Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mythical Extras: An Alternate Reality

Writers tend to do a lot of research on works of fiction- particularly those that take place in alternate realities. Sadly, a lot of that work is never seen by the reader- it is backstory the author keeps for themselves.
One of my recent reviews by a reader called me out on this- they wanted to see more of the world Mythical takes place in.
To that end, I'm going to start a new feature here on the blog, going over some of the backstory you'll more than likely never see in the novels.
This might seem like a really odd thing to worry about in a work of fiction, but I think it has great import on a series of novels that center around a military unit. Presidents are the Commanders-in-Chief, and have the final say-so on a number of military programs. And what spy novel series doesn't at some point feature a political figure?
In the Mythical, super powers are an accepted and widely known fact by the general populace. People with thos powers, parahumans, are celebrities just as much as sports stars are in our world. As such, parahumans are bound to be involved in politics. And that could have some interesting ramifications...
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 6th President of the United States
It is a little known fact that Pres. Lincoln formed the National Sciences Academy on March 3, 1863. Lincoln had a vision of science helping America. In Mythical, that mandate went a little further, and paved the way for the research not just of science but of the mystical. Alas, even with magic, Lincoln was assasinated.
JOHN F. KENNEDY, 35th President of the United States
By the 1960s, the Mythical United States was using parahumans in the military and for intelligence gathering. It isn't much of a stretch then to assume that with that added layer of protection, President Kennedy was not assasinated in 1963. Rather, an attempt was made, but the President's Secret Service detail was alerted in time to avoid catastrophe.
Sadly though, despite winning his next election, Pres. Kennedy's philandering ways would prove his downful, and he would resign the Office of the President in 1965, citing health reasons to avoid scandal and embarrassing the office. Pres. Kennedy would then retire to a lifetime of devoted public works, in the United States and abroad and become a leading humanitarian in the waning days of the 20th Century.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON, 36th President of the United States
Serving only a three year term, Mythical's President Johnson had far less of an impact on American history, but followed the course he otherwise would have taken had the assassination of Pres. Kennedy proven successful.
RICHARD M. NIXON, 37th President of the United States
Following the unpopularity of the war in Vietnam, Richard M. Nixon was able to defeat Lyndon  Johnson and became the 37th President of the United States in 1969. here history attempted to correct itself, with Nixon performing in much the same way he did in our universe. With one notable exception: Watergate.
In the Mythical universe there was no need for a break-in at the Watergate hotel to steal Democrat secrets. Instead, telepaths were employed, and Nixon was able to quietly win re-election, aided considerably by endorsements from the new celebrities in the world: super heroes. These parahumans in flashy costumes astounded the public in 1971 and 1972, and were embraced by the White House and the Nixon administration.
However, history again corrects itself when it is discovered that the White House used telepaths in the re-election of Pres. Nixon. A scandal erupts, and Watergate becomes synonomous with the use of parahumans to influence politics. Nixon pardons his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, then resigns and Gerald Ford becomes the 38th President of the United States, serving a little over a year before losing his bid at election in 1976. While Nixon leaves in disgrace from the White House, it is generally accepted he did not know about the use of telepaths to spy on Democrat party officials, and his resignation is viewed as an honorable act to the public.
JIMMY CARTER, 39th President of the United States
As in our world, Mythical's Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford and became the next President of the United States, riding a wave of public distrust of the Republican Party. President Carter further rose to fame when Operation Eagle Claw, the rescue of U.S. hostages from Iran was successful, thanks to parahuman forces (Detachment 1039).
RONALD REAGAN, 40th President of the United States
Despite Pres. Carter's success in freeing th hostages from Iran, American heroes in 1980 revealed to the world that the Soviet Union had its own parahuman forces, and that they were a threat to the United States. Pres. Carter's previous efforts to downsize the U.S. Military and pursue peaceful recourse with the Soviet and Chinese Empires did not go over well in light of this new threat. The public clamored for a strong President, and elected Ronald Reagan, himself backed by the leading parahumans of the period.
Ronald Reagan enjoyed two terms as President, rebuilding American military might and staying the hand of the Soviet Union in much the same way as he did in our Universe.
GEORGE BUSH, 41st President of the United States
Riding on the success of his former President, and endorsed by the superheroes, George Bush managed to win election and re-election, and continued the efforts of the Republican party to stregthen the United States and stay Soviet aggression around the world. Ross Perot, and popular grassroots politician was brought into the campaign for re-election, and proved a deciding factor for many voters. Perot was later named Secretary of Defense.
WILLIAM CLINTON, 42nd President of the United States
Following his defeat by George Bush, William Clinton once again ran for election and defeated Dan Quayle and Robert Dole in the 1996 campaign. Without the surge of popularity enjoyed by his real-world rival, President Clinton led a more subdued first term as President and avoided the Monica Lewinsky scandal. After his failure to win re-election in 2000, Pres. Clinton and former First Lady Hilary Clinton went on to become leading human rights advocates.
DAN QUAYLE, 43rd President of the United States
In 2000, history was made when Elizabeth Dole was made the first female Vice President of the United States- with her parahuman endorsements allowing her and Presidential Nominee Dan Quayle to narrowly defeat William Clinton's re-election efforts.
Pres. Quayle soon became a butt of jokes in the media who portrayed him as dull-witted as they had when he served as Vice President. On September 11, 2011, that changed when Al-Qaeda terrorists succeeded in killing thousands of American citizens on U.S. soil. Pres. Quayle launched an immediate counter-attack, employing U.S. conventional and parahuman forces within 24 hours. U.S. forces first attacked and invaded Afghanistan, libertaing the country from Al Qaeda rule. Within a month, U.S. forces moved on Iraq, which had been ignoring U.N. demands for inspections for many months. In the swift invasion into the country it was soon discovered that the regime of Saddam Hussein was actively violating the Gulf War cease-fire treaty of 1991 by continuing to build weapons of war and fund an underground nuclear program. President Quayle enjoyed great popularity when U.S. forces captured several convoys attempting to move nuclear and biolgical weapons out of the country and into neighboring Syria. 
President Quayle narrowly defeated John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Campaign- a campaign marked by Vice-President Elizabeth Dole declining to continue serving in office due to health concerns and a difference of opinion on the conduct of the ongoing war on Terror in the Middle East. President Quayle's running mate in the campaign was George W. Bush, the son of George H. Bush. President Quayle's second term as President was marred with constant protest against the war, and calls for the troops to come home.
JOHN EDWARDS, 44th President of the United States
In the 2008 Presidential Election, the Republican party was divided in its support of John McCain and George W. Bush. Bush managed to win the nomination from the party but could not muster the votes to defeat the ticket of John Edwards and Baron Hill. Voters chose the democratic candidates on the promises of universal healthcare and an end to the long hositilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In early 2013, Pres. Edwards' presidency was rocked by a scandal follwing his re-election. It was disclosed that he had an affair and a child without the knowledge of the First Lady, who had garnered a great deal of public support for her work in promoting cancer research.
Mythical: The Series begins in the summer of 2013, when Pres. Edwards is facing intense scrutiny from Congress and the public. Popular belief is that he will resign from office before the year ends.

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