The Empires of the Sun: A Fantastic Alternative History


Pierre and Ali were literally destroyed by their lust for power. As they tried to consume Kensuke and the expedition, they failed to take outside interference into account. Gretchen cast a spell that ensured that the teleported expedition would be passed into the False Gods faster. The result was that the transported people materialized inside Pierre and Ali before they could be devoured. Since they had tried to devour the most powerful thing first, the construct materialized inside of Pierre's insides. Ragnar had bits of Ali all over his armor. Kensuke had been instructed to hold his breath in case he had been materialized inside anyone. However, Ragnar and the construct were both intact afterwards. The False Gods, lacking their construct bodies, were very easy to kill.

"THAT'S IT?!" Ragnar shouted. "What about their elite troops, bodyguards, and construct bodies?"

This fortress is their inner sanctum. The bodies are kept outside to serve as their public faces, and the guards are there to prevent people from forcing their ways inside in more conventional ways, Gretchen's voice explained.

"What the hell are we going to do now?" Kensuke shouted. "We're stranded in the middle of an enemy capital, outnumbered, and we just killed their gods!"

"My Mistress has planned for most of these situations," Atlacoya added. "But the Ali's haste and Pierre's hunger only spread up their demises. The thaumaturgical portal is still active, so escape is not an issue."

The Mexica woman began to chant. "Everyone, through!" she ordered.

Not wanting to protest, Kensuke and the Armsman led the way through the portal. Kensuke found himself starting at a vision of Gretchen like several times before.

"Our mission has been accomplished," the She of the Jade Skirt explained. "The priesthoods of the False Gods will be fighting amongst themselves for power. But likely, the human figurehead of the False Gods, the Huey Tlatoani or First Speaker, will try to retain his power."

"Won't they try to head north to take revenge on us?" Kensuke inquired. "After they resolve their own internal power struggles, at least."

"The few that knew about the Nisei settlement are dead. Without the constructs and False Gods to lead them, they will be unable to launch a campaign that far north, or even get significant numbers of forces through thaumaturgical portals," Gretchen explained. "I have considered several scenarios, and each of them ends with Aztlan turning upon itself and its neighbors. Someone may unify the remnants of the empire, but that will take decades at the very least. And they will be weakened, due to the massive amounts of human sacrifice they rely on."

"But what about you and your supporters?!" Kensuke asked. "Are you going to abandon them?!"

"No. Most of my followers will be joining me," Gretchen inquired. "The others will be using my ships to explore and settle other parts of the world. The empire of the False Gods rots with them."

"What do you mean by joining you?" Kensuke inquired.

Ragnar's voice was heard in the vision, but the samurai could not hear the ab-dead Norseman. "This is something I heard from both her and some tribes I met. There's a prophecy that in seven centuries, ancient gods will be unleashed on the world. They're the sort of gods Pierre worshiped, which doesn't bode well. The prophecy itself was written by a thaumaturge projecting himself backwards in time."

"So are you going to try to prevent the events from taking place?" Kensuke suggested. "How do you know such a prophecy is even valid?"

An image of Atlacoya appeared.

"Through cross-analysis and comparing thaumaturgical sciences. The procedure is difficult, but it has been done throughout history," Atlacoya explained. "Pierre himself did it, projecting himself into the past to learn dark, ancient rituals. But what we are planning is to try exploring other lands and realms to find allies. The prophecy stated that finding as many allies as possible would be the best chance of surviving."

"But what about my expedition?!" Kensuke inquired. "Are you just going to leave us?!"

"No. If you or anyone wishes to accompany us, you are welcome to. Everyone else will be transported back to New Edo," Gretchen asked. "We are not in a position to pass up any more help."

Kensuke thought for what seemed like an hour.

"May I return to New Edo to make a record of my expedition and ask the Emperor in Exile's permission?" he inquired.

All three nodded.

After completing both tasks, the samurai took the Green Lady's hand and stepped into eternity.