The Empires of the Sun: A Fantastic Alternative History

Towards the End

The death of the False Gods was coming soon. As Kensuke stepped through the portal, he was beholden to several visions of grotesque human sacrifice. Several screaming children had their ankles weighted as they were thrown into lakes. Other children were whipped as their fingernails were ripped out. They were lead across several green fields, until arriving at a stake, where they were burned alive. The high priests continued whipping them, ensuring they cried.

The scene changed to a man tied in the center of an arena. He was shot with arrows in the groin, chest, and several places of shame. Aztlan soldiers approached him, and continued shooting him until he died. Another man was chained to a rock, and had a stick in his other hand. An Aztlan soldier in full armor came up to him, and slashed at the bound man. The victim attempted to fight back with his stick, but ultimately failed as he was eviscerated.

The last scenes took place on a massive temple that resembled the titanic elder brother of the war-fanes. A line of grim looking captives were lead up the stairs. At the summit, a struggling prisoner was held to a stone altar, and a blade was plunged into his chest. The Aztlan high priests pulled out his still beating heart, and placed in a receptacle in front of the altar. Blood flowed down the megalithic groves of the pyramid, and turned into the sicky red thaumaturgical energy that Kensuke had detected from the other False Gods and their forces. The prisoner's body was then discarded, and the next one was brought up.

These are the horrors that empower the False Gods, Gretchen's voice echoed. I was forced to take their accursed energy, but I have swore no more. Kill the remaining False Gods.

With that, the city began to appear around them. The city of Tenochtitlan materialized around them. The city was made of several small islands, with gravity-driven sewers and drains keeping the streets clean. The number of canals was astounding. The city was built the center of a massive lake, and the jungle was visible on distant shores. Several massive sandstone pyramids with stone huts on top were the dominant features of the skyline. A central plaza with a massive fortress in the center stood at the heart of the city. The strange glyphs that Kensuke had seen before on the war-fanes were placed on seemingly random surfaces and pathways in the city. Busy pedestrians walked around the city, ignorant to the foreigners materializing in front of the central fortress.

Kensuke saw the insides of the fortress clearly. The man who had escaped them earlier, was standing over the body of a woman that resembled him.

That's Ali, and there's Fatima next to him. Since you destroyed a construct she had bound her soul to, she's comatose until she is thaumaturgically revived, the Green Lady explained.

Just then, another hand plunged a dagger into Fatima's throat. Red energy coursed up the handle, and into the arm the the man to arrive. The man that Kensuke assumed to be Pierre appeared. The European man was filthy, to say the least. He had an unkempt mustache, blood caking his shirt, and a deranged grin on his face.

"Pierre! You bastard!" Ali shouted, reaching for his sword. "Why did you kill my sister?!"

"To absorb her powers, fool," Pierre countered. "In your haste, you lead the Green Lady's dogs right to our door. But, no matter, I shall absorb them before they materialize. Your sister's sacrifice will allow us to crush her once and for all!"

Kensuke felt himself behind drawn into Pierre. Things got dark as the fabric of his existence was ripped apart. In between the moments of existential agony, Kensuke heard Gretchen's voice.

Trust me, and hold your breath, she said calmly.

Not wanting to protest, the half materialized samurai did so as he was devoured by the Frenchman.