John F Waterman
The works of John F Waterman

Sector 72 of the Human Horizon is at least as varied and complex a place in the hypertemporal continuum as any other, though probably more so given first its importance as the home of Association Line Seven and second, surely, as the single Sector having the highest incidence of timelines with high Human populations and technologically advanced civilizations (primarily Human ones, at that) anywhere in the surveyed plenum. It is the crest of the stochastic Bell Curve along the p axis. Line 7, Cluster 14 of Sector 72 holds the ‘Base’ timeline designated as Line Seven of the Association, holding the Member Nation supporting the 12th Operations Arm of the HSA.
Sector 72 ‘diverges’ from the Human Horizon in 1730AD with the defeat of the Scottish Jacobite Rebellion and the commensurate expansion of the attendant English Industrial Revolution, driven by the adoption of James Watt’s pressurized steam engine. Watt’s steam engine came onto the scene as a source of power to not only lift water out of Cornish tin mines but also as a source of industrial power for Scottish and English manufactories, running ‘spinning jennies’ and weaving looms along with simple machines for a dozen other industries such as ore-crushers, wool fullers, lathes, forge hammers and winches. This application of Watt’s improvement on the steam engines earlier invented by others made possible the First Industrial Revolution, beginning in Northern England and moving out into applications, industries and markets all across the world.
Cluster 00 diverges in 1731AD, where Watt fails to patent his steam technology, though others utilize his ideas to promote steam industry in a more lackadaisical fashion across a few places in Cornwall and Scotland. Luddites on several lines of this Cluster agitate for governmental restrictions against machine power generation to preserve the value of human labor and thus its high wages, and thus for artificial economic reasons the new steam engines fail to catch on save in a few mining and water-pumping applications. European history progresses along a low-tech trajectory on most lines in this Cluster, with real estate changing hands in various dynastic squabbles and outright wars. Non-Europeans feel the press of European colonialism less severely here than in timelines of later-diverging Clusters, and in a few cases get more time to build their populations and utilize their native advantages along with technology stolen and developed from European sources to keep the Europeans from conquering them. Several Lines have TL 5 Industrial Revolutions, though they occur more often in places beyond NW Europe, and the subsequent histories tend to diverge wildly from that of the Main Line, though overall they tend to lag 1-3 TLs behind the Sector’s Main line at any equivalent timehack.
Cluster 01 diverges in 1742AD, where Manchester and Edinburgh cloth mill workers successfully block the application of Watt engines (or any other ‘moving steam engines’) from use in the textiles industry. England suffers many economic reverses, effectively nullifying the civil clauses of the Act of Union between Scotland and England of 1736. Scotland remains a poor subject territory of England, absorbing more money to put down farmer’s revolts by the Crown’s military forces than it produces in taxes upon wool production and hand-made textiles. Hundreds of thousands of poor Scots and Irish crofters starve in famines when private small-holds are bought up by rich magnates to graze sheep for wool and thus no longer provide food or income for the displaced crofters, and hundred thousands more are forcibly transported to America, where they flood the growing colonies there-some bringing knowledge of steam engines that the American Colonists are more than happy to put to use on many subsequent Lines in this Cluster. Tens of thousands more Scots emigrate to Holland and France, raising Jacobite and Protestant revolutions in those nations.
The ‘French Troubles’ thus caused lead to a French Revolution in 1755. King Louis XVI is executed at gunpoint by peasants in 1762 along with his heirs and most of the French nobility. France is thus partitioned into Paris and the North, which falls under the Protestant Dutch; the Saarland and Rhineland, which each fall to various German Protestant powers; and Loire, which remains Catholic and falls under the control of the Austrian Hapsburgs. Europe descends into another series of violent religious/dynastic wars and land-grabs that culminate in the rise of Charles Bonaparte, an Italian mercenary from Corsica who raises a vast Catholic Army to conquer Spain, Portugal, S. and central Europe and founds the Third Holy Roman Empire in 1776. Britain dabbles with but does not participate greatly in the Continental Wars, instead focusing its efforts upon supporting Saxon Germany while wresting the French-claimed parts of America from the Third Holy Roman Empire and fighting it to a standstill along the Rio Grande by 1805, mostly with troops raised from its still-dependant and Scots-filled American colonies. Napoleon, Bonaparte II, holds Mexico and points south to Colombia, Chile and Le Argentine a generation later. The Bonapartiste soi-disant ‘Third H. R. Empire’ retains control of those areas for most of the next two centuries on most lines in this Sector, while the Portuguese Emperor Bolivar holds Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay for nearly a century until slave/peasant revolts rip the region apart in the early 1900s. England holds all of North America from north of the Rio Grande river north and east of the Rockies, and disputes possession of Western America with Bonaparte II and his successors. Middle and Eastern Europe are controlled by the Prussians, who face off against the Russians in Poland and the Ukraine, and the resurgent Ottoman Empire remains strong in Asia Minor and the Levant through the 21st century. Technological progression on most lines of this Cluster lags 1-3 TLs behind history on the Sector’s Main Line at any equivalent timehack.
Cluster 02 diverges in 1763AD with the defeat of Britain in the Seven-Year’s War. Britain supported the French Monarchy against the French Revolution, leading to a period of peace between the two powers in early Lines of this Cluster, and Britain easily puts down the later revolt against British rule in ‘Colonial’ America. The French Monarchy remained in place as did its ties to its monarchic allies in Europe, leading to a following series of European Wars with France and England once more in opposite corners. ‘Cornwallis’ exists on Line Two of this Cluster. TL progression in this Cluster remains 1-2 TLs behind that of the Main Line on all but a few Lines in this Cluster.
Cluster 03 diverges in 1777AD with the survival of Captain Ferguson and his company of Scots Riflemen, armed with breech-loading flintlock rifles of his own design, at the Battle of Cold Mountain in the American Revolution. Line One diverges in 1779AD with the late entry of Holland in the early phase of the Anglo-French War on the British side, and many thousands of Loyalist Britons (including Ferguson) migrate from the American Colonies to the newly-obtained British Cape Colony in S. Africa after the surrender of British General Cornwallis at Baltimore, Maryland. The ‘Dominion of the Draka’ exists downtime from here on a spur designated as Cluster 03-A (known for obscure reasons as the ‘Stirling Cluster’), and many Lines in this spur Cluster lack Galactic non-humans due to Timewar-induced hypertemporal effects and are Draka-dominated and thus very dangerous and nasty places after Era~62 (~1953AD), tending to have military technology 1-2TLs higher and also tighter CRs than the progression on the Sector’s Main Line. Draka domination of Earth and Sol System on many timelines of Lines 2-8 of Cluster 03-A after the Final War in 1999AD and subsequent investigations by the Draka-ethnic aboriginals into hypertemporal physics makes Cluster 03-A a nightmare for HSA Recon (or any other organization’s) operatives.
Cluster 04 diverges in 1814AD with the successful British occupation of Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston and New York City during Britain’s Second American Campaign (the ‘War of 1812’), leading to dissolution of the nascent USA and the individual surrender of States back to the British Crown from 1815-23AD. Britain loses the Peninsular War in Spain in Line Two as a result of diverting more military effort to conquering the upstart USA, and also has to concede Quebec back to the French. In Line Three Napoleon Bonaparte retains leadership of France and control over most of Europe, and manages to push the Russians back to Moscow and the Austrian Hapsburgs back into Hungary and the Balkans in most lines of this Cluster. Rebellions and partisan fighting in America, especially west of the Ohio river, make Britain unable to afford costly anti-Bonaparte European expeditions, and England turns towards the West and its regained territory there, fighting French-funded partisans and Statist rebels, French expeditionary forces and hostile Indians in North America for the next century in Lines Four through Eight. Tech levels progress somewhat more slowly on most Lines in this Cluster.
Cluster 05 diverges in 1844AD with an American Civil War divided over the questions of Texas and the Mexican possession of the Southwest instead of slavery. In Lines One and Two the USA remains intact and conquers large portions of Mexico. ‘Dixie-4’ exists in Line Three/Era 62 (1954AD) of this Cluster. In Lines Four through Six the United States fragment, leading to a Texican/CSA/Mexican patchwork of territories and client states in W. North America. In Line Seven Britain takes the area north of the Missouri and west of the Great Lakes, annexing it into British Canada in 1860AD, and in Lines Eight through Twelve the Revolution of 1848 transforms Europe into a patchwork of competing democratic and socialist states. In Line 13 of this Cluster Britain is overtaken by the Radicalist Revolution and embarks upon a ‘steampunk’ technological path (TL5+n) of development, which spreads in turn to the rest of the world with varying results in the lines that diverge from there.
Cluster 06 diverges in 1857AD with the success of William Walker as an empire-maker in Nicaragua. ‘Dixie-1’ exists on Line Two/ Era 63 (1985AD) of this cluster, ‘Dixie-2’ (in Era 62, 1966AD) and ‘Dixie-3’ (Era 61, 1937AD) in Line Four, ‘Dixie-5’ in Line Five/ Era 61(1943AD) and ‘Dixie-6’ in Line Three/Era 60(1910AD). In some Lines in this Sector the USA remains more or less intact, though with drastic changes to its territory and future activities. In Line Three the Mormon-dominated religious state of Deseret takes most of the West in 1860AD and fights the USA over possession of California, Nevada and the Territories west of the Mississippi with varying results. In most lines the USA defeats and reabsorbs the CSA to one extent or another in the Civil War, but westward expansion is slowed and aboriginal American tribes, Mexico, Britain, Deseret and Texas often end up in charge of large portions of W. North America well into the 20th century and beyond, leading to a fractured North America and a lot of political tension.
Cluster 07 diverges in 1869AD with the success of Mehmet Ali, Khedive of Egypt, in uniting the Levantine and Egyptian Arabs in an uprising against the Ottoman Empire, creating a progressive Islamic state centered on Egypt. ‘Khedive’ exists here on Line One/Era 59 (1877AD). The ‘Great War’ never occurs on Line One. On Lines Two and Three, the successor Khedives of Egypt side with the Germans, Ottomans and Austro-Hungarians, retaining or losing control over their territory depending upon the outcome of the Great War (1913-18AD). On Lines Four and Five the successors of Mehmet Ali side with the Allies against the Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians and Germans in the Great War (1915-20AD), and turn Turkey, the Balkans and Greece into progressive Islamic client-states. On Line Six, American intervention floods into the Mediterranean theater of the conflict in 1916AD, establishing after the Great War (1914-20AD) a Zionist rule in the Levant that later becomes the nation of ‘Yisoreal’, settled by Jews immigrating there from all over Europe and the US in the years after the Great War. In Lines Seven and Eight, partisan rebellions among the Arab substrate populations in the Levant and various Pan-Islamic/Arabist movements in the neighboring patchwork-nations lead to many tangled brushfire wars with the European and American-supported Zionists, leading to a chaotic series of alliances, power agreements and generally unresolved political issues in the Levant and Mesopotamia, with the involvement of every world and regional power from the Americans to the Russians. Many of these Lines have timelines that progress in a ‘normal’ (by Main Line standards) technological fashion from Era 59-63, though few gain TL6 nuclear tech until the latter part of the Second Great War (usually begun over Middle Eastern issues of alliance and client-state support) of ~1950AD.
Cluster 08 diverges in 1888AD, with George Westinghouse’s refusal to employ Nikola Tesla or promote his AC electrical generator. ‘Gernsback’ exists in this Cluster in Line Two/Era 63 (1965AD), and the ‘Lensmen’ timelines exist here in Cluster 08-A on a spur line where psionics exists and the various species extant in the Galaxy have been influenced by Boskone or Arisia in their deep pasts to one degree or another.
Cluster 09 diverges in 1914AD with the failure of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand II in Podgorny (‘Sarajevo’), Serbia. On Line One Britain and Germany go to war in 1915 anyway over German domination of the Low Countries and Scandinavia, though France does not get involved. On Line Two, France joins Germany against Britain, Russia and Austro-Hungary in the European War, and with the economic support of the USA France and Germany defeat the ‘Allies’ in 1917AD. On Line Three Germany and France ally against British dominance in the rest of the world, putting pressure on the US to join them while Britain allies with Austro-Hungary and Czarist Russia. Russia has a ‘White’ Party Revolution in 1919AD and becomes a parliamentary (democratic) monarchy retaining Czar Nicolas II as its near-powerless figurehead.
On Line Four of Cluster 09 the USA and Great Britain go to war over trading disputes in the Atlantic in 1932AD. Germany allies with a weak Austro-Hungary and the strong USA while Imperial Japan and a monarchist Russia ally with Great Britain, leading to a World War. The World War serves to break the world out of the Great Depression of 1930AD, though highly militarizes it, and a renascent democratic Germany (after the disposal of the Kaiserate in 1932AD and the rise of the alliance and fusion of the Democratic Worker’s Party and the Christian Democratic Party) invades Eastern Europe in 1935AD and on some timelines even conquers the ‘Republic of Russia’ in 1938AD. In Line Five the US invades Canada in 1932AD and with the help of Quebecois partisans and France (now allied with Germany and the US vs. Russia, Japan and Britain) takes large portions of Ontario and almost all of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, leaving Quebec to the French though the US loses the Philippines, Hawaii and much of Alaska to the Japanese and Russians. The British colonies in Africa and Ceylon fall to the Germans, India declares its independence from England in 1943AD (with a Fascist anti-Muslim government almost as bad as other Cluster’s ‘Nazis’) while Italy, another member of the US-German-French Alliance, takes Ethiopia, the Sudan and Egypt and France takes control of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. On Line Six Japan takes China and Indochina as well, fighting against France, the Netherlands and the US in the Pacific War of 1939-47AD, which begins with a Japanese surprise attack on the French naval units in Haiphong harbor in 1939AD and ending on some lines with a Franco-American joint nuclear attack on Tokyo and Okinawa in 1947AD. Britain remains neutral in the Pacific War, since it was economically wrecked by the European War in 1915-17AD and defeated in the subsequent World War in 1932-38AD and thus was pushed into the world’s second tier of powers along with the Kingdom of Spain and the Russian Republic. Nazism and Fascism takes hold on only a few of this Cluster’s timelines, though on most of them many Jews flee rampant albeit low-level anti-Semitism in Europe and the USA to settle in Britain, Australia, and South America. Horace ‘Ace’ Beam is a native of Line Two of this Cluster.
Cluster 10 diverges in 1929AD with the survival of the US banking and economic system. Some economic realignments occur, but not to the degree of the massive failure of ‘Black Monday’ in later Clusters that led to the world-wide Great Depression (September, 1929AD). F. D. Roosevelt and his Democrats fail to sweep the elections in November of 1930AD, though on many lines more centrist Democrats take Senate seats and the Presidency. In Line One, strong American naval presence in the West Pacific and the Philippines forestalls Japanese encroachments there, while neutralist doctrine keeps the USA out of European involvements. In Line Two, a more conservative US fights Japanese encroachment in the Pacific and German posturing in Europe with economic sanctions and in some cases ambiguous military interventions and saber-rattling against the Japanese Empire, and bolsters Britain and France alike against a renascent Fascist-Nationalist Germany. In Lines Three through Six the ‘Anschluss’ of Germany with Austria and Bohemia in 1938AD is met by a combined force of British, French and US troops pre-emptively invading Germany in 1939AD across the impregnable French Maginot Line, which had been extended with British and US aid across the Low Countries in 1935-38AD. In Line Three, The Soviet Union joins Britain and the US in World War II against Germany in 1940AD after high-level negotiations in Yalta between Russian Premiere Stalin of the USSR, Prime Minister Churchill of Britain and President Williams of the USA, and a two-front pincers attack forces Germany to surrender (though with most of its war machine intact, as well as Austria, Bohemia and Poland) in 1943AD. Japan retreats behind its Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere in 1940AD and concentrates upon absorbing Manchuria, Taiwan and Korea. In Line Seven, Russia declares war against Japan in the Vladivostok Incident of 1941AD, and with British, French and American support takes Sakhalin and most of Honshu by 1943AD. The American and British navies fight the Japanese Imperial Navy to a standstill in the South Pacific in Lines Four through Nine. Japan negotiates a peace by surrendering most of its navy along with Sakhalin, Honshu, and large portions of Manchuria to the Soviet Union and Korea, Taiwan and many Western Pacific islands to US control, and the Solomon Islands and all of New Guinea to British control. Japan enjoys some success in the Pacific in Lines Ten and Eleven, leading to a partitioned Pacific and SE Asia by 1945AD. The US, Japan, and Germany develop TL6 nuclear technology by ~1950AD.
Cluster 11 diverges with the assassination of Adolf Hitler in 1933AD during a power struggle within the German NSDAP (‘Nazi’) Party. On some lines Hitler survives, with either more or less power over the Nazis and Germany as a whole, and on most lines WWII still begins (though with varying details) between 1938 and 1941AD, with a varying level of USA involvement, and sometimes even a separate ‘Pacific’ war between Japan and the USA without US involvement in Europe or alliance with Britain. ‘Reich-5’ exists on Line Two of this Cluster, which diverges with the assassination of US President F. D. Roosevelt in 1933AD. ‘Reich-1’ exists in Line Three, ‘Reich-2’ on Line Four, ‘Reich-3’ on Line Five and ‘Reich-4’ on Line Seven of this Cluster.
Cluster 12 diverges with the assassination of Adolf Hitler in April of 1943AD. WWII in Europe ends in a stalemate between the still-powerful Nazis and the Allies, including a vastly weakened Britain and Soviet Union, while the War in the Pacific drags on until late 1946AD. On many Lines of this Cluster (9 through 17) Japan is able to negotiate a reasonable surrender, giving up various conquests but remaining whole and militarized, albeit still resource-poor. Nuclear weapons are developed first by the Nazis on Lines One through Seven, by the USA on Lines Seven through 14, and by the Japanese on Line 15. On many lines the power to first develop ‘The Bomb’ tends to use it to defeat its rivals either overtly or through threats. On others two or even three powers discover it close enough to one another before any one can deploy it in battle, leading to a shaky détente that is many times more unstable than Cluster 14’s ‘Cold War’, and these situations often end in a later two- or three-power nuclear exchange of varying proportions of destruction and realignment before or shortly after 2000AD. Those timelines which feature a long-lasting détente are highly polarized both culturally and politically and their military technology developments tend to accelerate to high TLs in short periods of time, albeit many usually end with a cataclysmic WWIII scenario before 2000AD. Those lines dominated by the Allies are usually more clement than those dominated by the Nazis or Japan, while those dominated by Nazi Europe or the Japanese are especially unpleasant.
Cluster 13 diverges with the failure of the massive and super-secret Manhattan Project to deliver useable atomic bombs to the US Army Air Force, leading to a gigantic staged invasion of Japan by US forces in November of 1945AD. In Line Two the Russians use poison gas and biological warfare to decimate the populations of northern Japan, Korea and Manchuria, and the US and USSR partition the remnants of the Japanese Empire with the Pacific Islands, Indochina and southern Japan becoming US client-states while northern Japan, Korea and Manchuria fall under USSR control. Both the US and USSR use German scientists captured in Europe after May of 1945AD to further their atomic and ballistic missile programs. This leads to a very ‘hot’ Cold-War style détente in most Lines of this Cluster. Many lines end in global nuclear/radiological/biological total war (WWIII) between the USSR and its ‘Warsaw Pact’ client-states and the US-led NATO anytime from 1947AD on, with wildly varying outcomes.
Cluster 14 diverges with the end of WWII at the hands of US atomic bombs delivered by aerial bomber to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in August of 1945AD. Japan surrenders to the US later that month.
Line One of this Cluster the Allies rearms the German Wehrmacht in late 1945AD to face the USSR and its ‘Warsaw Pact’ client-states across a line in Eastern Europe. On many timelines of Line One the Allies invade the USSR-supported ‘Warsaw Pact’ client-states with the aid of a rearmed German Wehrmacht in mid-1946AD, and the Allies use US atomic bombs on many Eastern European and Russian cities to defeat the Soviets (or at least push them back to the Urals). Also on Line One the US and Allies force the capitulation of communist leaders Mao Tse Dung and Ho Chi Minh using rearmed Japanese military forces under Allied control to augment their own present in SE Asia. India remains under the control of Britain in most timelines, though it succumbs to a Communist-led popular revolution in many others.
Line Two diverges with the use of nuclear weapons by the US to defend against the Chinese ‘invasion’ of North Korea in December of 1950AD. British India succumbs to a Socialist revolution hijacked in most timelines of this Line by a Communist Chinese-funded fourth column, or by a radicalist Islamic ethnic revolution in others, leading to a grinding Hindu/Muslim civil and guerilla war that goes on for decades no matter who takes control. Line Two-A, known as ‘Line Triple Cross’ (the beginning of the ‘Federation of Sol’, a la H. Beam Piper) diverges here with a nuclear attack on most Northern Hemisphere cities by mutually destructive Soviet/NATO bombardments in the aftermath of the Manchurian Nuclear Bombardments on a spur line rendered free of Khaid by the Replicator Wars ~50KYa.
Line Three diverges with the removal of US/UN forces from Korea by treaty between China and the UN Forces in 1952AD. Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines in the Pacific and Germany in Europe are turned into heavily-armed US military client states to bolster the interests of the US in Asia and Europe against the Russo-Chinese Communist Axis. Korea remains partitioned into the Communist-controlled North and the US/UN client-state South at the 38th Parallel. On many timelines South Korea and Taiwan fall to internal Communist revolutions by 1960AD or are heavily militarized with puppet dictatorships founded and supported by the USA. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia fall from French hands into Chinese Communist control as puppet-states, while the Soviet Union retains more direct control of a militarized Eastern Europe, using population purges and resettlement of primarily Russian-ethnic Communists into Eastern Europe. The Dutch and English retain direct colonial control of Indonesia and Malaysia respectively, though both colonies suffer varying levels of ethnic strife, radical Communist rebellions and other unrest. Radical Islamic religious and Islamo-nationalist movements of various stripes have varying success in Western-controlled colonial territories in many timelines, and even where they do not they often maintain serious and expensive insurgencies in the post WWII client-state nations/European colonies of the Middle East, SW Asia and North Africa while fomenting world-wide terrorism. Britain, France and the USA heavily militarize Israel and those Middle Eastern states that remain under Western control. Détente is the status quo on most timelines in this Line, and many lines devolve towards full superpower ‘WWIII’ nuclear exchanges by 1970AD, while many others feature periods of massive TL6-8 conventional warfare in various places around the globe, often simultaneously. Kamalgin Amadari’s first outtime mission is on a timeline of this Line, ca. 1987AD.
Line Four diverges in October 1962 with a nuclear exchange of varying lethality between the US and Soviet Union, spurred on by the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Line Five diverges in May of 1969 with the success of the Soviet Zond III mission, leading to the landing of two Soviet cosmonauts – Polkovnik (Colonel) Yevgeny Khrunov and Podpolkovnik (Lt. Colonel) Zheniya Tatova – on the moon in June 1969. The USA and the Soviet Union begin massive militarization of space, leading to rapprochement and cooperation between the superpowers on a few timelines. The timelines containing the ‘Co-Dominium’ (a la Jerry Pournelle) diverge from Timeline 78-phi of this Line and are collectively known as Line Five-CD, that exists on a spur line where the Khaid exterminated themselves during the Shape Wars, continued or intensifying détente on most others, and WWIII style nuclear exchanges on a few others. ‘Mars:1982’ exists on this Line.
Line Six diverges in 1984AD with the accession of Vladimir Zhalenyeskov to the position of Soviet Premier, ending the era of détente between the USA and the Soviet Union. WWIII breaks out on many timelines soon afterwards, in a variety of fashions ranging from non-nuclear conventional land wars of varying intensities in Asia and/or Europe with commensurate naval battles in the Northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans up to full cataclysmic mutual ICBM exchanges between all nuclear-armed powers.
Line Seven contains the Main Line of Sector 72 (timeline 362-δ), and all other Lines of this Cluster of Sector 72 diverge from Line Seven in 2008AD with the phased withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and Afghanistan for reasons internal to USA politics.