Chapter 856: In Which Our Hero Is Chased Hither And Yon By Those Damned Frenchies

…mostly, they chased him yon


The Doclopedia #1,518

Earth 5-C: Cryptids

Above all else, the biggest difference between our Earth and Earth 5-C is cryptids. Now, they don’t call them cryptids there, they just call them animals, or, in a very few cases, primitive non-humans.

Some cryptids are very dangerous, like the Kraken squid (which is NOT an Architeuthis) or the Pacific Giant Octopus or the European Demon Wolf. These creatures are, fortunately, very rare and in some cases tagged with micro-transmitters so their locations can be monitored.

Other cryptids are less dangerous, but still best avoided by humans. Most lake monsters, a fairly common type of cryptid, fall under this category, although some, like the famous Nessies of Scotland, are quite docile and timid. Land cryptids that fit in this category include the so called “Mongolian Death Worm” (up to 9 feet long, can give a nasty bite if annoyed), the Chupacabra and the Yeti.

Most cryptids either avoid humans or are actually friendly toward them. Friendly ones include the Orang Pendak of Indonesia, the King Raccoon of Canada and the American Jackalope. The shy ones are mostly the “ape men” like Sasquatches, “Monkey Men” or Lizard Men. While they will defend their young or mates, most of these creatures tend to stay far away from humans.

Since all but a few cryptids are rare, they are protected in their homelands by international law. You can also find some species in most zoos.

Handsome Joe Plans A Birthday Party

…for his good friend, Smart Sally


The Doclopedia #1,517

Earth 5-C: California

On Earth 5-C, my beloved home state of California is both very familiar and very different.

Right off, the shape of the state is different. It’s wider, because the entire eastern border is 30 miles farther east. Nevada and Arizona look somewhat different because of it. The southern Border with Mexico is all the way down to just north of Puerto Punasco on the eastern side, and halfway down the Baja Peninsula on the western side. This greatly lengthens the West Coast and a state that was very long to begin with.

California is still the “Queen of Agriculture”, even more so with all that added Baja land. It’s still the heart of the entertainment industry and the high tech sector. People still visit by the millions to see both man made and natural attractions. California is still the center of cool in the world.

But it’s also uninhabited over large areas due to national parks, state parks, nature preserves,, national monuments and just plain old land preserved for it’s own sake. Some of these areas are home to thriving Native American nations (the various nations run all of the national and state parks). A few preserves are there to protect the habitats of what we would call cryptids, including the San Joaquin Valley Jackalope, the Northern Sierra Sasquatch and the California Green Sea Serpent. Among the non-cryptids who are on preserves or in parks, you’ll find wolves and the California grizzly bear, the latter of which is extinct in our reality. Californians are fierce protectors of the environment.

Another big difference is the lack of freeways, especially in the Los Angeles region. Public transportation is well funded and very popular all over the world, but it is nearly a religion in California. Where the freeways would be in L.A. Are bus lines, trains (both ground lever and elevated, subways and even airships. The same goes for the Bay Area, Sacramento and any other metropolitan area.

And, of course, all the cars are either electric or hydrogen powered.

The final bit of strangeness in this other California is the Mojave Spaceport, the second largest spaceport in the world after the Central Australia Spaceport. The Mojave Spaceport is the busiest of the two with daily departures to both space stations and the moon. Nearly 10,000 people are now living and/or working in outer space.

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There Were Serious Repercussions After The Exploding Ham Incident.

…which, by the way, I had nothing to do with


The Doclopedia #1,516

Earth 5-C: Women In Control

On our earth, the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic swept the globe and killed possibly 100 million people. It lasted from January, 1918 until December, 1920.

On Earth 5-C, their strain of influenza began killing people in June, 1805 and continued until October of 1809. It was far deadlier than the 1918 flu for three reasons: a gestation period in the human body of up to 60 days, a very rapid onset after that (with death resulting in as little as 36 hours), and the fact that it was transferable to several bird species. That third fact was not proven until 1930.

With medical science being over a century behind 1918, there was little that could be done to slow or treat victims. It hit people of both sexes who were over 40 hardest, killing 9 out of 10 men and 7 out of 10 women. In people between 20 and 40, it killed men 7 out of 10 times, but only killed about 30% of women. Under age 20, it killed 3 out of 10 males and only 1 in 10 women. Amazingly, very few children under 10 died from it.

By the time the flu finally died out, most likely due to mutating to a non-lethal form, almost half of the world’s population was dead, including most of the adult males.

But life, governments, education and the rest of human endeavors must go on, so women started filling in for the missing men. The adult men who had survived figured this would not last long, just until they were fully recovered and able to teach a new crop of men how things should be. Sadly, the flu had reduced their lifespans to less than 10 years, on average, so they never really got the chance.

Women, having been used, abused, lied to and given second class status (if they were lucky) by men for a few thousand years, were not going to give men a whole lot of power again. There were women speaking out loudly on a variety of subjects before the pandemic even ended. Things changed and changed pretty fast.

One big change was religion, with the Catholic Church being the best example. The flu killed off something like 90% of the male clergy, but only 15% of nuns. The remaining males were either very young or weakened older men. The church was without a pope from 1806 until 1811, when a 50 year old nun named Sister Simone became Pope Mary I. She was pope for 31 years and made enormous changes, most of which empowered women. She was succeeded by another female pope, something that went on for 135 years before Pope James got the job in 1977.

Another big alteration to business as usual was the steady disbanding of armies and navies. Mothers, unlike fathers, were a lot less enraptured with war and battle. The fact that fertility was down for both sexes worldwide made every child even more precious. Raise a generation or two with no war and no warrior heroes and you end up with people for whom war is an old time thing, something we don’t do in modern times like 1880.

Reasons for war were gone anyway. Take away near half of the world’s population and there’s plenty of food and resources to go around. Get rid of armies & navies and you can reduce taxes. Give people even a few years of much lower taxes and they get real salty when you suggest raising them again.

Next we come to the race issue. That was actually a self solver. When men are at a premium for everything from reproduction to sex to doing hard labor, women get a whole lot less picky. If Miss A has two kids that have a black father and Miss B has two kids with a Hispanic father and Miss C has kids whose father came from India, nobody talks shit about anybody else’s kids. Race mixing wasn’t a bad thing, it was a necessity.

Finally, the women of the world wanted their children to get a good education, so they made good educations easy and cheap. Educate more people and you get more smart people. Get more smart people doing stuff and you get all sorts of scientific advancements, like a female astronaut landing on the moon in 1943.

Now, Earth 5-C is not a paradise. They may not have war or much crime, but they still argue about how to do things and they still did a lot of polluting. The good news is, they got on the ball and are working together to fix the problem. In their current year, 2000, they have cleaned up most of their mess. The 2.5 billion people of Earth 5-C have a pretty bright future ahead of them.

Look, An Ant-horned Prongalope!

…that sounds mildly obscene


The Doclopedia #1,515

Earth 5-C: The Geek Movies

Earth 5-C is different from our Earth. Here are some examples.

Reflecting the fact that women took control of things after the 1805-1809 Influenza Pandemic killed off 8 out of 10 adult men, motion pictures on Earth 5-C are very different than they are here.

With almost no wars and very little crime, movies about those two subjects are pretty rare. Much more common are stories of humans vs nature (especially cryptids), horror/supernatural movies, dramas, comedies of all sorts, romances, musicals and historical dramas, including a bunch of mostly non-violent westerns.

But science and fantasy are the biggest box office draws.

Three of the highest grossing movies of all time are the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy. Despite the fact that Earth 5-C never had a World War I (or II) to affect him, JRR Tolkien still wrote a story very close to the one we know. There are female characters in place of some male ones (Legolas, Frodo, Saruman) and some all new characters (Rinda the Dwarf, Ilistar the Elf, both females), but overall, the same story. It was directed by Emily Jackson and each of the three parts won several Academy Awards.

The Harry Potter movies? Well, it’s Mary Potter, but otherwise pretty much the same books and movies.

In the science fiction category both Star Trek and Star Wars exist, but they are markedly different than what we know.

Star Trek was never a television series. The first movie came out in 1966 and told the story of the starship Enterprise, Earth’s first faster than light exploration ship. The crew was ethnically diverse and the captain was indeed James T. Kirk, but beyond that, it changes fast. Such as…

No alien crew members

No Federation of Planets or Starfleet yet

Not only was Kirk not a horndog, he was married to the ship’s Chief Engineer, Molly Scott.

The plot of the first movie found the Enterprise meeting up with the Vulcans (pretty much as we know them) and the Klingons (who were much more violent and warlike and were descended from insects).

Subsequent films charted the friendship between humans and Vulcans, more exploration, more Klingon chicanery and, by film #4 (Star Trek: The City of Forever), the formation of the Federation of Planets and Starfleet.

Oddly, in 1998, 30 years after the first movie was released (and a year after movie #12), a Star Trek series was announced. It was much like Next Generation.

Star Wars had actually been a 16 part serial that started in June, 1946 and ran every week until the end of September that year. While not a high budget affair, it was considerably better on all counts that the serials of our Earth.

All of the characters we know were in it, but the plotline focuses as much on Leia as it does on Luke, with both having all sorts of adventures and learning to use the force. In fact, they don’t even meet until episode 9. Han Solo is Luke’s older cousin and not a smuggler. Chewbacca is shorter and has much lighter colored fur, but still does not speak any Earth tongue. C3PO and R2D2 are clunkier looking and both speak English, but are otherwise the same bots we know.

Leia travels with her best friend, Landa Kalrisian, who has green skin and pointy elf-like ears. Both can kick serious ass when needed. Landa can also sometimes become invisible. Leia is also a top notch pilot.

Darth Vader is not as we know him, having a much more Ming the Merciless streak and silver and black armor. He’s still a huge menace, can do that Force choke and wields a deadly lightsaber.

The serial ran on television starting around 1952 and was much beloved by many future filmmakers, including young George Lucas. You can guess how that turned out.

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