Fanfic: Samowar in Atlantis
Four years after writing for the Alternate History Chaos Timeline ended, another German reader from AlternateHistory.com came to abuse its world as a playground to poach around in it as he found it easier and more exciting than writing a timeline on his own. It ended as a 30-pager with the title "Samowar In Atlantis" which in the meantime has extended beyond its initial scope.Ten years after the Grand Finale, Björn, some guy from European Germany recollects his memories from said ten years and further back as he's talking to another freshman at a pub tour at the very beginning of his second studies.If you want to read the story in total at AlternateHistory.com, you have to be logged in at the forum as a registered member. Don't blame us, blame the board!Now has its own character sheet.
Samowar in Atlantis contains examples of the following tropes:Just like the mothership Chaos Timeline, the trope list of Samowar in Atlantis is foldered into thematic categories too.General Insane Character Love Shout
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- Added Alliterative Appeal: Nipponese pirates are refered to as "chin-chin choppers", even outside the relatively small Anglosphere in this world.
- Allohistorical Allusion: In this world, Yom haShoah stands for the day when The End of the World as We Know It nearly happened and was combatted (i.e. the Streich). And Judeans mark it in the same way as real Isrealis do it, a minute of standstill with loud sirenes to commemorate the horror and the salvation from said obstacle.
- Anachronic Order: The initial 30-pager played on a day in 2003. The subsequent stories jump back and forth between 1989 and 2010.
- Author Avatar: Split between Saskia and Björn.
- Author Filibuster: Lots of it. Where do we get started?
- Greece is not considered to be any an important part of the Socialist Block. Guess what the author thinks about Greece in the Eurozone!
- German has an own short acronym for a bunch of guys sharing a flat, they call it a "WG" or Wohngemeinschaft, an issue especially for poor students. While searching for shelter, he used some short-lived shelter of this kind to do so that was rather organized like a firm rather than a commune because its head (Saskia) dislikes affecting her "business" with all too many unproductive quarrels. And Björn loves it that way.
- Effects of local world-shattering events on the aftermath. You see, here were Germans on board.
- Teltow airport is kind of an Allohistorical Allusion that eventually got Harsher in Hindsight. Think about the clusterfuck that's the Berlin Brandenburg International Airport.
- Blessed with Suck: Parodied with the "downfall" of nightlife after the Streich in Dresden, the former capital of European Germany.
- But We Used a Condom:
They talk a lot about condoms to keep unwanted "souvenirs" away from you. But this special trope is conversed when it's about a core philosophy of this timeline's "Anti-Buddhist" religion, that everything can serve both good and bad purposes. Here the proposed use of condoms is contrasted to their misuse for illegal drug trafficking and the even worse consequences of a leak in said condom for that matter.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Alternative names for the Streich have shown up. He coined the term Numeric Mutiny note and proposed Yom haShoah note for Hebrew.
- Cassandra Truth:
Björn says that, at the beginning of their engagement, he didn't really believe Natascha about the part with her parents hiking in the Golan and dismissed it as a lousy excuse to ensure him that they could go banging in their house without getting caught in the act. In turned out to be true after all and Björn started to believe her at least before their apocalyptic lovegame and while he spent ten days with Natascha and got to know part of her extended family, her parents just weren't there.
- Coming-of-Age Story:
Deconstructed at least for Björn. The childhood part is lacking altogether. Sex as a Rite-of-Passage is subverted to hell and back. 1993 Judea are only a pre-course to his subsequent encounters in Europe, let alone his studies in Atlantis a couple of years later. And it stretches a whole decade. Also see Overshadowed by Awesome.
- Convenient Eclipse:
The total eclipse of 1999 was a welcome reason for Björn to get back to Europe. And to meet Natascha again. And Tatjana. And Topper. And whoever else there may have been. And to bitch about the W-Tech, Ignaz Schuhmann and anything else.
- Coolest Club Ever: The Peklo note in this timeline's Tel Aviv. It's implied that at least the beer was as Czech as the name implies.
- Department of Redundancy Department: A major critique of the mentor towards the author. Others include Ripped from the Headlines and Brain Bleach.
- Dolled-Up Installment:
At the beginning, Samowar In Atlantis wasn't supposed to get a title at all, and the "samovar" was only intentioned to be a part of the Russian proverb "bringing your samovar (or your coal) to Tula (or Newcastle)" to imply, among others, the influence of Gratuitous Russian on the Gratuitous German in this world. But the wish to smoothly integrate this issue led to the samovar becoming Björn's nickname... and then he went to Atlantis.
- Double Entendre: "chin-chin" refers both to the Italian way to say cheers and to the little emperor in the pants of Chinese that get regularly chopped off after they were killed by Nipponese pirates.
- Drink Order: If Tatjana orders some nice Budvar (especially for other people) at the Peklo in Tel Aviv, she doesn't say a word, but applies Electronic Telepathy to the club owner and he knows exactly what she wants.
- Everything Is Big in Texas: Subverted. When Simon asks Björn if dishes in Atlantis were bigger than in Europe, Björn negates and said that "Atlantis also ceased to be what it used to be" and that Argentina were the better destination to go for that.
- Expospeak: This story necessarily runs on this because it contains little more than extensive dialogue.
- Expy: Björn's picker in Judea, Natascha, cousin of Tatjana, is meant to be a crossbreed of two better-known celebrity redheads described at the Shout-Out section, one of them that's also been labeled by a lover as...
- Björn: "[...] very, very good and surprisingly experienced, extremely flexible and adventurous [...]"
- Fair for Its Day: In-universe. Germany's late semi-authoritarian, rather socially conservative technocratic regime is at least depicted as curtailing Holier Than Thou excesses by lower-level authorities against whatever little exists in open gay culture. Real technocrats think in The Stoic terms and therefore dislike Holier Than Thou excesses.
- Footnote Fever
- Foreign Queasine: Simon talks about cuisine experience with whale meat. Björn is divided on the issue.
- Gallows Humour: Actually a shout-out to the Chile entry of the 1983: Doomsday timeline at Wikia.Björn: "You know, the attack on the Summer Palace was the best thing that ever happened to Mecklenburg."
- German Dialects: As the conversation takes place in a city in Saxony, somebody rushes into the bar sounding like a firetruck while he is actually asking for some guy called Dieter, doing this with a heavy Saxon accent. These accents get further lampshaded with the saying...Simon: "In Magdeburg there are five ways to pronounce the G, but G is not among them."
- Gratuitous German: Duh, we're in Germany in case you forgot.
- Groin Attack: Nipponese pirates, hoo boy! Thankfully it's just a written story and lacks the need for a Gory Discretion Shot.
- Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It:
Subverted. The conventional time reckoning of this timeline remained unchanged after the Streich, but this didn't keep the author from opening almost every story with telling you how many days have exactly passed since that event at said dates. In German, of course.
- In Vino Veritas:
Irish-Catholic missionary Patricia is this trope after a mere four or five beers at the Peklo in Tel Aviv. Only that way we hear what she really thinks about her motherlanders and that they're at least good for boozing and knocking boots. And she also won't consider herself too good to meow, purr and get her non-existant fur ruffled by Tatjana as long as she isn't sober.
- London England Syndrome: Unavoidable in a three-continental Germany.
- Bjorn openly admits that a "Battle of Monaco" could have taken place either at the French Riviera or at one of the two German Munichs, one in Bavaria and one in our timeline's Iowa.
- Paulskirchen in Argentina (at our Sao Paolo) finally became St. Pauli (not all related to the Hamburg neighborhood) to distinguish it handily from the original Paulskirchen in Atlantis (at Minneapolis/St. Paul).
- There's also mention of a city of "Nagold/Innernakota" and a town of "Freudenstadt/Südnakota", both in our Dakotas. The originals are actually at the Black Forest in Southwestern Germany.
- MacGuffin: The item called "samovar", a Russian and Southwest Asian tea cooking device.
- Missing Steps Plan: Oh Björn, we know that the place is full of hipsters and scenesters (or Szenevolk) and that you could potentially exploit their solvency. But what do you want to sell?
- Mix-and-Match Critter: A French-Canadian gets tricked into chasing a dahu.
- Mother Nature, Father Science: A mild example with Rosi studying biology as a typical female discipline and specializing into marine biology, heading to Franzensburg (our San Francisco).
- My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Someone has drafted a bill calling for mandatory gamete freezing to combat problems of too many people carelessly missing their twelth hour, in order to prepare for a theoretical Sterility Plague.
- New Millennium Has Come and been celebrated in Dominikaner-Arkaden of Wildenhartburg.
- Nostalgia Filter: The implied Unreliable Narrator sees pre-Streich Dresden through very rose-tinted glasses.
- One Degree of Separation
- Overreacting Airport Security: One needs to wonder how low-brow the security personell at Teltow Airpot has to be if the silhouette of an oriental tea cooker makes them nearly run havoc, though it's not like they had to be prepared for living through one coup after another.
- Overshadowed by Awesome:
Björn explicitally states that his really first sex some one or two years before didn't qualify as much as Sex as Rite-of-Passage as his affair in Judea. And said affair with Natascha had lesser long-term effects than his encounter with Tatjana.
- Pittsburgh: He did his MBA (or its equivalent) in its Alternate Timeline counterpart. Its name is actually a portmanteau of its two head rivers.
- Planet of Hats: Judea to some extent. It's treated like a crossover of Pleasure Planet and clichés you'd find in Ephraim Kishon works, especially Jewish Complaining.
- Poor Man's Substitute:
After the author mentioned the brothel "Rote Fahne" from the mentor's GURPS adventure sources, the mentor revealed its hookers to be an in-universe example of this trope. While there would indeed be hookers of English, French, Italian, Spanish and Scandinavian mother tongue, they were actually supposed to be from Atlantis or just anywhere outside the Socialist Block. As the chapter straddling this issue takes place several years after this timeline's Velvet Revolution, things may have actually changed in the meantime though.
- Pun: The "wild-hardness" of Wildenhartburg.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: Even unprovoked, Björn makes it clear that he really hates it to hear his hometown Wismar in Mecklenburg being called part of a Dunkeldeutschland note and complains about how his place supposedly used to be treated like a contagious disease.
- Reality Subtext:
Björn is said to remember the 1998 W-Tech so well because that's "how he saw things survive that otherwise got lost", the lifesaver being the transatlantic tunnel feeding in European guests. That's a hint to the former Love Parade that struggled to take place in most of the 2000s and found its final blow after the third event in the Ruhr.
- Real Life Writes the Plot:
The chapter "Coincidence" describes a "double-blind what-if" scenario wherein an actual author-mentor experience was detailed: The author of the original timeline (called the mentor here) introduced an at least once admired, but otherwise obscure singer as a #1 star in his timeline that actually existed in reality among otherwise perfectly fictional characters. The author of the fanfic, when writing his fanfic, found a record of said singer at a peddlar's market, right in the city where said singer comes from.
- Ridiculously Fast Construction: A transatlantic tunnel in four years? Yes, really!
- Ripped from the Headlines: Some parts of the story seem to borrow a bit too heavily from Real Life German issues. What about a Bury Your Gays-wannabe county marshall or the "swarm in the heads"?
- Screw the War, We're Partying!:
The apocalyptic mood of the world up to 1993 has been explained to have resulted in this trope, and it's heavily implied that at least those in the vague know of events of World War III and not being actual Logos followed Isaiah 22:13 to a tittle. Becomes an Inverted Trope for at least some places where the party ends once the peace is secured.
- Shout-Out: Got its own folder.
- Slept Through the Apocalypse:
Björn likes to describe his big after-lay nap with Natascha after their Must Not Die a Virgin moment that way. Maybe he really felt that way, but maybe he exaggerated a bit to put a little more drama to the story. Oh, did we mention that apocalypse was avoided?
- Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality:
Somewhere between levels 5 and 6. Björn got hooked up in Judea by a three years older girl, being nobody else than the cousin of the female mutinist number 1, and loved it. Björn's first host in Atlantis also was a girl and would later provide him with crucial information. And his girlfriend Rosi beats the crap out of her father whenever she deems it necessary. The girls in this world seem pretty dangerous and no longer in need of such a thing as role models.
- They Killed Kenny: Discussed and inverted. Björn explains that some Kenny at least temporarily killed his favorite band (Kerrygoldnote ) by his exit. Because in the promised land of Irish Australia, Kenny kills you!
- Title Drop: Tried and failed. Essentially it became a string of Author Filibuster and Brain Bleach and Naughty by Night and You Are Number Six.
- Toilet Humor: To the point that Brain Bleach entered the storyline as a form of Self-Deprecation.
- Viva Las Vegas: Björn regarding the assence of his affair with Natascha in 1993 Judea, aka "What happens in X stays in X". Though that doesn't keep Björn from deliberately seeing Tascha again.
- You Are Number Six:
As a legacy of the technocracy, everybody living in Germany has a national personal identity number. Unlike the actual German social security number whose format this fictional system is pretty much based on, its usage is much more versatile and pretty much like the system in Sweden where you're essentially screwed without it, even more so than without an SSN in the United States. For people like Saskia who needs to keep track of many former tenants (for deposits and the like), requiring someone to tell their identity number alongside their name is a common practice to fub off imposers.
- Artistic License - Economics: Author and mentor had at least one or another word with each other about a "basic income guarantee". Note that the end of the timeline belongs to the category "post-scarcity economics".
- Brain Bleach: Björn lies about "no longer knowing what title the book was" that he read. Actually it's a form of justified Executive Meddling because the book is Nausea Fuel and it's still implied. note
This is later subverted with the Nipponese intestinal cancer patient in Fort Knox whose personal context provides a literal understanding of its metaphor as he was a chin-chin chopper.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know:
When Björn employs his short link to his Judean Logo friend to find out more about Ignaz Schuhmann and gets serious results, he developes a clue of how Fynstr screwed things up in the military networks due to throwing together one Schu(h)mann with another and nearly made things escalate to apocalyptic levels. Björn doesn't Go Mad from the Revelation, but he's tactful enough to not confront the Schuhmann guy with the awful truth.
- Too Much Information: Natascha? Did you really have to tell Björn how fertile you were in the night of the looming apocalypse? On the other hand, apocalypse doesn't happen every day, you know.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: You probably won't remember whose brother you caught on that one shift in Switzerland, Herr Ignaz Schuhmann, no? Björn thought so too and that's why he didn't confront the Schuhmann family with that discovery he made.
- Cat Girl: Played with. The mentor told the author that "Cat" Tatjana is based on a real woman with that name. The author likes cats as well. Thus he makes several characters play cat sometimes.
- Just the First Citizen: Lampshaded with Björn explaining the titles of all Socialist national leaders and some others.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Finster brothers have been displayed like this with a twist. Before his incarceration, big brother Ruedi was the red oni to the blue oni of Magnus. Twelve years later, a very active Magnus brings the broken shell of a man that his brother meanwhile became back home.
- Tattooed Crook: Ruedi Finster got twelve bulbous spires tattoed on his back for every year he's been in jail out in Argentinien, even though he's never been part of The Mafiya but rather the complete opposite.
- Those Two Guys: Patricia and Sean, two Irish-Catholic missionaries hanging out in Judea ten years after the Streich, in what could be considered a Busman's Holiday shortly before getting to Africa as election watchdogs.
- Vodka Drunkenski: Alcohol was completely banned from all trains and train stations in Atlantis or heading to it for the duration of the W-Tech festival in 1998. That's because the transatlantic maglev tunnel just went online at Christmas before and because new European guests in the million-margin just smell like trouble, especially as you can expect guests like Oleg from Kiev among them.
Love & Sexual Tropes
- Disposable Love Interest: The mutual disposability of Björn and Natascha gets discussed as a major reason why said love interest ever got pursued in the first place. Because "what you do on vacation, stays on vacation!"
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Defied. Björn says that sexualizing whole nations only puts said nationals under unnecessary strain.
- Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex:
Natascha gets to know firsthand by her own cousin via Electronic Telepathy that apocalypse was called off and awaits her affair Björn for breakfast where he says that his instinct was to just deliberately impregnate her at the kitchen table.
Natascha on the other hand would not have minded if he'd had that idea just some hours before when she was lolling in her sleep for offering him her birth-control-free loins to give it to her bareback as consequences wouldn't have mattered in the expected event of becoming Grey Goo anyway. And that she's been in her fertile days anyway. Both of them were quite shocked about their own colors. As a consequence, Natascha gets herself an IUD for that matter after all that.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Why Björn slept with Natascha in 1993 Judea.
- Nerds Are Virgins: A lot of freshmen at the Chemnitz Polytechnic are implied to be exactly this.
- No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Averted with Björn regarding Natascha, he loved it. Reconstructed in the end as Björn states that being a literal Chick Magnet also is something he needn't have had.
- Pre-Climax Climax: One of the sub-chapters has been dubbed "Riding Through The Apocalypse" for a reason.
- Sex Tourism: Many a character makes the impression that their entire quests through the world were little more than this. Most notably Patricia Ó Domnhall.
- Your Cheating Heart: Topper and Tatjana are said to have laid bets on whether Björn and Natascha cheated on their respective significant others with each other as they're all in Southern Bavaria to watch the total solar eclipse of 1999.
- "When it comes to bowel cancer, fun stops with me. I head to prophylaxy!"
The plot with the gastroentorologist medical praxis featuring a retired and sick Nipponese pirate and a man who's coming to prevent related diseases is a reference to series of German TV ads featuring comedians calling for bowel cancer awareness under the mentioned motto.
- And yes, it's hard to hook somebody up, even if you're a girl. On the other hand, not every girl is a gremlin like Snooki, you know?
- Björn admits that it's a shame to not really remember the first time you did "das gute A". The "good A" (two sockpuppets humping each other) is the classical ending of Das Alphabet mit Bimmel und Bommel, a Show Within The Show of the legendary late night talk show Die Harald Schmidt Show.
And like the passive part of the sockpuppets therein, Björn admits that the good A is his absolute favorite letter!
- Björn also has a college classmate whose name is Ulf Ekberg.
- Björn also sings the "Brandenburg" song by Rainald Grebe, taking Flyover Country Up to Eleven.
- Björn explains his choice for university to study BA with the desire to have a "bill to clean his dirty coat with". Such a bill, a so-called Persilschein note , was a literal carte blanche in the denazification process in Germany after World War II proving you didn't play an active role in the atrocities of Those Wacky Nazis.
- Björn goes completely Deng Xiaoping when he states that it didn't matter if the cat were black or white, so long it catches mice. In fact, it's a centuries-old proverb from the Chinese Sichuan province where Deng hailed from.
- Björn rants about someone destroying his favorite band by leaving it on July 17th, 1995.
- "Fearless traveler" Filip Desastre in a book called "Molvistan" is a reference to Philippe Miseree from the book Molvania: A Land Untouched By Modern Dentistry.
- It was 1993, Björn was caught somewhere between boy and man, she was seventeen and far from in-between, it was summer time in... nope, not Northern Michigan, but Tel Aviv will do as well.
- Nightclub "Peklo" in this world's Tel Aviv is a reference to the Mecca nightclub in Prague, Czech Republic.
- People having it so good that they get bored and start to protest. Sounds much like Janet Reno dealing with Romanian quintuplets.
- Rosi finally gets to Franzensburg to work in marine biology. Well, Frisco and whales, where did we have this once again?
- Simon tells Björn that Kathi from Kattowitz is a cow that he should forget and that they'd better go for a drink. Right Said Fred, anyone?
- The end is near? Do it extra long and unprotected! This very last time...
- The multiple hints to a Lithuanian family name note meaning "squirrel" or "the squirrel-like" appear to become a Running Gag.
- There's also a reference to a German Big Brother season back in late 2000, by Mike Krüger in 7 Tage - 7 Köpfe:Simon: "[...] But you know, those who bring cans to the container get pledge!"
- Ulf had a problem with his sat nav that Björn solved with a slightly different pronunciation of the target address. That's a hint to the role of Ottfried Fischer in Pfarrer Braun note in the episode "Kein Sterbenswörtchen" (lit. "not the death of a word") where the seemingly difficult word to pronounce for the sat nav was that of the Saxon town of Liebwitz.