Legends Never Die

FAN: Discuss various fictional worlds that don't qualify for SF.

Moderator: Steve

Post Reply
User avatar
KraytKing
Padawan Learner
Posts: 394
Joined: 2016-04-11 06:39pm
Location: US East Coast

Legends Never Die

Post by KraytKing » 2019-02-25 01:53pm

On 1 January 1940, several notables are gifted with nine lives. They can be expected to live to 700 years old, mostly frozen in their current state of health. Additionally, death by injury simply removes a lifetime; after a moment or two, the corpse regains life as they were, healing from all deadly injuries.

Those gifted (or cursed) are as follows, in no particular order:
Hitler
Erwin Rommel
Heinrich Himmler
Wilhelm II
Georgy Zhukov
Nikita Khrushchev
Mikhail Kalashnikov
Winston Churchill
Alan Turing
Franklin Roosevelt
Douglas Macarthur
Chester Nimitz
Bernard Montgomery
Hirohito


Effectively, these individuals have been given immortality and invulnerability. What effects does this have on the world, during the war and beyond? A fairly obvious one is that Hitler's suicide will fail, and so will the next several execution attempts. I don't imagine the blessing will be noticed for several years, however, and it will take a long time to figure out just who has it and who would naturally have lived to a century.
If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
--Mace

The Old Testament has as much validity for the foundation of a religion as the pattern my recent case of insect bites formed on my ass.
--Solauren

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12664
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-02-25 02:51pm

EDIT to add: This would have probably been a little more different if you'd started in, say, 1900 or 1910, as all these people were alive at that time. By 1940 they're all at least in their fifties or so (except Turing IIRC, maybe the Russians, not sure) and well experienced. If you start younger, they have more opportunity, particularly serving in WWI, to find out that they're immortal and thus possibly change their outlooks and ambitions.

The effect it has on the war is mostly just that the war goes on a bit longer with Hitler and Himmler standing behind the Nazi forces; their defeat was basically inevitable. Rommel wasn't -that- impressive of a general, not sure why you picked him. He was good but there were a lot of other German generals as good or better. Overall, once the Nazis are defeated, there's really nothing preventing the Allies from simply flinging them into a cell for the rest of their natural lives after a few hangings fail. Or more directly, strapping Hitler to a nuclear bomb.

Kaiser Wilhelm II is also not a great choice. By 1940 he was powerless, deposed, and pointless. Whether or not Germany loses the war, he's never going to be of any particular political importance; WWI blackened the Hohenzollerns' reputation enough that they were quite firmly not going to be any part of the German state after that point. He could go on the lecture circuit as an immortal oddity, I suppose.

The Russians run the risk of falling afoul of Stalin's paranoia, as IIRC happened to Zhukov. However, if they can outlive him, there's no reason they couldn't hold some extended measure of political power in the USSR for a long time. Kalashnikov is just a reasonably talented weapons designer, he's not going to invent a ray-gun or anything. Further refinements on the AK platform, sure. Zhukov would basically just be like Supreme Grand Marshal of the Soviet military. Khrushchev just has to outlast Stalin like he did IRL.

Turing is an interesting change; it's possible that he might drive computing technology a bit earlier. Hard to say though. It's not like the microprocessor and such is going to get invented much earlier.

Japan is going to lose, period. Hirohito will just sit on the Imperial throne for a long-ass time if Mac lets him as he did historically (bad move though).

As for the Americans: MacArthur is a pain in the ass. He's a tolerable general, but a lousy politician. Nimitz is a competent admiral, but he's one among many competent officers. Ditto Montgomery.

Churchill... Churchill is a decent wartime leader because he's pragmatic and ruthless, and also something of an asshole. He's a good public speaker. Politically? There's really no way he can make it politically in the changed world post-war. Note that he actually lost re-election to Prime Minister immediately afterwards. He did return briefly in the sixties IIRC, but mostly because the Queen asked him to. He's just not a good fit with the massive social changes that happened postwar.

Roosevelt is probably the best and biggest change. If he survives the war, odds are good he will continue promoting a liberal political agenda, pushing the US economy further and higher with social reforms. It's quite possible, for example, that Taft-Hartley might not pass under him, thus allowing labor unions to continue expanding and strengthening the workforce's collective bargaining powers against the corporations.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Solauren
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 8072
Joined: 2003-05-11 09:41pm

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by Solauren » 2019-02-25 05:57pm

Anyone that was executed or died by violence is just harder to off.

I can imagine the shock to Hitler when he blows his brains out, and then gets back up.

Eventually, any of them will be seen as 'massively out of date' and removed from office or leadership positions. Immortal leaders only work in tech civilizations that are stagnant, or where the leaders constantly adopt to the changes in society.
\

User avatar
KraytKing
Padawan Learner
Posts: 394
Joined: 2016-04-11 06:39pm
Location: US East Coast

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by KraytKing » 2019-02-25 05:59pm

A note on my choices: it relates to the title. I picked the most common in pop history. MacArthur, Nimitz, Montgomery, and Rommel are all real popular ones these days, so they get eternal life. Same with Kalashnikov. I don't expect them all to do ground-breaking work, just I figured it could be interesting.

Some spots where I would contest your analysis:
Even though Kalashnikov didn't do anything other than design a good gun, I don't think that would be the end of him. He could be a major political force. I think all of the immortals will be. Sure, Churchill was voted out of office. Once he goes fifty years and ages a month, someone may take note and maybe vote him back in. They are all going to have an incredible amount of experience, especially the older ones. If the Soviet Union still collapses and becomes a democracy, Zhukov can't lose. War hero, four time Hero of the Soviet Union, and one of two remaining Order of Victory recipients. He will beat any competitor, and if he doesn't, the Red Army is probably personally loyal to him at this point. I figure everyone will work their way back into political power no matter when or how they lose it. Same with Khrushchev. He'll outlive Brezhnev and might get back in, or Zhukov might.

Wilhelm is the difficult one. He's a little wrong in the head, but he does have a long time to think about things. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility for him to be elected into SOME kind of political position. Especially if the US, Russia, England, and Japan all have immortal leaders, and Germany is left with three war criminals and a king.


The thing is simply that everyone has no time limit. Things go badly, they can wait until that generation is all dead and try again. If Hitler isn't shot dead nine times, even HE might be back around given current trends.
If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
--Mace

The Old Testament has as much validity for the foundation of a religion as the pattern my recent case of insect bites formed on my ass.
--Solauren

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

bilateralrope
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4087
Joined: 2005-06-25 06:50pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by bilateralrope » 2019-02-26 12:16am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-02-25 02:51pm
there's really nothing preventing the Allies from simply flinging them into a cell for the rest of their natural lives after a few hangings fail. Or more directly, strapping Hitler to a nuclear bomb.
How many lives would a hanging take ?

No mention was made about the person teleporting to a new location. Just that they recover from their injuries. So anyone being hung would recover from the neck snapping, then go through a cycle of reviving and suffocating until something breaks the cycle.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12664
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-02-26 04:15pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2019-02-26 12:16am
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-02-25 02:51pm
there's really nothing preventing the Allies from simply flinging them into a cell for the rest of their natural lives after a few hangings fail. Or more directly, strapping Hitler to a nuclear bomb.
How many lives would a hanging take ?

No mention was made about the person teleporting to a new location. Just that they recover from their injuries. So anyone being hung would recover from the neck snapping, then go through a cycle of reviving and suffocating until something breaks the cycle.
That's true, once the long drop is done, there's not much to prevent them from noticing that he's taking a *really* long time to stop wriggling and detail a couple of burly soldiers to go pull on his legs until he's finally expired. Or if you want to get even more grim-- he 'dies' for awhile, and they promptly cremate him. Ouch. Particularly if the ashes get scattered.

Like I said, I think this scenario starts too early. 1940 is early days for the war, but honestly I don't really see much way for things to change significantly from OTL. The political background of the war is largely set at this point. Perhaps a brief overview of the events around it might help.

At 1 Jan, Hitler hasn't invaded France yet, that didn't happen until May. Poland has been taken and partitioned between the Germans and the Soviets. The British and French have turned down peace overtures from the Germans, and a British force (IIRC) may already be in France. Chamberlain is still in office. The main action between the Germans and the Allies thus far have been naval engagements and a few bombing raids.

The Soviets are still involved in the Winter War against Finland. The Soviets are about to conduct a massive purge in Poland as well (Katyn Massacre); don't think any of the people named here really could have done much of anything about it at this point. Don't really know much about what they were doing. I know Khrushchev was a commissar during the war, so I suppose he was some kind of political functionary in 1940. According to Wikipedia, Zhukov just won Khalkhin Gol in late 1939 against the Japanese in the east of Russia, so he's a bit of a notable military hero at this point, but not nearly as acclaimed as he became later. In this period Mikhail Kalashnikov is a tankie, not a weapons designer. That comes later after he gets injured, hears fellow soldiers complaining about how much Soviet weapons suck, and decides to invent a better mouse-- er, gun.

The Japanese have a foothold in China and are sparring with the various Chinese forces (Nationalist, communist, independent warlords), but have given no indication of any serious ambitions in the Pacific just yet IIRC; diplomatic relations with the British and Americans are a bit tense though.

In the States, Roosevelt is facing his third election in 1940. Szilard and Einstein have sent their letter to him asking him to start the US atomic program. Roosevelt's health is starting to decline in OTL; presumably in this scenario, that's not an issue.

So, basically, unless Hitler gets a fit of sense and decides to delay starting a serious shooting fight with the British and French in the mid-year of 1940, and the Japanese likewise keep their territorial ambitions contained to China, it's unlikely anything is going to change significantly re progress of WWII.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 17991
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-02-26 04:20pm

Honestly, the fact that immortality (and presumably magic) is now demonstrably real is going to have more of an impact in the long-run than who specifically came back.

As to the Nazis... the allies still win, and keep executing them until it sticks.

FDR and Churchill likely become very valued advisors to future Presidents/PMs, due to their historic role and multiple lifetimes of experience.

Edit: How come Joseph Stalin doesn't get immortality? Don't get me wrong, the world is probably better off without Immortal Soviet God-Emperor Joseph Stalin, but he's at least as "legendary" as plenty of others on that list.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

User avatar
KraytKing
Padawan Learner
Posts: 394
Joined: 2016-04-11 06:39pm
Location: US East Coast

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by KraytKing » 2019-02-26 08:58pm

I chose 1940 as the time because that's when the majority of those on the list are at a good age to be frozen. If Zhukov stopped aging when he was twenty, other soldiers would have trouble taking orders from someone who looked like he was still a kid. Same with Roosevelt, Hitler, and so on. I want them all to get their major accomplishments under their belts before anyone notices they've stopped aging, to make sure they still get their accomplishments. I was going to choose 1945, but I wanted the Kaiser on the list for kicks and he would have been dead, so I rounded down.

I kicked Stalin off the list for a little personal bias. I like the USSR in theory, and I know Stalin will destroy it and probably a good chunk of the world if he lives forever.

I do wonder, if I had done it on WWI heroes instead, what would Lenin have gotten up to?
If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
--Mace

The Old Testament has as much validity for the foundation of a religion as the pattern my recent case of insect bites formed on my ass.
--Solauren

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

bilateralrope
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4087
Joined: 2005-06-25 06:50pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by bilateralrope » 2019-02-26 10:04pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-02-26 04:15pm
bilateralrope wrote:
2019-02-26 12:16am
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-02-25 02:51pm
there's really nothing preventing the Allies from simply flinging them into a cell for the rest of their natural lives after a few hangings fail. Or more directly, strapping Hitler to a nuclear bomb.
How many lives would a hanging take ?

No mention was made about the person teleporting to a new location. Just that they recover from their injuries. So anyone being hung would recover from the neck snapping, then go through a cycle of reviving and suffocating until something breaks the cycle.
That's true, once the long drop is done, there's not much to prevent them from noticing that he's taking a *really* long time to stop wriggling and detail a couple of burly soldiers to go pull on his legs until he's finally expired. Or if you want to get even more grim-- he 'dies' for awhile, and they promptly cremate him. Ouch. Particularly if the ashes get scattered.
Isn't cremation going to have him reviving while in the fire ?

How long do hangings typically leave the body hanging motionless before its decided that the person has died ?
If it's long enough for him to revive and start struggling again, that's going to be very noticable. Especially with the skin color changing from suffocated to healthy.

There is going to be a discussion on if he should be cut down or left to suffer while they try to figure out what's going on. If he has lives left after that, then comes the experimentation of different execution methods. A firing squad, beheading, his own gas chambers, etc.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 17991
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Legends Never Die

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-02-26 11:11pm

Solauren wrote:
2019-02-25 05:57pm
Anyone that was executed or died by violence is just harder to off.

I can imagine the shock to Hitler when he blows his brains out, and then gets back up.

Eventually, any of them will be seen as 'massively out of date' and removed from office or leadership positions. Immortal leaders only work in tech civilizations that are stagnant, or where the leaders constantly adopt to the changes in society.
Hitler probably takes it as proof that he's now an immortal god, goes out to lead the charge against the Soviets, and promptly gets shot and blown up a hillarious number of times until it sticks. The Soviets then collect what is left of his body for dissection.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

Post Reply