Thursday, January 28, 2010

Deleted Scene

I discovered today that the file for "Crisis on Earth-348" was imperfect, so I
re-formatted it. Since my wife and I have just been watching Season 6 of
Smallville on DVD, "deleted scenes" were on my mind, so I thought I'd share
with you my idea of a bonus scene:

The shaken young heroes sat around a table at the first coffee shop they had
seen beside the road. They had looked in their various pockets and wallets for
anything they could use for money, but none of them were sure what the money on
Earth-348 looked like. Finally Danny offered up his lucky silver dollar, issued
in 1854 and with a portrait of George Washington on it. Dick had noticed a
reference to Washington having been the first President in Earth-348's United
states, and he figured that even if the coin didn't match exactly with their own
money, it was probably the right size, and the average person wouldn't be too
surprised to see an old coin they didn't recognize. It was the best idea they
had, anyway, short of taking some piece of their equipment to a pawn shop, and
they wanted to take a break right away.

The clerk had taken the dollar without so much as a look, and given Danny two
quarters and three dimes in change. He laid them on the table beside the
glasses. Paula added a pocketful of her own change and passed her emerald over
them. Soon the coins were shifting, Naomi Franklin quarters changing to Ulysses
Grants, Eleanor Roosevelt dimes to Woodrow Wilsons, Joseph Black Diamond nickels
to ones bearing someone none of them could identify.

Dick took two of the quarters and went to a small rack of magazines. he came
back with a tabloid-sized book with a cardboard cover that read "Inventorum for
1944". Apparently it was something like an almanac.

"Okay, Dick," Danny said, sipping an odd cola drink, "you seem to have some idea
what's happened to Coast City, so let's rap."

Dick opened up the "Inventorum" to what appeared to be a map of the United
States and put his finger on the West Coast.

"Nothing's happened to Coast City. It's just that this isn't Coast City,
Califia. It's Golden Gate City, in the state of Eldorado, on a parallel world
called Earth-348. Also, the date on the calendar over there is June 5th, 1944."

Danny gasped.

"The day before D-Day?"

"Dummy up, Dan-o. It hasn't happened yet, here. Anyway, it won't necessarily
happen the same way here."

"Is this, like, an alternate history kind of thing?" Danny asked. "Like it's the
world the way it would have been if the South had won Civil War II?"

"More like a parallel history," Dick said. "Things happen differently, but tend
to come out the same in the long run."

He pointed to the map, with its unfamiliar state boundaries.

"Like, they have 48 stars on their flag, the same as we did in '44, but they
don't represent the same 48 states. And they never had a Civil War I, but there
was something like a second War of Independence a few years later, and Jackson
was the Army leader and wound up as President, and they had what they call the
War Between the States in the 1860s, almost the same as on our Earth."

"So they're still gonna beat Hitler on this world, right?" asked Paula, a bit

"Probably. But it might take another two years here, or there might be a coup in
Germany and the war be over tomorrow. No way of knowing exactly how the parallel
history will work out. So don't go around making any predictions to people, or
talking about some secret military operation before it's even begun."

Paula leaned over and punched Danny's shoulder.

"Or making any bets at the racetrack."

"Seriously, though," Dick continued, "it's important that you guys understand
just how different this world is from ours, and how you can't take anything for
granted. Look here, for instance."

He put a finger on the eastern end of the map.

"There's no Metropolis."

"There's no New Troy at all."

Dick turned the page to a map of Europe, passing over the arrows which indicated
the recent movements of the World War, to put a finger on the eastern

"No old Troy, either," he said softly.

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