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Old September 18 2013, 12:45 AM   #24
Sci
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Re: Hypothetical World War III

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
I thought that the figure of a half-billion dead was the total dead from the conflict, including indirect casualties from disease and famine and the like.
It's my understanding that indirect deaths from a war can be very hard to quantify. I would be inclined to assume that the 600 million dead figure is direct deaths, but that's just me.

I am grimly curious about the timeline that was created by the death of Gabriel Bell. O'Brien said that the 2048 he and Kira visited was bad:

[T]hat wasn't the mid-twenty-first century that I read about in school. It's been changed. Earth history had its rough patches, but never that rough.
Inasmuch as, by the mid-24th century, Earth still hadn't recovered any spacefaring capacity, the Third World War must have been much worse. The scans of the devastated Earth--and of the apparent Romulan-dominated sphere--must be interesting ...
Well, "Past Tense" seems to imply that the chief contribution of the Bell riots to Earth history was to start the process of reversing a system of severe economic oppression against the unemployed, the homeless, and the mentally ill. [Indeed, its depiction of deepening economic inequality and class oppression is proving disturbingly prophetic 11 years out from its fictional 2024.] "Sanctuary districts" -- in reality, large open-air prisons for the poor -- were established as having been in place in place in cities across the planet. Bell's sacrifice helped turn public opinion against the Districts. Perhaps in a timeline without Bell, the riots were much worse, and the riots only made the tensions between economic classes that much worse -- perhaps provoking an earlier World War III. Or maybe a long-term degeneration into a neo-feudalist economy.

I would point out that the presence of Romulan ships in the Alpha Centauri system does not necessarily mean that the area of the Federation core worlds is Romulan-dominated in this alternate 24th Century -- though that is certainly a possibility, especially if there was never an Enterprise NX-01 to prevent a Vulcan invasion of the Andorian Empire and depose a Romulan puppet in Administrator V'las.
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