Linby Docks Artifact
Widely reported as an embarrassing intelligence failure at the time, the German attack on the “Linby Docks” (two decidedly inland, artificial streams with no maritime or other mundane strategic importance) in World War II was in fact entirely deliberate; and it had nothing to do with the docks. The Nazis were aiming at the ley lines. Obviously.
‘Altvac’ is short for ‘alternate vacation.’ It’s one of the things that you get when the concept of alternate timelines is first finally proven, then commercialized: people go find a timeline where they exist, only in a different life, and then they and their alternate selves swap timelines for a week or two. It’s considered rude to not tell anybody that you’re temporarily living your alternate self’s life, but it often happens, which can lead to some very interesting social situations. At least one media company films the most entertaining ones, for later commercial use.
This came to me in a dream while I was napping after a combination hot tub / wet sauna / tropical shower at the spa (and damned if I didn’t need all of that, too). I then came back home, wrote it all down, and then hit Publish before I came to my senses. Because, really, this is awful. Too awful not to share.
Time Intervention File #1599-SHA-COMM
Good morning, team. The text that you are about to read showed up this morning in an authenticated, pre-First Folio 1602 AD copy of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Before anybody asks: yes, it absolutely is real. Well, real now.
Well. You can bring the orcs, ogres, goblins, hobgoblins, and even the more reasonable sorts of giants firmly into the benevolent grip of civilization. You can even install their most prominent families firmly into the local aristocratic and other power structures. But the, ah, Vigorous Races will still have their little ways.
Hearthfire Agricultural Genetic Solutions
Background: Hearthfire Agricultural Genetic Solutions is a biotech corporation operating primarily in the United States and Canada, with offices in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile. It specializes in practical, low-level applications of past biological discoveries after the patents run out (or become available). To give one example: Hearthfire would not have been involved in the creation of something like Golden Rice, but the company would be actively trying to make a variant of the finished product that would be available to as many people as possible, and as widely as possible.
Wars of the Clouds
Wherever a storm rages, so does a war.
There are billions upon billions of water-sprites in our atmosphere; sapient, almost entirely unaware of our lives and we of theirs, and busy with their own affairs and conflicts. Some of their sages are aware that things have been seen in the cloud-world, over the last century; those sages have generally kept silent on the subject, because the things cannot be countered or even affected, so knowledge of the things would do more harm than good. Besides, there are other things to focus the attention of water-spirits, such as their constant state of war.
Consider the species Halictus rubicundus, or the sweat bee. Called ‘humble’ by the unilluminated, H. rubicundus in fact has quite the arcane civilization going on. And it’s a peculiarly epic civilization, too: vast lands of decadent cities that contend with virile barbarians, with offerings made to strange gods in secluded places and weird magics practiced in stygian darkness. Epic wars, too, in the air, with vast armies contesting over resources or pride or even simple glory. The sheer romance of it all! One would be utterly entranced by such things… except that they’re sweat bees, so most humans can’t really see any of this. The time scale disparity alone makes it difficult for humanity to understand what’s going on; from a sweat bee’s point of view, humans are more or less Ents. Sometimes extremely cranky Ents.
The Human Nose Boop
Well, it’s like this. Most species in the Galaxy have this one spot on their nose — the exact point varies from species to species, of course — where a quick squeeze can temporarily override their neural systems. It’s not immediately dangerous, and in fact the sensation is remarkably pleasant, but obviously a vulnerability to being knocked in one shot is a problem. Fortunately, it’s a very specific spot on the nose, and you need to do it in a precise way, and it’s effectively impossible to hit that spot if you can’t even see it, and no species even can.