Apocalypse Now: The Posleen in Monarchy World
By David bar Elias
[Excerpted from 'The Dance of Death' by Professor Ivan Ustinov of the University of New Sevastopol.
PROLOGUE: THE BEGINNING OF HISTORY
"In the first part of the 21st century (by the calendars of the Old Era), the Triumvirate ensured the general peace and prosperity of mankind. This Triumvirate-represented by the British, Russian, and Chinese Empires, no longer had anything to fight about ... in this corner of the Sol System, at least. Three World Wars had seen to that.
"Across the length and breadth of the Earth, four billion people went on with their daily lives, from the tourists riding the massive inter-continental railways to the libertines in the Free City of Paris......from the shores of Russian Mauritania to the halls of the Forbidden City.....from Cape Colony to Mountain Territory, and from the tropical isles in the Chinese-dominated Pacific Ocean to the Arctic wastes of Danish Greenland, generally stoic, conservative, and patriotic men and women went on about their business, unconcerned about any kind of threat that could possibly rise above mutually assured annihilation or the religious terror groups that popped up every now and then. And in the halls of power in London, St. Petersburg, and Beijing, the House of Hanover, the Romanov Dynasty, and the Sing Dynasty exercised their mild three-way cold war, while dreaming of the future bounties that interstellar exploration would bring; after all, the launch of Britain's FTL HMS Princess Sophia (despite the ship's tragic disappearance in its 1995 test run) had only inspired the elites of the Sol System to increase the competition. The "Fourth Power" of the Noord Europsie Union [NEU] struggled to find its niche between the three Great Powers, and the lesser states remained completely darkened by the Triumvirate's shadow, occasionally rising to voice their polite opinions in the Assembly of Nations in Argentina. Throughout the Sol System, the Great Powers consolidated their hold on Luna, agreed on a split for Mars, began tacitly probing the asteroid belt, and conducted experiments on safer methods of FTL travel.
"The afore-mentioned religious terror groups-Christian, Jewish, and Muslim-and become apocalyptic in their hatred of at least two out of the three members of the Triumvirate [Britain and Russia] for their role in the burning of holy sites during the Second World War (1905-1920 in the Old Era). The preached to anyone who would listen about how God/Adonai/Allah would punish the world for its past sins, arrogance, and 'persecution' in a titanic 'blow to their decadent world of sin and unrepentance!'*
"To the nasty surprise of everyone (including a fair majority of those fundamentalists), these fanatics were proven right.
"Seemingly out of the nightmare of every man, woman, and child of every civilization on this gentlemanly planet, the enemy came down from the heavens in an orgy of bloodshed and destruction that split asunder the Earth and broke the backs of the old order and marking the beginnings of the New Era and the Imperium. And for the Triumvirate, the next nearly seven years almost saw the death of their power....and of human civilization on the side."
* Last words of Sons of God cell leader 'Reverend' John Leech before his execution by the British government in 1982 in the Old Era [for a blocked terror attack on Buckingham Palace].
AlternateHistory.com, where this story was originally posted.