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Literature / Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War

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Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War is a timeline on AlternateHistory.com by Anarcho-Occultist.

The premise is simple — that during World War II, it was discovered that magic is real. While this ultimately fails to save Nazi Germany, the Allies and the Soviets are inspired to take up their own research into the paranormal, finding that a great many things believed to be myths and legends are quite real.

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What follows is a vastly different Cold War, as various elements usually found in works of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books are allowed to play out in the real world, greatly changing the course of global history.

The timeline is ongoing and can be found here.

Tropes in this timeline:

  • Alien Space Bats: This alternate history timeline revolves around the effects that a sudden re-discovery of magic in the 1940s would have on the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • The Alliance:
    • The Non-Aligned Movement is an even stronger example than in real life, due to various members having access to all sorts of paranormal resources. While not enough to truly stand against either of the superpowers, they are at least more capable of standing on their own.
    • During the East African War, Tanzania and Kenya unite to stand together against Uganda's aggression.
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    • The Oslo Pact, a mutual defense and trade agreement between the four Scandinavian countries and the Aesir.
  • Alternate History: Based on the concept of magic and other paranormal elements being inserted into the real world from WWII onwards.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Discussed, as it's mentioned that the number of proven paranormal events in this universe make it hard for anyone to seriously be skeptical about claims of things like Bigfoot or UFOs.
  • Assassination Attempt:
    • Nazi Germany's first major outing with the paranormal involved sending an assassin armed with Schaefer's never-miss gun (mentioned below) after Churchill, only for it to fail when the assassin ran out of bullets.
    • When Bose takes over India and starts talking about taking back Kashmir and Bengal, Pakistan sends a Jinn to kill him. Thanks to his own powers, he survives long enough for his own magic experts to seal the Jinn away.
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  • Atlantis: While the main location hasn't been found yet, an outpost full of Lost Technology is discovered by Spain in the eastern Atlantic in the 1970s. It's also mentioned in the prologue that Atlantis was at war with Mu (which is discovered by Indonesia in the 50s) during ancient times.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: Majestic-12 is presented as forming a shadow government not for personal gain like in most conspiracy theories, but in order to ensure that continuity is maintained even if Soviet or alien attacks wipe out the main government.
  • Beware the Superman: Some metahumans use their abilities for their own gain. The best example of this to date is Subhas Bose, whose telekinetic and flight abilities led him to declare himself chosen by the gods (later amending it to being an incarnation of Shiva himself) before leading an ultranationalist takeover of India and going to war with Pakistan.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: These guys are among the cryptids that are confirmed to exist in this universe. Yeti in particular become endangered after the Himalayan War destroys much of their natural food sources.
  • Brain Uploading:
    • Thanks to technology provided by Renzaoren, Malenkov has Stalin's mind revived in a computer. Unfortunately, the experience drives Stalin completely insane, and he launches a nuke at Moscow before being shut down for good.
    • Francisco Franco does something similar with a supercomputer recovered from an Atlantean outpost. Since unlike Stalin he's still alive when the transition happens, he maintains his sanity.
  • Civil War:
    • A four-way one breaks out in Egypt between those supporting the resurrected Ramses XI, the remaining supporters of the ousted General Naguib, and Muslim and Communist forces each seeking to take over for themselves. Thanks to American and Israeli support, Ramses wins.
    • After coming into his powers, Bose launches a revolution against Nehru's government in order to take over India. Later, following Bose's death, many of his metahuman lieutenants fight to succeed him, while uprisings by the Sikh population, Nehru loyalists, and the Communist Party of India (who want a "purer" socialism than Bose's Soviet allies provide) also occur; this conflict ends with Bose's appointed second-in-command M.S. Golwalker managing to crush all rebellions and secure his control.
    • One breaks out in Spain after Franco digitizes his consciousness to try and rule forever, as Luis Blanco and his supporters (who want to reform the country) rebel against him, as do the forces of Alejandro de Valcarcel (who just wants power for himself); likewise, several left-wing groups launch insurgencies, as do Moroccan and Catalonian nationalist forces. In the end, Blanco emerges victorious, as Valcarcel is killed and Franco and his forces are reduced to a compound in the Pyrenees, though the nationalist separatists also succeed.
    • After Nergal wipes out the Iraqi government in 1979, the country dissolves into chaos as numerous factions — army cliques, Baathists, Islamist militants, minority nationalist/separatist groups, a Sumerian-obsessed metahuman backed by Nergal himself — all start fighting for control of the country. With none able to gain an edge, they end up locked in a bloody stalemate.
  • Colonized Solar System: By the 1980s, both scientific and magical understanding has reached a point that the US and USSR are able to start setting up colonies on Venus, the Moon, and Mars.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ramses XI's magically empowered mummy armies show how dangerous a sentient undead enemy can be, as he easily overwhelms the Egyptian forces sent against him.
  • Curse of the Pharaoh: An archaeological dig accidentally frees Ramses XI from his tomb, allowing his army of mummies and animated statues to conquer Egypt... though to his credit, once he catches up with the times he's a decent leader and better to the people than the military dictatorship they were dealing with beforehand. After cutting deals with America and Israel, he's able to solidify his rule.
  • Decapitation Strike:
    • Typhon wipes out most of the leadership of the Kingdom of Greece, effectively dissolving the whole faction and allowing the Communists to win the civil war.
    • Saloth Sar's regime is brought to an end when he and his whole government are killed in a nuclear strike.
    • The first thing Nergal does after taking a human host is obliterate the Iraqi government, creating the power vacuum that leads to the chaotic mess of a civil war that follows.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Frederick Barbarossa's knights, while highly skilled warriors by Medieval standards and outfitted with armor strong enough to shrug off gunfire for a short amount of time, are not outright supernatural. They're still very much mortal, and sustained gunfire will overwhelm them, as will explosives and artillery rounds.
  • Deflector Shields: The Nazis developed wards that protected their key infrastructure from even direct attacks, which the Allies eventually replicated for themselves. During the Cold War, the Americans and Soviets would expand on this research to develop wards capable of holding off nuclear strikes.
  • Differently Powered Individual: As shown in the title, this timeline uses the term "metahuman" for people with superpowers, though it is noted that other terms have popped up over the years.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Whatever the hell Ivan Sanderson’s final expedition encountered in Hudson Bay. It's described as being tendrils that are made of "nothing" (being explicitly called a void), it's able to drive people to madness and cannibalism (according to Word of God, it's the in-universe inspiration for the Wendigo), and is fully aware that it's being psychically viewed from the future.
  • The Empire: Idi Amin carves one out in East Africa by conquering Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • After both the Soviets and Americans fail in their respective attempts at Regime Changes in the two Koreas, the North and South put aside their differences; while still politically separate, they stand allied against outside interference in their internal affairs.
    • The US and USSR are so horrified by Saloth Sar's regime and his plans for achieving godhood that they work together to contain and defeat him.
    • After the American and Soviet governments agree to a deal that splits colonization rights to the rest of the solar system evenly between them, there is uproar from all corners. Hawkish politicians complain about being too lenient towards the enemy, while more dovish politicians complain about it being unfair to the rest of the world's nations — most of whom, incidentally, band together to diplomatically and economically protest the attempt at hegemony by the superpowers.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Even many of Bose's Hindutva supporters start to be wary of his madness when he suggests enacting a Final Solution against Muslims.
    • Eisenhower makes it clear to President Nixon that if he continues the US's experiments with zombies, he'll resign his cabinet position in protest.
  • False Flag Operation: The Americans give the Lazarus zombie virus to a cabal rogue Haitian generals to unleash on their own population, so it will look like Duvalier is using voodoo to enforce his regime, and thus lead to his downfall. Unfortunately, he does have access to voodoo, which he uses to put down the viral zombies and stay in power.
  • Fantastic Racism: Distrust and hatred towards metahumans starts to brew in response to all those who refuse to obey the governments.
  • Fantastic Religious Weirdness: The restored prevalence of magic leads to the renewal of and increase in pagan worship, while also causing more mainstream religions to come more under the influence of their respective occult beliefs (Kabbalist Judaism, Enochian Christianity, Sufi Islam, etc.).
  • Fictional Political Party: The American Values Party, created by Joe McCarthy, the Dixiecrats, and other reactionary figures in 1960.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Downplayed with Ramses XI. He definetly shows some bewilderment as to the current state of Egypt and the world, but he adapts quite quickly.
  • For Want of a Nail: Quite a few changes compound over the years as things play out.
    • Beria is executed by Stalin in 1945 for trying to disprove the OSP's efforts by shooting Renzaoren.
    • For unspecified reasons, Centralia is never destroyed by its underground coal fire.
    • Thanks to the intervention of Prometheus and Typhon, the monarchists lose the Greek Civil War, turning Greece into a communist state.
    • Because of how things turned out in Greece, America provides more aid to the Kuomintang, allowing them to win the Chinese Civil War, reducing the PRC to just Manchuria. This also means that without a communist superpower at their back to support them, North Korea never invades the South.
    • Trofim Lysenko is purged by Stalin for opposing the Soviet use of mysticism.
    • Thanks to having golems boosting their regular military forces, Israel does well enough in the Arab-Israeli War to take and keep control of the Sinai Peninsula and Suez Canal. This causes a more embittered and paranoid Naguib to crack down on potential rebellion, including executing Nasser before he can overthrow him.
    • The Nationalists winning the Chinese Civil War helps prevent the Red Scare. As a result of this, Eisenhower stays out of the Republican primaries in 1952, causing the nomination to go to Robert Taft, who then loses to Adlai Stevenson. Party fatigue then allows Nixon to win in 1956.
    • Sabhas Bose never dies in a plane crash, and goes on to take over India after becoming a metahuman. Even after his death, his followers stay in control, keeping India as a dictatorship.
    • South Africa's imposition of apartheid leads to a native rebellion spearheaded by metahumans and shamans, which successfully overthrows the white minority government.
    • The collapse of Churchill's reputation (from his obsessive search for Excalibur) allows Anthony Eden to take over leadership of the Conservatives years sooner. He also become Prime Minister a few years ahead of OTL due to public fear after a metahuman gangster's rampage.
    • The US provides the Batista government in Cuba with the Lazarus zombie virus, which enables them to crush Castro's revolution. Conversely, attempts to use zombies to remove Francois Duvalier's regime fails due to Papa Doc fighting back with his own Voodoo Zombies, solidifying his regime; in response to the Americans' actions, Duvalier seeks closer ties to the Soviets, leading to Haiti taking the place of Cuba in a resulting missile crisis.
    • Stalin survives his 1953 stroke due to Koschei's intervention, going on to carry out several more purges, including a mini-pogrom against the Jewish population over the "Doctor's Plot" and executing Kruschev and Zhukov on Koschei's advice. When he finally does die in '58, Malenkov has him revived via Brain Uploading, only to pull the plug when this results in him going insane and launching a nuke at Moscow. With Malenkov's reputation ruined and much of the government dead from radiation poisoning, Dmitri Shepilov takes over as General-Secretary.
    • Martin Luther King is killed in 1957 by a metahuman Klansman.
    • Without the Red Scare, Joe McCarthy's witch hunts are instead focused on supposed Satanic influences in the FSB and the wider government.
    • The 1953 Iranian coup is prevented due to Mosaddegh getting a warning about it from the afterlife.
    • Similarly, the 1955 coup against Juan Peron is averted due to people being more focused on the alien parasite outbreak in Patagonia.
    • Nicolae Ceausescu's obsession with eliminating Romania's vampire problem at the expense of all other political matters eventually leads to a Military Coup in 1973, ousting him in favor of Ion Mihai Pacepa.
    • The French win the Battle of Dien Bien Phu thanks to the paranormal research at their disposal, and are able to get Nationalist China on the anti-communist side in the war.
    • Nixon is assassinated in 1964 by a metahuman associated with the Vietnamese communists. His Vice-President, Harold Stassen, wins the subsequent election by a landslide, only to then lose against JFK in '68.
    • Pol Pot never changes his name from Saloth Sar, drifts more towards mysticism than communism, and eventually turns himself and his followers into Nagas.
    • Charles de Gaulle loses his 1968 reelection following the chaos that consumes Paris in May.
    • Syngman Rhee is never ousted as President of South Korea, instead making himself the face of a new Christian movement led by Ahn Sahng-hong, who later creates a youth serum for him. The Americans eventually try to enable a pro-democracy coup against him, and when it fails he cuts an alliance with North Korea, keeping both nations separate politically but united against foreign intervention in their affairs. Rhee even shares the youth serum with Kim Il-Sung.
    • The Kuomintang are less willing to annex Tibet at first, due to not wanting to potentially upset the Yuzhou de fangshi monks in the process. And when they do eventually invade, as does India, they're forced back by Tibet's metahumans and supply of mystical artifacts.
    • The stress of the Himalayan War proves to be too much for Kai-Shek, and he dies three years sooner than OTL.
    • The advanced technology at the Soviets' disposal because of Renzaoren and his ship allows them to put the first man on the moon (Alexei Leonov, specifically) in 1962. This spurs on the American space efforts to the point that, with aid from Magitek reverse-engineered from the Roswell ship, a manned flight is successfully sent to Mars and back in 1970/71 (composed of Buzz Aldrin and Frank Borman).
    • Enoch Powell becomes British Prime Minister in 1970, leading to strained relations with JFK's America over Northern Ireland. He ends up resigning after attempts to alter history by killing George Washington causes a Time Crash.
    • Thanks to having access to necromancy, Idi Amin conquers Kenya and Tanzania, turning Uganda into one of the most powerful nations in Africa.
    • Franco's digitization of his mind into an Atlantean supercomputer and refusal to let go of power means that the transition to Luis Blanco's reformist government only happens after a bloody civil war.
    • Thanks to access to magic, the Manson Family blows up multiple buildings, and then Manson himself self-immolates when federal authorities raid his compound.
    • Instead of joining and eventually leading the Branch Davidians, David Koresh (still going by his birth name of Vernon Howell) joins Eden's Gate (OTL Heaven's Gate) and ends up trying to assassinate President Hatfield; when he fails, that's what triggers the Gate's mass suicide.
    • Instead of Christian fundamentalism, Jim Jones and Lum Jouret form cults dedicated to worship of the "Great Devourer", as does Shoko Asahara instead of forming Aum Shinrikyo.
    • Thanks to djinn employed by the Iraqi government, the Baathists never come to power, with Saddam Hussein and other leaders being purged. Later, an archaeologist becomes possessed by Nergal, who wipes out the government and starts a chaotic civil war.
    • Josef Mengele comes out of hiding in South America to provide the apartheid government of Rhodesia with genetically engineered hybrid dinosaurs (or "dracosaurs" as he calls them), which they use to regain the upper hand on the black rebels, including killing Herbert Chitepo and Robert Mugabe. This allows the ruling white minority to stay in power for several more years until diplomatic and economic pressure forces them to transition to racial equality.
  • Fourth Reich: After Skorzeny awakens Frederick Barbarossa, their combined forces declare the Holy Fourth Reich. They only conquer Thuringia before being put down by the Allied and Soviet occupational forces.
  • Ghostapo: The Nazis are the first ones to seriously investigate the paranormal, due to Himmler's obsession with it.
  • A God Am I: Bose's messiah complex eventually reaches the point where he comes to believe that he's an incarnation of Shiva.
  • Godhood Seeker: In this timeline, the Cambodian genocide is part of a massive Human Sacrifice ritual intended to turn Saloth Sar into a god. He gets nuked out of existence before he can finish the process.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The various organizations established to deal with paranormal (or "Fortean", as they’re officially dubbed) phenomena.
    • The earliest on record is the Department of Transcendent Research established by Fascist Italy.
    • The Allied Occult Initiative, a joint operation by the Allies to counter the Axis' occult efforts. It was eventually dissolved after the war when the Western powers and Soviets went their separate ways.
    • The Special Projects Division (or OSP using its Russian spelling) was established by Stalin at the end of WWII to handle Soviet supernatural studies.
    • The Fortean Studies Bureau is formed by the American government after the AOI falls apart.
    • The British develop a full Ministry of Science (in OTL, British scientific matters are organized as various departments under other ministries), which is tasked with handling unusual matters, primarily being focused on studying the time travel abilities of the Loch Ness Monster.
    • Romania develops the Bureau of Esoteric Research and Development (BCDE in Romanian) as part of Ceausescu's efforts to give his country more autonomy the Soviets in regards to paranormal matters.
  • Government in Exile:
    • After General Naguib is ousted from power by Ramses XI, he takes refuge in Syria, which backs his attempts to retake control. Meanwhile, Ramses also eventually forces out all communist forces in Egypt, which set up an "Egyptian Democratic Republic"-in-exile in Libya.
    • When Bose's revolution takes over India, Prime Minister Nehru flees to China, where he's granted sanctuary and still recognized as the legitimate leader of India.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The gun that Ernst Schaefer creates as a demonstration of his research for the Nazi high command is enchanted to never miss its target, regardless of where it's aimed. Numerous copies were eventually made and distributed to the Eastern Front, enabling their conquests there.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Nyranx Collective, whose crashed scout ship is recovered by the OSP at Tungunska, are apparently insect lifeforms, based on the corpses discovered.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • The communists still win the various wars in Indochina, despite the vastly different circumstances.
    • Richard Nixon defeats Humbert Humphrey on the elections...of 1960.
    • The president elected in 1960 (Kennedy in OTL, Nixon on this universe) would be assasinated by a marxist.
  • Kaiju: A yowie, nicknamed Berberoka, is mutated by radiation from American nuclear testing and soon grows into a 70-foot giant than ends up going on a rampage in Manila.
  • Karmic Death: Josef Mengele is ultimately killed by his own hybrid dinosaurs.
  • King in the Mountain: Frederick Barbarossa is sought out and awakened by a group of remaining Nazis to liberate Germany from Allied and Soviet occupation.
  • The Magic Comes Back: The whole premise of the story is that magic is rediscovered during World War 2, and that soon after that happens, all kinds of magical, mythological, and folkloric entities as well as humans with mutant superpowers start popping up all over the world.
  • Magitek:
    • The Japanese attempted to combine science and magic during the war, with limited success.
    • The spaceship that crashes in Roswell is found to use demon-summoning rituals to power at least some of its activities.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Under Prime Minister Enoch Powell, the British use their time travel technology to assassinate George Washington in 1775, in order to prevent the revolutionary spirit that ruined the British Empire.
  • Mêlée à Trois:
    • Egypt's Civil War upon Ramses XI's resurrection has four distinct factions — Ramses' undead forces and living supporters, the ousted General Naguib's remaining loyalists, and various Communist and Muslim groups trying to take over Egypt for themselves.
    • The power vacuum in India following Bose's death results in several of his lieutenants fighting to take his place, while also dealing with uprisings by the Sikh population, loyalists of the ousted Prime Minister Nehru, and the Communist Party of India.
    • The chaotic fighting that engulfs Paris in May 1968 is between de Gaulle's government, various socialist and right-wing groups opposed to said government and each other, and an expeditionary invasion force from an Alternate Universe when the Bonaparte dynasty conquered the world.
    • The Himalayan War involves China and India both separately invading Tibet to try and conquer it for themselves, with Tibet not only having to fend them both off but also having to deal with communist militias and fringe Buddhist sects aimed at bringing down the government.
    • The Iraqi civil war almost has too many factions to count. Army cliques, Baathists, Islamists, minority separatists, local metahumans, etc., all fighting each other for dominance.
  • Mutant Draft Board:
    • A downplayed example with the FSB's Division of Special Talents, which recruits metahumans to help enforce the law, further the government's interests, and fight those who use their powers for their own gain. It's a notably voluntary organization.
    • By contrast, the Greater People's League created by the Soviets isn't afraid to use threats against loved ones to recruit members.
    • Metahumans are also recruited by both sides in the Chinese Civil War, though organization names aren't given.
    • The Philippines have the Liga ng Pambihirang Tao (Extraordinary People's League).
    • The "Children of Shiva" recruited by Bose's Hindutva movement, which become his enforcers after he successfully takes over India.
    • The Romanian People's League is developed as part of that country's efforts to grant itself more autonomy from the Soviets.
    • France has the Ligue de Personnes Extraordinaires.
    • South Korea has the Special Orders Taskforce, which recruits loyalist metahumans to prevent coups by communist ones.
    • The East African Freedom Front is an alliance of Kenya and Tanzania's metahumans, formed to fight against Uganda in the East African War.
  • The Necrocracy: Egypt becomes this after Ramses takes over, as aside from himself, all of his servants are also undead mummies.
  • Nuclear Option: Someone (it's never determined if it was the Americans or Soviets) nukes Phnom Penh in order to kill Saloth Sar before he can finish his plans to become a god.
  • Neutral No Longer: The Yuzhou de fangshi monks at the Xuchan Shrine stay neutral for much of the Chinese Civil War, until the PLA accidentally bombs the shrine while driving out Kuomintang forces in the region. The survivors then flee to Nationalist territory and provide their services to Chiang Kai-shek.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Idi Amin proves to be this, going from being seen as a somewhat buffoonish ruler of Uganda to the master of an undead horde which he uses to conquer Tanzania and Kenya.
  • Operation: [Blank]:
    • Operation Asgard: The umbrella name for the Nazis' occult research.
    • Operation Baldur: A Nazi contingency plan enacted by Otto Skorzeny after the war to awaken Frederick Barbarossa from his slumber under the mountain and use him to establish a Fourth Reich.
    • Operation Svyatogor: The efforts by the Soviets to create wards powerful enough to protect sites from nuclear strikes.
    • Project Morlock: Efforts by the British to harness the Loch Ness Monster's natural time travel abilities.
    • Project Lazarus: Efforts by the US to develop a virus which creates controllable zombies.
    • Operation Foresight: Soviet experimentations on children with Psychic Powers.
    • Project Libitina: The American counterpart to Foresight.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: North Korea finds colonies of imugi living in their territory and start domesticating them. After the Busan Declaration formalizes an alliance between the North and South, they give the South some for the same purpose.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Jinn are presented as etheric entities of great magic power, which can only be used on someone at close range, and are bound to serve whomever holds the container they're tied to. Several Muslim nations start searching for and collecting these in order to use Jinn as weapons, while France recovers some from Algeria.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Koschei the Deathless, one of the Trope Codifiers, is discovered by the Soviets and pledges loyalty to them.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: During the 60s, Romania starts suffering attacks from vampires, which are described as humanoid beings with fanged teeth, pointed ears, and bat-like wings. They're described as being a separate species from humans (with it being specifically mentioned that bitten humans don't "turn"), with a insect-like social structure of hive-like nests ruled over by "queens" which birth all the others. Also, they're unaffected by silver and holy water, but are extremely vulnerable to fire.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: It's mentioned that Yugoslavia is experimenting on captured lycanthropes in order to figure out how to weaponize the condition.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • The attempts by Unit 731 to learn how reverse death only succeeds in creating a virus codenamed "Manchurian Gold", which kills people but resurrects them as mindless husks, lacking any will beyond external stimulus; unless given direct orders, they stay completely inert. Also, the virus can only be spread by being directly injected into a subject.
    • The American military later refines Manchurian Gold into the Lazarus virus. Infectees can spread the infection through bites and scratches, have the driving impulse to feed on human flesh, and possess enough intelligence to wield basic weapons and avoid things that may harm them.
    • Francois Duvalier makes use of Voodoo Zombies to enforce his rule of Haiti.
    • Idi Amin's secret weapon during the East African War is to have necromancers raise the corpses of every person killed as a result of his orders within Ugandan territory. This gives him thousands of undead cannibals at his disposal, which tear through enemy lines and bring Uganda victory.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Most of the other Nazi high command, including Hitler, shot down Himmler's plan to summon Eldritch Abominations to fight the Allies with, as they found it too risky to control such things.
  • Praetorian Guard: Franco recruits a group of five metahumans to act as his elite bodyguards.
  • Proxy War: The Kashmir War between India (backed by the Soviet Union) and Pakistan (backed by America).
  • Public Domain Artifact:
    • The Italians and Germans worked together to search for the Spear of Destiny in North Africa. There's no record of them succeeding.
    • Churchill became obsessed with finding Excalibur, which eventually tanked his reputation and career.
  • Pyramid Power: The first manned mission to Mars discovers a massive pyramid near the planet's north pole, but they're warned off by NASA before they can enter it.
  • Psychic Powers: While people with these abilities are believed to have existed for thousands of years, their existence is only confirmed in the 50s, with the Soviets and Americans quickly being to exploit them. Oddly, these abilities (which range for long-viewing to looking forward and backward in time) are more common in children than adults.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Lyudmila Zhivkova creates a belief system mixing socialism and spiritualism, stating that gods are the bourgeois of the spiritual world ruling over the proletariat lesser spirits (including angels, demons, djinn and elementals), and calling for all gods to be ousted so that spirits and humans can all reach godhood in their place.
  • Realpolitik:
    • Despite distrusting Mao, Stalin still provides the PRC in the Chinese Civil War in order to avoid having an American ally right on his borders.
    • Both the US and Israel cut deals for material support with Ramses XI's takeover of Egypt — for the Americans, it's the standard "as long as he's not communist" philosophy, while for the Israelis it's because he only wants to rule Egypt as it existed in his time (which doesn't include the Sinai territories Israel took from modern Egypt), and also because he doesn't care either way about Jews and is outright hostile towards the surrounding Muslim countries.
    • The Soviets are also happy to support Bose's attempts to take over India, in the hopes of bringing it into their fold, despite Bose and his followers being more interested in a Hindu theocracy than socialism.
    • For a time, Nationalist China refrains from annexing Tibet due to not wanting to anger the Yuzhou de fangshi monks. Eventually, however, they feel that it's better to risk it than let Tibet fall under India's sway.
    • During the East African War, nations like Israel and South Africa send material support to Kenya and Tanzania to fight off Uganda's aggression. And after Uganda wins, Rwanda and Ethiopia make concessions to Amin to keep him from invading them too, Rhodesia sends him extravagant gifts to keep him from supporting rebellion's against their white minority rule, and both the USA and USSR compete to get him in their respective camps.
    • During the Spanish civil war that breaks out after Franco digitizes his consciousness, NATO supplies aid to Luis Blanco's reformist forces, due to being more amenable to their interests. The Soviets, meanwhile, support left-wing guerrillas in Catalonia for the same reasons.
    • Once the Iraqi civil war breaks out, the western powers, Soviet bloc, and the various members of the Non-Aligned Movement all start funneling material support to whichever of the various factions is most in keeping with their respective agendas.
    • When the Americans and Soviets unilaterally decide to evenly split the rest of the solar system between the two of them for colonization, most of the rest of the nations with space programs retaliate with diplomatic and economic pressure that eventually forces the two superpowers to agree to UN arbitration on how much of each planet they can colonize.
    • While Rhodesia is able to maintain white minority rule for several more years than in reality, several factors — the total lack of foreign aid, the eventual retirement, death, or defection of all their local metahumans, and the fact that Mengele's dracosaurs aren't a long-term tactical solution to the black militants — causes them to eventually submit to the inevitable and agree to transition to equality to avoid being overthrown.
  • The Remnant: After the civil war that breaks out in response to Franco digitizing his mind, Franco's loyalists are reduced to a single fortified compound in the Pyrenees — too secure for enemy forces to take, but leaving them without the resources to attempt to retake the country.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Renzaoren, the Nyranx envoy uncovered at Tunguska by the OSP. He looks completely human, to the point that it takes being shot and shrugging of the attack to reveal that he's not.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: In this timeline, an alien spaceship most definitely does crash in Roswell.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once a group of Chinese farmers discover what is obviously the tomb of the first Qin emperor, complete with a terracotta army, they realize they're in for another Ramses XI incident and book it out of there immediately. Needless to say, they had the right idea.
  • Shout-Out: A few.
    • The American psychic research program is called Project Libitina and the one psychic in it explicitly named is named Monica.
    • Ghana gets assistance from an entity going by Mr. Nancy.
    • Stalin surviving his stroke and persecuting Jews is similar to another AH.com timeline.
    • The Japanese prototype zombie virus is codenamed Manchurian Gold, which is also the name of the biological compound responsible for causing hallucinations in Man of Medan.
    • The Time Crash listed below includes an appearance by a person from Oceania and a group of Americans waving a syndicalist flag from Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg.
  • Snake People: The Khmer Isarrak eventually turn themselves into Naga in order to give themselves an edge over the French. After they win the war, they proceed to force the entire (surviving) population of Cambodia to transform themselves in much the same way. According to Word of God, 2/3 of Cambodians are Naga by the time Saloth Sar's regime is destroyed, with no way of returning them to normal.
  • Soviet Super Science: In addition to their studies into the occult, the Soviets also make great technological advances thanks to reverse engineering the Nyranx ship they find. By the 60s, they're a heavily automated society, and even capable of building computers that a person's mind can be uploaded into (though as noted elsewhere, that goes very badly).
  • Stock Ness Monster: The British discover that "Nessie" is a species of plesiosaur which is somehow capable of traveling through time on their own ability. The reason they're so hard to track in the loch is because they keep traveling back to the Mesozoic.
  • Suddenly Significant City: After Phnom Penh is nuked, Cambodia's new provisional government is set up in Krong Svay Rieng.
  • Super Supremacist: Starting in the 60s, some metahumans start to believe that they're superior to normal humans and saying that they should have their own separate nations.
  • Time Crash: The British attempt to use time travel assassinate George Washington doesn't alter the primary timeline, but does create a paradox that causes people and things from different time periods and alternate timelines to start popping up, which only resolves itself when the British undo the assassination.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Nazis uncovered a great number of these, which were later confiscated by the Allies and Soviets.
  • The Tunguska Event: The OSP investigate it, and find that it was caused by a crashed alien spaceship.
  • The Virus: In 1954, an alien ship crashes in Patagonia and unleashes a plague of parasites which quickly spreads across much of the lower half of the country before the military figures out how to stop them.
  • War from Another World: In May of 1968, France suffers a brief military incursion from an Alternate Universe where the Bonaparte dynasty never fell and took over the world, with them now seeking to becoming Multiversal Conquerors.
  • Warrior Monk: The practitioners of the Chinese martial art Yuzhou de fangshi, which allows them to tap into chi and enhance their natural abilities.
  • Was Once a Man: The entire country of Cambodia was forcibly and permanently turned into the first majority non-human nation (with only 1/3 of the population still being human or metahuman) by Saloth Sar's regime attempts at converting all Cambodians into Naga.
  • Weird Historical War: Pretty much every war from World War II onwards, natch, due to the supernatural, superpowers, alien tech, and so on.
  • Who Shot JFK?: Rather than Kennedy, it's Nixon who's assassinated in Texas, albeit in Houston instead of Dallas. Also, it's by a man who's very clearly associated with the Vietnamese communists; this more clearcut motivation eliminates the conspiracy theories that surround Kennedy's death in OTL.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Soviets don't really care about the age of the test subjects in their psychic experiments.

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