For all intents and purposes, rural America died three months after the Black Moon rose in 1867. The last refugee column–Father Walter’s miraculous arrival, later immortalized by Haddon Sundblom’s A Christmas Promise–reached Chicago in 1868. Other camps are recorded after 1868 but were turned away at the city gates, revealed to be madmen or witch-packs in disguise, or made to settle among wilderness peoples and/or local Didikko tribes.
In the two years that followed, the City-States maintained tenuous connections via relatively stable, albeit dangerous, caravan routes. Traveling under heavy guard and moving swiftly by horse and mule along old rail beds and roadways, these convoys provided limited ability to move critical personnel (mostly military or scientific) or supplies (some luxury goods, but mostly the products of companies like Colt and Winchester).
However, on May 8th, 1870, a 200-man convoy was ambushed approximately 10 miles outside of Philadelphia. The convoy escaped and arrived at the city with minimum casualties on May 9th.…
Those claiming our fair city has forsaken innovation before the bleakness of our times need only travel along Broadway, 5th Avenue, or 22nd Street–the busy sinew that ties our beloved Manhattan together–and cast their eyes upward. There they shall find a breathtaking renunciation.
Constructed for the 1896 New York Exposition Fair, this modern-day palace boasts twenty-three stories, advanced elevators, a forced-water fire suppression system and impenetrable foundations to hold safe its many inhabitants. Councilman Charles Taffy (may his wisdom persist!) paid for many of the improvements out of his own pocket; loathsome anarchists and the ever-envious agents of Philadelphia shall find no chinks in the New Exposition Building’s modern armor.
Its glittering flanks are guarded by nothing less than the divine: a total of six-hundred-and-fifty-four copper angels, each shaped by the artistes of Fohrmann Inc. in poses of unearthly beauty. Many of these cling to manfully to gigantic, glass globes set with electric lamps provided by the marvelous workshops of the New Edison Company. As the poet Ginn Wing-Holland wrote from Blackwell’s Lunatic Asylum: “The night sky itself envies the Teapot.”
In mentioning this incredible edifice’s charming nickname, we arrive at the most marvelous of its accouterments: the Exposition Elephant. No tawdry torchbearer or dull flagpole for this, our avatar of Flow Deco and the modern style, nothing less than a vast, rearing elephant shall serve. For upon the sixteenth floor stands that wise yet fierce lord of Lost Africa, his mighty bulk reaching well past the airship dock to trumpet the greatness of Manhattan to the vassal states and beyond.…
The Federal government and the American cities (later, City-States) pursued different tactics in publicly addressing the rise of “Moonspawn”–the wide-ranging collection of unnatural, post-Moon plants and animals that span numerous biological kingdoms.
Prior to its collapse in 1868, the Federal government undertook a systemic campaign of medical misinformation, downplaying the havoc Moonspawn were wrecking throughout rural America. Increasingly stringent controls upon hospitals and universities resulted in a backlash by these naturally-progressive institutions, culminating in the John Hopkins Rebuke of Nov. 17, 1867.
After Federal artillery had reduced the famed Baltimore hospital to rubble, a number of doctors angrily rejected demands to cease Moonspawn postmortem examinations. The most famous of these “protest procedures” was conducted at the Boston City Hospital on Nov. 21, 1867. Excerpts of the postmortem ran in the Boston Post that very day as a special daily edition (also known as a bulldog), under the headline ‘MONSTERS STALK BOSTON.’
Editor’s Note: The following dispatch was sent to Washington D.C. in late October. Ostentatiously, it addresses the confirmation of Gov. Jenkins in Reconstruction Georgia. Jenkins, of course, would not live to be inaugurated.
MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia, Oct. 21, 1867.
His Excellency Andrew Johnson, President:
You will be delighted to know that the state senate has confirmed Gov. Jenkins, as anticipated. He is, as you know, loyal to the reconstruction effort and I foresee no future differences between Washington and his office. We shall make every effort to assist in the transition.
I must now turn to the discomforting events of the past week. While Georgia is hardly the Capitol, we receive our fair share of dispatches from across the South. These overwhelmingly express universal dismay over what our Dr. Bridges (of Harvard fame) has termed a “singular astronomical event.” He refers of course to the darkly-unwholesome satellite that appeared in the sky three evenings ago.
The men have named it the Black Moon. It is a baleful thing.
The second Moon’s rise was heralded with the lowing of cattle about Milliedgeville, and the rusty caw of crows. The inhabitants took to the streets to gawk, but fear soon overcame curiosity. The Georgians now nail their shutters shut and hang crosses and colorful, local charms across the slats.…