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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rewriting History in Stone Soldiers: 9/11

Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of the cowardly attack on America by Muslim terrorists financed at least in part by Saudi nationals. It was a horrific act of terrorism that left thousands of noncombatants--including children--dead. And while we should never downplay the horror of this day, or forget how it revealed how far the evil in the middle east will go, we can choose to take away the terror of it that those behind the attacks wanted. 

On the Fox TV Show Fringe a peek into an alternate universe revealed that the Attack on the Twin Towers failed. William Bell had his office in the South Tower as he fought to preserve his world from an even greater catastrophe. Visually, that final reveal in the last episode of Season 1 was clear and powerful--it showed without a doubt this was indeed an alternate reality Olivia Dunham had traveled to.

Technically, most fiction takes place in an alternate reality--very few pieces of science fiction or fantasy or horror take place in the real world. They almost all require a subtle suspension of the laws of reality, or some event that didn't happen in our real-world. The Stone Soldiers universe is no different, and even addreses the issue of alternate realities in its upcoming successor series Shadow Raiders. But how about 9/11? Where does it fit in the Stone Soldiers' universe?

Called "the September Conspiracy" in Stone Soldiers, the events of 9/11 are only briefly mentioned (Mythical) along with a failed attempt to kill JFK in the 1960s. But what does that mean, exactly?

The Stone Soldiers rely in part on the Oracles--psychics able to see events in the future (Shades of War, Stone Soldiers #4). The more people affected by an event, the stronger the psychic backlash from the future. In this way, events can be stopped. Such was the case with 9/11.

With psychic predictions of a terrorist attack on America, the Detachment simply used their AI, MAX (Infernal Machine) to collate data. Here in our world, we know that agencies had an indication about the conspiracy, but as it was compartmentalized and isolated from one agency to another, the attack was not stopped. Identifying the threat and plan, MAX was able to direct conventional forces to intercept those planning to crash the planes that killed so many in our real-world timeline. 

For the Stone Soldiers' world, the events that followed were very similar. Americans would have been horrified by this brazen, coordinated attack on our soil. And estimates of casualties might have been in excess of those that did happen. A military response to the situation would have followed in the Stone Soldiers' world, as it did here. A restructuring of Law Enforcement agencies also would have taken place--the government couldn't acknowledge the existence of MAX or the Oracles, so they had to take steps top ensure conventional law enforcement would prevent any future attacks. 

And that was it--in just a few moments of typing, I took away the Taliban's victory, and saved fictional, alternate reality lives. Stone Soldiers is all about the good guys defeating evil, and I felt this fit well in their universe. 

But in our real world, I'll take a moment today to pray for those lost on 9/11/2001. And for their families. I'll also pray that my fellow Americans don't forget what was done in the name of Islam, and the sacrifices being made daily by our military to fight the same kind of evil in the middle east, rather than let it once more reach our shores. 

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