Alternate Story Year One
"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man," the irascible
voice of a nameless narrator cries out. And so, from the underground, emerge the
passionate confessions of a suffering man; the brutal self-examination of a tormented soul;
the bristling scorn and iconoclasm of an alienated individual who has become one of the greatest
anti-heroes in all literature.
His creator, Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky (the son of a former army
surgeon whose drunken brutality led his own serfs to murder him by pouring vodka down his
throat) has been arrested for subversion against Czar Nicholas I. In a LawDog jail he is
given the 'silent treatment' for eight months (guards even wear velvet soled boots) before he
is led in front of a firing squad. Dressed in a death shroud, he faces an open grave and
awaits his execution when suddenly a harmonic convergence harrows him and by means discovered
by the Distinguished Collegium of Interspacial Physics he is teleported next to Matt McDermott
at a no-limit poker table in the Casino Morongo.
Matt (played by Matt Damon in the Miramax movie, "Rounders"), bets his life savings. Matt,
keen and focused, shows two Aces, two eights and a Queen. Blackjack Dostoevsky shows Aces &
Eights, and the Jack of Diamonds. They are playing Doomtown Poker rules and Matt loses it all.
The wealth began to roll in again when Sweetrock Mining Company
bundled gambling and mining for ghostrock (a special superfuel that passes for money).
It was abuse of monopoly powers under the People of the United States of America vs.
Microsoft Corporation standard but nobody could stop them.
The Whatley Family Estate emerges with the idea that death is not the end. A simple
truth or an elaborate hoax?
Are the Maze Rats Socialists? "You define Socialism and
I'll tell you whether we are socialists or not." There is nothing wrong with the few people
who discover or invent great things, or who just invest shrewdly from amassing a billion
dollars. Rich people are just peachy -- their spending is good for the economy. More
importantly, however, if someone has a painful toothache and no money the government should
pay for him to see a dentist, and if his teeth fall out for dentures.
Then, the Sioux. This world is truly ancient, and the Sioux have existed from the
beginning. They, not the Druids built the temples of Stonehenge in the Neolithic age from
which they still draw power and majesty. Factions in a drawn out war and religion were then
brought to the game by the Texas Rangers, the U.S. Marshals -- with a harrowed Abraham Lincoln
in their outfit -- , and the Flock.
Alternate Story Year Two
Mouth of Hell -- the rise of Slobodan Milosevic.
Ariz Kelmendi, a nineteen-year-old ethnic Albanian recruit was bullied and picked on at
the Paracin barracks in central Serbia just as bad as were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold
at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. In the early hours of September
3, 1987, Kelmendi opened fire on four of his fellow soldiers, killing them as they slept.
The dead included two Muslims, a Croat and a Serb, but the frenzied Belgrade media called it
an act of Albanian separatism against Serbia.
Ten thousand people attended the funeral of the Serbian recruit. The ceremony became a
political demonstration against the Kosovo Albanian leadership and provided Slobodan Milosevic
the ammunition he needed to assume power. It should be noted at this point that both of
Milosevic's parents killed themselves; his father when he was a child and his mother when he
was an adult. The circumstances of his father's death were kept from him for years.
By way of further background, the 1974 Yugoslav constitution gave to Kosovo, a province of
Serbia, its own central bank and separate police educational and judicial systems. Kosovo was
also made a member of the Yugoslav federation, giving its leaders seats on Yugoslavia's
rotating presidency, which assumed power when Tito died. On several occasions Kosovo sided
with the other republics against Serbia. By virtually abolishing Belgrade's authority over
Kosovo the constitution cut Serbia down to size. Although ninety percent Albanian, Kosovo was
regarded by Serbs as the cradle of their civilization. It was the seat of the Serbian church,
the Patriarch at Pec. Since 1974 ethnic Albanians ruled the roost in Kosovo holding most
positions of power.
Back to 1987. In an atmosphere of hysteria and anti-Albanian propaganda, Dragisa Pavlovic,
the Belgrade Party chief, in an attempt to defuse the tension, called the Belgrade media bosses
to a briefing to warn against a resurgence of Serbian nationalism. Milosevic's collaborators in
the media, far from obeying, launched a blistering attack against Pavlovic accusing him of
destroying Serbian and Yugoslav unity.
Pavlovic called for a meeting of the Belgrade party leadership at which Serbian President
Stambolic encouraged Pavlovic and Milosevic to reconcile. Milosevic denounced Stambolic, and
the matter was deferred to the Eighth Session of the Central Committee of the Serbian Party.
That Session was televised: for the first time the Communists let the public inside their
dark and treacherous realm. It was a shock. For the next two days, people throughout Serbia
were glued to their TV screens, watching the showdown. It was supposedly broadcast live, but,
as the meeting went on, the speeches were delayed for the news. Then, Television Belgrade
began cutting the speeches, blatantly favoring Milosevic's side. It was unclear who would
prevail. Some people carried two different speeches in their pockets, which they would use
depending on how things turned out.
Milosevic won, but no one then knew the monster that he would become.