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Literature / Orange Tempest

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Orange Tempest is an ongoing Alternate History timeline by Alternate History Geek, a member of, exploring what might have happened had 2010's Hurricane Igor become a Category 5 hurricane and hit Bermuda, New England, Atlantic Canada, and eventually Europe. It can be read here, and its table of contents is here.

Orange Tempest contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: Large areas of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard have to be evacuated indefinitely after the Pilgrim Plymouth nuclear power plant melts down and explodes as a result of Hurricane Igor.
    • Then taken Up to Eleven when a huge expanse of northeastern Japan is contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini meltdowns.
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  • Ass Shove: Delta Airlines Flight 2168 is brought down by a suicide bomber with a bomb hidden in his rectum.
  • Atomic Hate: Several nuclear weapons are used in the Pakistani Civil War. Another is used by Israel against Syrian and Hezbollah forces after they launch a chemical attack on Israel.
    • And ten nuclear weapons get used in the North Korean Civil War.
  • Berserk Button: See Roaring Rampage of Revenge below.
  • Civil War: After the ISI's coup attempt, Pakistan falls into civil war between the ISI, the Army, and Baloch separatists. After the ISI's forces launch an attack against a nuclear weapons storage facility and manage to capture several nukes, the Army uses several tactical nukes against the ISI in order to end the war before the ISI can jury-rig their captured nukes, which defeats the ISI, but a nuclear time bomb gets left in Islamabad and levels a large part of the city.
    • Afghanistan falls into civil war between the government, the Taliban, and ethnic Baloch militias following the U.S. withdrawal from the country.
    • Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria all fall into civil war in 2011. The civil war in Syria later spreads over into both Iraq and later Lebanon.
    • North Korea also falls into civil war following an attempted coup by hardliners. It goes nuclear.
  • Cliffhanger: "Cops, Killers, Cop Killers" ends in one, with the Crusaders charging a police roadblock in their two SUVs and exchanging fire with the police.
  • Cop Killer: The Crusaders fleeing L.A. after the Yorba Linda bombing end up killing ''32'' police officers and 6 Border Patrol agents in the process.
  • The Coup: When Kim Jong-il ticks off his generals one time too many, they coup and execute him. Later, a group of hardliners attempt a counter-coup, which ends up causing a nuclear civil war (they lose).
    • Also attempted by the ISI in Pakistan following the capture of Osama bin Laden. It ends up causing a civil war which they lose.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Israeli offensive into southern Syria. They take very few losses and drive Syrian Army, Hezbollah, and Islamist forces back to well north of Damascus.
    • Also Operation Minestrone. The Green Berets attacking the prisoner compound suffer only two wounded and no deaths, rescue all of the hostages, and completely annihilate the Caliphate forces defending the compound.
    • Operation Mjolnir, too, to a lesser extent. The U.S. forces do take casualties, but none are killed, and they manage to capture Osama bin Laden and overpower or kill the other fighters in the compound.
    • And the Caliphate attack on the Crusade of God's Tampa Bay cell. Eight of the Crusaders are killed and the remaining two are taken hostage and later burned alive. The Caliphate has all of one fighter WIA and no deaths.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Between the Crusade and the Caliphate's North American cells following the Tampa attack.
  • Deadly Gas: Used by Pakistan against Taliban insurgents.
    • And later by Syrian Army and Hezbollah forces against Israel.
  • Death from Above: Operation Fulgurite, the NATO bombing campaign against the Caliphate and EIS.
    • As well as Operation Grim Reaper, the drone campaign against the Caliphate's and EIS's military commanders.
  • Deep Cover Agent: The agents involved in Operation Persephone.
  • The Family That Slays Together: At least one of Osama bin Laden's sons is among the forces defending his compound, and several of his wives also try to block the attacking U.S. forces from entering.
  • Fishing for Sole: A rather Squicky variation - a teenager out fishing reels in Taylor Swift's skull.
  • Landslide Election: As a result of Igor and the government's swift and effective response to it, the Democrats bury the Republicans in the 2010 U.S. Congressional elections.
    • And again in 2012, partly due to President Obama getting shot, though non-fatally.
    • Due to the Canadian government's ineffectual response to Igor, the Conservatives lose a vote of no confidence, resulting in elections being held in January 2011, which the Conservatives also lose, with the result that they get kicked out of the government and are replaced by a coalition between the New Democrats, the Liberals, and the Greens.
  • Last Stand: The Egyptian Army forces in Luxor fight to the death against the EIS after seeing their comrades in Asyut try to surrender and get massacred as a result.
    • On a much smaller scale, the last two surviving Crusaders of the cell that orchestrated the Yorba Linda bombing try this against the Mexican Army when they are trapped on Mexican Highway 5 with no means of escape. They don't succeed.
  • Man on Fire: Happens to two Crusaders captured by the Caliphate.
  • Monumental Damage: The tombs in the Valley of the Kings are dynamited by Egyptian jihadists, completely destroying most of them.
  • Mood Whiplash: One of the updates goes straight from an account of the successful reintroduction of grizzly bears to the U.S. Southwest... to a biological attack that rapidly causes a global smallpox pandemic.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Operation Grim Reaper.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Completely and utterly broken, with fourteen nuclear weapons having been used so far in the timeline. Two nuclear weapons are used in March 2011 during the Pakistani Civil War, a captured nuke is then used by the Taliban against Islamabad in May 2011, and a fourth is used by Israel in March 2013 in retaliation for a Syrian Army-Hezbollah chemical attack on the Golan Heights. And then ten nuclear weapons are used during the North Korean Civil War.
  • Oh, Crap!: Several times, the first of which is when Igor suddenly increases in size just prior to hitting Bermuda, cutting off the tail of the evacuation.
    • Followed by when Igor suddenly turns to the northwest and accelerates.
    • And then when a hospital patient in Lagos turns out to have Ebola, itself quickly followed by the revelation that the patient had been showing symptoms for over a week and that his family only had him brought in when they themselves, plus a family friend, started showing symptoms.
    • Plus when a message found in a captured Taliban safehouse reveals that Bagram AFB is going to be the target of a nuclear attack. Fortunately, the nuke fails to explode.
    • Yet another when a B-2 stealth bomber is shot down by Caliphate forces over Iraq and its crew captured.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Operations Baritone, Cosine, Mjolnir, Fulgurite, Minestrone, Grim Reaper, Vindaloo, and Persephone so far.
  • Out with a Bang: Justice Antonin Scalia dies of a heart attack while having sex with his wife.
  • The Plague: An outbreak of Ebola occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and spreads far and wide, reaching into the Middle East and India.
    • And then Gazan militants fire rockets containing smallpox into Israel, and the disease quickly spreads throughout the globe. Overlaps with Synthetic Plague, since the virus used is a weaponised strain engineered to have higher-than-normal transmissibility and lethality.
  • Police Are Useless: Partially justified; most police cars aren't equipped to stand up to a rocket launcher.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The Crusade of God justifies the Yorba Linda bombing because its victims practice homosexuality (which they call "sodomy").
  • The Remnant: The democratic forces in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya get pushed back by government and Islamist forces until they control only small scraps of territory in these countries.
    • Assad's forces in Syria, to a lesser extent; after the March 2013 Israeli offensive into southern Syria, the only part of the country his forces control is the Alawite Coast (Syria's coastal strip).
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Pakistan's policy towards the Taliban before 2011; the ISI supports them, while the Army fights them. Eventually leads to a Civil War which ends up with the ISI getting kicked out of the country. Lampshaded by the in-universe book describing these events, which is titled, literally, Right Hand Versus Left Hand.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Operation Minestrone. One does NOT take U.S. bomber pilots hostage and get away with it.
  • Shout-Out: One of the in-universe books that the timeline references is written by Clara O. Oswald, and is titled Terror on the Airline.
  • The Siege: Several, the most notable being the Siege of Baghdad by Caliphate forces.
    • In Morocco, we have Tangier (democrats under siege by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and Marrakesh (democrats under siege by AQIM on one side and the Moroccan Army on the other).
    • Annaba in Algeria, also democrats under siege by AQIM.
    • Tunisia has Bizerte and Menzel Bourguiba, held by democrats and under siege by the Tunisian Army.
    • Libya's democrats are also besieged in several cities in Tripolitania.
    • Finally, the Egyptian democratic government's army gets besieged in the strongholds of Asyut and Luxor in the south; after the defenders of Asyut surrender and are promptly massacred, Luxor's defenders fight to the death.
  • Suicide Attack: The Caliphate makes generous use of suicide bombers, including one who brings down Delta Airlines Flight 2168.
  • Suicide Mission: Operations Vindaloo and Persephone are pretty much this. Especially Persephone. Out of the 78 men who successfully infiltrate the Caliphate's military heirarchy, only 16 survive. That's a 79.5% loss rate.
  • Synthetic Plague: Partial example with the Gazan smallpox rockets; see The Plague above.
  • This Means War!: The destruction of the Valley of the Kings finally pushes the United States and the rest of NATO into intervening against the Caliphate.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The family of Lagos' first diagnosed Ebola patient only bring him to hospital when they themselves start showing symptoms.
  • Torture Always Works: Averted. The Mossad capture one of the individuals responsible for the Ashdod attacks and he readily admits that he was involved, but refuses to say who else was. They try to torture it out of him, but he dies without providing any more information.
  • Western Terrorists: British Airways Flight 217 is blown up by a Christian extremist from Virginia.
    • A Christian extremist group car-bombs the reception for a wedding between two Californian women.

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