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Today in Alternate History
Day in Alternate History Blog
THE HISTORIC MOMENT
by Thomas Wm. HAMILTON
"To all our viewers, ladies, gentlemen, and AIs, welcome to NewsNet's
coverage of this historic occasion. Our advisors say we have about half an hour
before the magic moment, so we will be going around the globe and even out in
space for comments on what's happening. I'll be your host for a happening so
important that we will have no commercial interruptions until we are done. So
this is Gary Samuels, switching you now to Washington, where NewsNet's White
House correspondent, Jackie Fletcher, has a report."
"Thanks, Gary. The White House Press Secretary, Bob Brill, read a
statement just a few moments ago. Here it is."
Roll in: "The President congratulates the American people in their support
of Administration policies in the face of history being made as we watch. The
President hopes that this will be a lesson to Congress which will cause them to
move pending legislation faster."
"Gary, Brill declined to take questions after reading that."
"So, Jackie, would you say the President is trying to avoid taking a stand
"Not exactly, Gary. Word around the White House is the President hopes to
see public reaction before committing himself."
"Given Washington politics these days, that's probably a good move. Next
we go to Brussels, where NewsNet reporter Alois Bardossy has word on the
European Union reaction."
"Right you are, Gary. I have here the current Chair of the Council of
Ministers of the European Union, Radmilla Smerdenjovic of Croatia."
"We Europeans have seen tens of centuries of history, but this event is
unique. The EU Council of Ministers hopes everyone appreciates how significant
what is happening today is, and all are prepared to treat this with the
seriousness it deserves."
"That's interesting, Alois. It sounds like EU politicians are more
prepared to stick their necks out on this than is the American President."
"Not surprising, Gary. I suspect this President would like to break the
string of five consecutive Presidents to face impeachment, even if none ever
seem to be convicted."
"Alois may have that right, but now we go to another European location,
Vatican City, where NewsNet reporter Frank Malloy is ready."
"Gary, I'm with Bishop Suarez, long a spokesperson for His Holiness, the
Pope. Bishop, has the Pope anything to say about this historic event?"
"The Holy Father is spending his time in prayer and meditation. He offers
blessings, and hopes that everyone recognizes God's hand in all that is
happening. Sinful mankind must learn a lesson today."
"A generous statement in line with much this Pope has said during his
tenure. Frank, give the Bishop our thanks. Next we seek comment from NewsNet's
reporter, Clara Siegel, in the lunar capital."
2.4 second pause. "Gary, there is little interest here in what is about to
happen on Earth. I'm with Viglaf Sundersson, a member of the Armstrong City
Council who is rumored to be a likely candidate in the next election for the
"Thanks, Clara, but I've no comment on any parliamentary elections, I'm
just trying to be the best member Armstrong has ever had in its City Council."
"Okay, Viglaf, but what have you to say about this event that has Earth all
"I can tell you right now, my constituents are totally uninterested. If
you want their views on an historic event, well, last week the City Council
voted to build the first swimming pool on the Moon."
"Here's Gary, back at the scene on Earth. And I guess all my fellow
Earthlings know just where we rank. Well down in importance, below that of a
swimming pool, eh, folks? Maybe Bejing has something more encouraging. Let's
go to NewsNet reporter Antoine Takahashi in the Chinese capital."
"Gary, Chinese Foreign Minister Wu Feng Xiu is with me to give the Chinese
"This event would not be happening if the decadent western powers had not
abandoned all sense of responsibility. The Chinese People's Republic will
continue to make strides, emboldened in the knowledge that what happens today
only makes us stronger."
"Well, folks, between swimming pools and chopsticks, it would seem not
everyone values this historic moment very much. But I'm getting the signal from
our technical advisors that the magic moment is nearly here. During the final
countdown our camera will target the crucial site, and NewsNet's chief sports
reporter, Biff Hogan, will give the commentary. Biff?"
"Okay, we are only seconds away. Viewers are looking at the last trace of
the last glacier on Earth. You may know that at its peak 13,000 years ago about
40% of Earth's land mass was covered in ice. As recently as 50 years ago
Greenland, now a well named verdant paradise, was under a couple kilometers of
ice, and Antarctica was even worse. But now, only a few square centimeters of
ice remain on Earth, and even as we watch, it is melting away. Little rivelets
of water are flowing away. Melting. Gone!"