Worldbuilding Wednesday – Alamo 400k

Setting the bar tour aside for a while because it’s basically the same thing as the job interview thread in the main story. I should have realized that a while ago. Oh well. Back to normal worldbuilding.

If you asked the average North American what Alamo 400k is, most would say they’re terrorists (although some people would think ‘heroes’ in the head while they said it) but beyond that, answers would vary.  Some would say they’re anti-globalists.  Some would say they’re anarchists.  Some would say they’re white nationalists.  Some would say they’re anti-NBHs.  Some would say they’re nothing more than a drug cartel.  The stated goal of the Alamo 400k group would surprise many –  

“To provide overt and covert aid to anti-communist guerrillas and resistance movements in an effort to counteract pro-communist movements in Africa, Asia, and South America.” 

The origins of the group would be even more confounding to the “man on the street”.  In the late 1860s, a former Texas Ranger was discovered to be funding and organizing an extralegal secret police force designed to keep the Pecos Republic free of “undesirables” such as labor organizers, anti-capitalists, pacifists, anarchists and the like.  It took until 1870 for the for the legitimate Pecos authorities to uncover the full extent of this network and their operations.   

While a few ringleaders (or scapegoats depending on who you ask) were imprisoned, this organization was incorporated almost wholly into the Pecos government structure in 1871 with the founding of Branch 4, an ill-defined and shadowy organization that has at various times acted as investigative law enforcement, intelligence service, and expeditionary military force.  For the majority of the 19th century, Branch 4 focused on infiltration and intelligence gathering of anarcho-communist organizations and other social anarchists.   

No later than 1920 (but possibly much earlier) Branch 4 began focusing the bulk of its assets on communist groups, most critical including those based outside the Pecos Republic.  Branch 4 was dissolved in 1943 after numerous incidents of unwarranted appropriation of government funds and military matériel, political corruption, and illegal activity on foreign soil.  The core of Branch 4 true believers continued to operate in secret using funds and equipment stashed away in hidden depots for just such an occurrence.   

The former operatives of Branch 4 became associated with the name Alamo 400k after the 1947 San Antonio bombing by South American extremists (retaliating for the Pecos-US air strike on Sao Paulo) which they claim killed 400,000 people (the official number of dead and missing from that attack is closer to 20,000).  It is also variously claimed that 400k refers to the number of members in the group, but no reasonable intelligence agency believes they have even a hundredth that size of organization.    

The decentralized and highly secretive nature of the organization makes it difficult to gather concrete information on.  The widely varied actions it undertakes are evidence of several key members with unaligned personal agendas.  Each of these key leaders seeks to increase their own authority and resources while weakening those of their ideological or personal enemies within the group.

Each claims to have the true vision of what Alamo 400k is and does their best to prove it by games of one-upsmanship and occasionally outright conflict.  Individual agents follow their leader’s example and often compete for power, profits, and prestige.  A successful, high-earning agent gains more influence within the organization than a weaker, less profitable one, and some try to improve their own track records by stealing from or hindering other agents, usually covertly but sometimes openly.

Alamo 400k’s own culture and rules exacerbate this behavior — the best way to find an opportunity for advancement is to create a vacancy yourself. 

The Royal Ramble (that’s a wrestling pun)

I love wrestling.  I don’t know why exactly because it’s objectively bad for everyone involved.  I stopped watching for a while after a lot of women started speaking out about sexual abuse and general assholery in the business.  But eventually I started watching again because I guess I hate women.  Then I stopped watching for a while again just because I had no way to watch because I gave up on cable and I don’t like streaming services. 

But I finally broke down and got Peacock and now I’m watching wrestling again.  The other day I watched Walter against Zach Sabre Jr at Progress 77 and was like “oh right, I love this”. 

Which is a heartbreaking indictment of how much time I am wasting in my fleeting, ephemeral life watching grown men and women pretend to fight.  I often wonder what kind of bizarre personal defect makes me a wrestling fan.  What kind of a sociopath would watch this for fun?  Answer: me, apparently.

The best I can come up with is that wrestling is a sad demonstration of the tribalistic bloodlust that permeates the baser elements of the human emotional spectrum.

Anyway, this is a preamble to me talking about the new extended trailer for the program Heels.  There’s this guy call Stephen Amell.  He was in the Green Arrow as the titular Green Arrow. Like me, he loves wrestling.  He loves it so much he used all the clout that comes from being on the CW to be on wrestling shows sometimes – as a wrestler I mean, he wasn’t just hanging out like Jon Stewart.  And now that Green Arrow is over, he’s used that clout to make a new show about wrestling called Heels.  Also, I now think that show was maybe just called Arrow, not Green Arrow.  But he played the Green Arrow as a kid or something. 

Sidenote: one of my friends stood in line for hours to get Stephen Amell’s autograph for his daughter because he’s dreamy.  I don’t know if he’ll ever stop being mad about that.

The Heels trailer looks pretty good but there’s one bit that really annoyed me.  The show is about two wrestling brothers and they’re outside a bar and some dudes are like “wrestling is fake, we’re going to beat you up!” and so Stephen Amell and his brother are ready to throw down because you can’t let anyone call your fake sport fake. But before they can throw down, Stephen Amell’s brother’s girlfriend takes out one of the dudes in one move because she’s also a wrestler. 

Nothing wrong with that conceptually, except the move she does is to jump on the guy, wrap her legs around his head, and backflip him to the ground – AKA the lady move that lady actioners do in every lady action thing ever.  Because how else would a lady fight other than wrapping her legs around a guy’s head?

“But Jeremy that’s a wrestling move, it’s called a hurricanrana.”

Yes I know that.  It’s one of the wrestling moves that is clearly two people working together and has nothing to do with real fighting.  But that’s not really the point.  It annoys me that in all action things, this is the lady action move.  Flying genitals to the face. 

Sidenote, does hurricanrana mean hurricane frog in Spanish? 

Six blogs back, I ranted extensively about how much I hate the lady flying head scissors maneuver in movies and TV (I don’t love it in wrestling either, for the record) but I’m too lazy to go back and grab that and repost it here.  Which is good news. 

Remember when that lady on Heroes with the Taskmaster power to copy anything she sees does a Tiger Feint Kick to stop a robbery because she saw her son watching WrestleMania 22?  Did she ever show up again?  I give Lost a lot of crap for having a strong start and then seeming to be written with no plan at all, but Heroes was probably worse.

I feel like after the first couple of episodes, a writer would say “What if we had a character with this power?” and everyone would think it was cool and they’d show up for one episode and then the writers would be like “What’s the plot of this show again?” and everyone would shrug and go back to thinking up new characters. 

Hey, that’s kind of like the comic book Ela blog that I’m writing.  Oh no, I’ve been hoisted by my own petard!

A petard of course being a special outfit like a leotard, with a lot of fancy buckles and loops on it, that rich people would wear when they were feeling especially smug, but then poor people would tie a rope through one of the loops, and hoist them up a pole and then let them dangle there as punishment for being cocky.

One time there was a wrestler named Lita.  She did the hurricanrana because she was one of the first women in the WWE that could do much of anything and they weren’t not going to have a lady throwing her stuff in people’s faces.  That’s not fair actually, she was trained in Mexico and that’s just a standard move in Lucha Libre. 

Anyway, one time she broke her neck and was out of action for a year and a half.  I always assumed this was from wrestling, because that’s a thing that happens, but I just found out that instead, she was on that show Jessica Alba Wears Leather and Rides A Motorcycle, and she broke her neck doing that because a stunt woman dropped her on her head.  Is wrestling safer than Hollywood stunts?  I suppose if you count each move a wrestler does as a separate stunt, it probably is per capita.  Huh. 

I read a couple wrestling blogs on here and sometimes I go to leave a comment and they have the comments turned off.  And I wonder why that is.  Then I remember that most people that like wrestling and will go to the trouble of making a comment are going to say something mean or insulting.