A map of Iowa
, and the surrounding states in my Palimpsest Universe.
Despite the name of this deviation, and the way the map is laid out, it is pretty obvious that this map is not so much about what's there, but is rather much more about what *isn't* there. It's not really about the big chunk of what in OT is part of Minnesota being within Iowa's borders... this deviation is so much more about: "What the heck is that thing surrounding what should be Des Moines
Welcome to Shadownia
came into existence (in Fact, if not yet in Law) on November 11th, 1986, at twenty-two minutes and four seconds past eight o'clock in the morning, when a 15-Dimensional being accidentally made contact with part of our 4-Dimensional Universe. To be more specific, this entity [now known as "Shadow
" - its real name unpronounceable by human tongue] made contact with the center of Des Moines
As an unfortunate side effect of Shadow's 15-Dimensionality's incompatibility with our 4-Dimensional universe's laws of physics, within an instant, every living thing within a radius of 47 miles was dead. Bacteria. Insects. Reptiles. Plants. Birds. Fish in the rivers. Farm and Domesticated Animals. Humans. Every living thing dropped dead where they stood (or flew, or swam). While never officially confirmed, the death toll was estimated as 895,654.
...and more than that, the "death-zone" remained active. Any living thing that crossed (even just partially) the invisible border between what later became known as "Shadownia
" and the rest of Iowa died instantly. Thousands more died before the roads approaching Des Moines
, and the skies over Iowa - for the zone also extended upwards 5 miles at its central point - were shut down.
For the next two days, chaos reigned. People fled the southern half of the state, clogging the roads, and nearly overwhelming the surrounding states. Iowa's State Government had been decapitated. Governor Terry Branstad
, the Deputy Governor, and most of the Executive branch and the State Supreme Court had been in Des Moines
, and for a while it was not clear exactly who was supposed to be in charge. Eventually, the Secretary of Agriculture, Robert Lounsberry
was found to have survived, and President Nancy Kassebaum
appointed him the interim emergency Governor to help bring Iowa back under control with the assistance of a military appointed Deputy Governor, General Patrick McGrtknlskeiyj
First contact from within Shadownia
came on November 14th at 5:34pm when a telephone on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office in the White House began to ring. The fact that that particular telephone was not connected to an outside line, and also had no ringer caused considerable consternation. When President Kassebaum
answered she heard what sounded like the voice of a young male child, who introduced himself as the being responsible for what had happened in Iowa, and asked if they might meet.
(I'll expand this section a little more later if there is interest)
In the years since, the United States Military has established an exclusion zone surrounding Shadownia
, extending the radius around the renamed city of Des Mon
* by another 7 miles (it was discovered that the water in the rivers flowing out of Shadownia
was incapable of supporting life for that distance). Cities and towns within that zone, already mostly abandoned in 1986, have since been totally taken over by the military as bases of operation. Despite the heavy military presence, some people (thrill seekers, daredevils, Iowan Militants, lunatics) still manage to sneak into the exclusion zone. Most are apprehended before reaching the border of Shadownia
- those that are not caught, are eventually located dead at the border and their bodies recovered and removed if possible.
was satirically renamed "Des Mon
" (intended to be pronounced "Demon") by a West Coast cartoonist by the name of Jeremiah "Jake" Phillips working for the San Francisco Torch
soon after the truth of Shadow
was released to the general public. While Jake was quickly fired for his lack of respect shown to the dead of Iowa, the city's new name stuck in the popular consciousness, and was eventually adopted by Shadow
as well.Apologies to any fellow Deviant's who live within 47 miles of Des Moines, by the way!