The great Metropolis of Berlin doesn’t quite rule this world-line. Kaiser Wilhelm II can be forgiven for thinking it does: Britain has conceded the Continent to Germany after the defeat of 1918, and builds its socialist dreams as a consolation for the loss of India and the colonies. America apes German science when it bothers to pay attention to anything at all across the Atlantic. France and Italy cringe at Germany’s feet;Austria feasts from Germany’s scraps in Russia and the Ottoman East. The Empire of Japan might threaten the Reich some day, but for now, they are even more devoted pupils than the Americans. Japanese scientists and technicians have flooded into the new suburb of Yoshiwara,a forest of steel towers sprung up around Berlin’s vast Adlershof aerodrome.There, the rocketplanes roar down out of purple near-space, after soaring from Tokyo across Japan’s “Siberian Economic Zone” and Germany’s “associated Eastern states.” They land in Berlin Metropolis, guided by the calm, efficient minds of the Reich’s finest soldier-servants: the Maschinenmenschen. The Maschinenmenschen don’t quite rule this worldline, either. Not yet.
Worlds of Infinite Horror-14