's. "Ethylene glycol. And here, er ah, I bet you thought you really stroked out! Nope. It's utterly and completely odorless, there's no color, and you can barely taste it in your morning coffee or wrapped around your damn cigars. Now, you might ask why I couldn't just hold out for you to kick the bucket normally. My answer comes in the form of a mutual friend of ours. Hendrick."

Steele's pathetic depression and terror turned to rage. He had trusted Ryan Hendrick with his life and his secrets almost as much as he had Oswald. He thought of the countless hours in the office, time spent together on hunting trips, and the endless dinners where Hendrick was the guest of honor. And he had betrayed him?

Chuck laughed a moment and then pulled another cigarette from his chest pocket and lit it up. "That's right! I bet you're pissed ol' Harv was in on this! Ryan Harvey Hendrick: The Man Who Would Be President. What a guy. It's incredible just how useful and successful you can be when you turn down the Presidency. That man would do well in the Renaissance, because let me tell ya, hell of a Machiavellian. See, when you confront your boss that your boss's son-in-law killed your boss's son, and that your boss wanted him to because that son was the damn antichrist or whatever the hell, that tends to make a guy reconsider his life choices. Some people might think that a poor reflection on me, the son-in-law, for carrying out those orders. But you know what most people would understand? I was just following orders. Yours. You killed him, not me. It was then that I knew you were insane. It got Marcus out of my way, but what a way to do it. I mean, fuck, that's colder than letting the pedophile lead the Church! And that caused Hendrick to reconsider his loyalties, and wonder if you were really the Pinnacle Man to lead the Union still. And then, when you recently started pondering on whether or not the antichrist, the slithering serpent, was in fact your son by law, you sounded deranged and unhinged. What's next? Would Hendrick, himself, be the antichrist next week? This isn't Salem, Joe. You can't just toss that kinda accusation out and not have consequences."

Pacing over to a nearby, out-of-view curio cabinet, Steele could hear Chuck pause and reflect on the treasures within. Everything from Native American tomahawks to Custer's medals, to a top hat owned by the one and only Father Abe, to a Japanese samurai's katana that belonged to the last Emperor. "You've lived through a lot of shit, and you've served your purpose old man. A new era is coming. The Oswald Era. And you know what, Joe? You're a grandfather. Emmanuel was born last night. We're parents, me and your daughter. Because I am taking not only your life, not only your job, not only your son, not only your daughter's hand, but your legacy, too. I'll redeem you in the public eye as a noble but, er ah, flawed hero, and we'll name some towns after you, maybe a hospital or two. A fuckin' aerodrome, whatever the hell. I can do whatever I want with your legacy, like clay on a potter's wheel. And Hendrick is going to help me. It's just fuckin' incredible how a man who has gone to such lengths, such hell marches to the ends of the earth, to maintain a self-built legacy in perpetuity is now at the mercy of a 29 year-old Navy vet. Fuckin' amazing, isn't it? I took everything from you. Because I am Oswald. I do that. Morgan's number one rule of jungle warfare he taught me: you see a chink in your enemy's armor, you exploit the hell out of it. I'd do well in business, like my father with Phoenix and all that. I'd be the best damn businessman who ever walked the earth. But I saw an opportunity with you. I read you like a fuckin' book, Joe."

With a clink, the glass doors of the cabinet opened and Joe heard something being removed. Chuck made his way over quickly, wearing the faded silk top hat on his head. Giggling, he pushed it back, nonchalantly, letting his mass of brown hair hang forward. "Lookin' good, right? So this is what it's like to be god? I can do whatever I like, to whoever I like, now, tomorrow, or the day after. From here to my own demise, I am ruler of all I can see out that damn window over there. And none of this would be possible without you, Joe. Just like the other Joes in my life, none of what makes me... well, er ah, me, would be inside my noggin' if it weren't for you fuckin' Joes. Joes seem to be give me what I want or that boost I need to succeed, and they fade away. I killed my brother Joe Junior, you know? And you wanna know why? Now this! This is a fuckin' story, Joe! Saddle up, pardner, because this one's gonna send a jolt up your old withered spine. I'm a fucking passer, Joe."

Steele's already fogged brain desperately tried to assign any meaning to these words beyond what they seemed to mean. There was no way such a conniving, cutthroat genius of a Pinnacle Man before him, a man worthy of the Roman Senate, was anything other than purely American. At least if he was getting taken out, it was by a man more Pinnacle than he. Surely, there could be no doubt Oswald was the picture of good Anglo-Saxon breeding.

"Yup, I'm a fuckin' Papist Irishman by birth. I refused to believe it when Junior told me. Then he convinced me, told me the whole story, Joe. My dear old Pops sold out his own people after Ashton and his fuckers took Canada in the War. My Pops would sell his own mama for a silver eagle. So, in my rage and anger, I killed my own brother. I took him out of this world. Soon my father will join him, and so too shall you. And you know what I think is the funniest shit of all? Through my own abilities and schemes I am ten times the Pinnacle Man you will ever be. Does that make you angry? What are you gonna do? Rise from your crypt here like Jesus and come, er ah, nail Emmanuel to the door like Cromwell? That's right! My Pinnacle Leprechaun seed knocked up your daughter and produced a little star-spangled emerald baby. Top o' the mornin' to ya! Isn't that just the shit, old man?" Giggling again, Chuck did a mockery of an Irish jig, Abe's hat bouncing up and down until it hit the floor with a thud.

Chuck kicked the top hat out of his way with his black and white wingtip shoes and leaned in until his mouth was almost touching Steele's ear. "You're a fucking waste of a man. Just another tool, another brick in the wall. And am I doing this out of some sort of twisted, er, justice for the way America has treated Infees like me? Fuck no! I am doing this for me. Morgan, that fount of knowledge, told me to never forget one thing, and that was that the only thing that matters in this world, the only thing with which to concern yourself, is yourself. I do this because I AM a Pinnacle Man, the greatest there ever was. I don't give a damn what bullshit fairy tales I have to subscribe to, whatever policies I have to sign, or whichever names I have to hail, if it means that my own ends are furthered down the assembly line of the factory of dreams. I worship myself, Joe. Something you once did. You realized the inner self, your desires, your wants, mattered more to you than anything else. That's why you snuffed out Roosevelt. That's why you launched the clusterfuck in the south. That's why you accommodated a child molester as Reverend-Colonel. You did what had to be done, and I appreciate that. But then you went soft. You worried about morals and bullshit pipedreams of having your memory itself worshiped after you die. I don't concern my ass with those things. I concern my ass with what I can get in the here and now, and brother, that's a whole lot. I am the greatest, and I don't need the fear of some deity in me or the eye of history to tell me otherwise, because I know it now."

Chuck went back to the museum case and withdrew the katana, its gold-encrusted hilt glinting in the light. He stood beside the bed, just in range of Joe's eyes, shouldering the katana like a rounders bat. "There is no Void, Joe. There is no Hell, there is no Heaven, no Jev, none of it. There is the here and now, and before I fucking bite the dust, I am going to live it up. I'll turn this country, this fucking dustbowl that's poisoning itself and sending its kids off to die into a party that will never end. Everyone, and I mean, everyone will know how fucking great I am. How I am the best there ever was and ever will be. Because I read this whole country like a book, just like I read you, and like a concert pianist, I am gonna play all the right keys and all the right notes. A concert of the sublime. Am I over-the-top? A little. Am I crazy? Very much so. But you know what makes that truly fantastic? What makes me truly fantastic? Unlike the rest of this country, I know I'm fucking nuts. I kill my family members, got shocked hundreds of times by a fucking motherfucker of a doctor as a kid, and ate rats in the jungle with Australian mercenaries, so of course I'm fucking insane. And that makes me, in the grand scheme of thing, sane. I know this is all a big joke. This planet. This country. An erroneous cosmic wave in the black seas of infinity, Joe. And I'm gonna ride the wave. For every last ounce of fun I can get out of it, I will ride this fuckin' wave."

Joe felt his heart about to pound out of his chest. The insane Irishman stood over him with a Yellowman's sword, able to brutally dismember him at any point. Instead, Chuck threw the sword on the floor with no regard. "Haha! I bet I scared the piss out of you, didn't I? Don't worry, I'm not going to murder you with a fuckin' sword. These are my good Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes, and I have to speak tonight at Yankee Stadium to address the country. It'll be on the talkiebox. You should listen, because I'm gonna have some interesting shit to, er, say about you."

Chuck turned on a small brown waterfall talkiebox sitting on the bedside nightstand and tuned it 177.6, the Voice of the Union. A cheerful crooning number was playing at the moment, part of a regularly scheduled music hour. "Upbeat, isn't it? That Floyd Underwood is a hell of a singer. I personally liked his earlier stuff. Really has some range, but his newer stuff is too polished for me. Wyetta loves him, though. I'm sure when I officially announce your death, they'll switch over the old standby hymns. And you know what? You are gonna be the first man to ever listen to his own eulogy. You're going to listen to my speech. And when I'm done, if you haven't already expired, I'm gonna come back here, and you know what I'll do then, old man? I'm gonna smother you with a pillow, stuff your body like a taxidermy moose, put you on display so everyone knows you are really dead, and charge them fuckin' admission." Bending down, Chuck grabbed the top hat from the floor, dusted it off, slapped it on his head, and walked toward the door.

"And then I'll fuck your daughter again! You never work a day in your life if you love what you do. Ride the wave!" As he left, a single tear rolled down Steele's wrinkled cheek. "I won't tell them you cried." He left, locking the door behind him with a click. Silence filled the room once more as 177.6 shifted to a new song.

Tick tock.

Tick tock.

Tick tock.


A brassy, swingy orchestra blared. A soft voice began to sing.

"I think we're alone now, the beating of our heart is the only sound..."

One more tear rolled down Joe's cheek. And then another. And another.
 
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Yup, I'm a fuckin' Papist Irishman by birth.
And he's a Georgian, but neither of you know that.
You worried about morals and bullshit pipedreams of having your memory itself worshiped after you die.
Everyone, and I mean, everyone will know how fucking great I am. How I am the best there ever was and ever will be
Why do I feel that eventually Oswald will wind up having a "So this is what it feels like" moment many decades from now?


I feel Oswald should read the old Evil Overlord List, specifically Rules #6 and #13.

I also appreciate that the old conspiracy theories about someone in Stalin's inner circle deliberately withholding help is actually true here.
 
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