A/N: For once, I am ending a fic on an oddly-numbered chapter. In fact this is my first fic ending on a prime-numbered chapter…

Chapter 23: End of the Beginning

Nagano Underground Palace Complex, January 20, 1948

Minister of War Anami believed the Japanese Army's estimates as to the scale of the attack. These were gross underestimates, since the Japanese Army dismissed the intel reports it was getting from civilians as exaggerations. The Army believed there was no way that a PMC could field upward of a couple hundred tanks at once (despite earlier intel reports to the contrary), and the literal two thousand or so the civilians were reporting were dismissed as "Hallucinations of minds unused to the rigors of battle". Unfortunately for the Japanese, the civilians had in fact been UNDER-estimating the numbers of Raider IIs stretching across the waist of Honshu. So, they started preparing to impose martial law to prevent anyone from trying to make peace.

The Supreme Council met at 10:30 AM that day, and Suzuki, coming back from a meeting with the Emperor, said "I am sorry, my dear friends, but the exalted Emperor says it is impossible to continue the war… and I concur."

Togo Shigenori cleared his throat in the awkward silence "We could accept the Potsdam Declaration, but only if they make an amendment maintaining the position of the exalted Emperor…"

Naval Minister Yonai sighed "Whatever it is we need to make a diplomatic proposal NOW! We cannot afford to wait for better circumstances!"

By the time the meeting ended, the Big Six had split 3-3, with General Anami, General Umezu and Admiral Toyoda insisting on three further terms modifying Potsdam. They wanted the Japanese to handle their own disarmament, that Japan deal with Japanese war criminals, and that there be no occupation of Japan.

The full cabinet met at 14:30, also on January 20, and spent most of the day debating surrender. Neither Togo or Anami could attract a majority in the perfectly even split. At 17:30 the meeting adjourned with no majority. A second meeting from 18:00 to 22:00 also ended with no majority. An impromptu Imperial Conference was called and the Privy Council's President also spoke. Hiranuma said quietly "We can no longer defend ourselves, not against the vastly overwhelming armoured threat we face now. The population is restless, food grows scarcer by the day and our people are slowly beginning to starve… We have no choice but to surrender and hope that the spirits of our ancestors forgive us."

(Later historians argued that these words were what sparked the madness during World War Five, namely the creation of the King Oni War Mech and Giga Fortress designs)

At around 2:00 AM, January 21, 1948, Suzuki finally asked the Emperor to choose. Hirohito was said to have stated "I have given serious thought to the situation prevailing at home and abroad and have concluded that continuing the war can only mean destruction for the nation and prolongation of bloodshed and cruelty in the world. I cannot bear to see my innocent people suffer any longer… I was told by those advocating a continuation of hostilities that by December new divisions would be in place in fortified positions ready for the invader when he sought to land. It is now January and the enemy is just tens of kilometres away from this very room."

Although they were in the Nagano Underground Complex it was still dangerously close to the front lines. "There are those who say the key to national survival lies in a decisive battle in the homeland. The experiences of the past, however, show that there has always been a discrepancy between plans and performance. I do not believe that the discrepancy in the case of Kujukuri can be rectified. Since this is also the shape of things, how can we repel the invaders?" He then made some specific references to the campaign Gunter von Esling, Hannah's best protégé, had waged upon Germany "It goes without saying that it is unbearable for me to see the brave and loyal fighting men of Japan disarmed. It is equally unbearable that others who have rendered me devoted service should now be punished as instigators of the war. Nevertheless, the time has come to bear the unbearable… I swallow my tears and give my sanction to the proposal to accept the Allied proclamation on the basis outlined by the Foreign Minister."

Hirohito then departed the meeting, and Suzuki pushed the Cabinet to accept the Emperor's will, which it did. Early in the morning, the Foreign Ministry sent telegrams to the Allies via the Swiss embassy announcing that Japan would accept most of the Potsdam Declaration but "no peace conditions that could or would prejudice the prerogatives of the Emperor would be accepted."

Hirohito was informing the Royal Family that morning, and Prince Asaka, the one most responsible for not stopping the atrocities at Nanking, asked "Will the war be continued if the national polity would be compromised by peace?"

Hirohito nodded simply "Of course, Uncle."

White House, Washington DC, January 21, 1948

Truman snorted as he read the demands that the Japanese were in no position to be making. The annihilationist sentiments at home were strong and he'd realized long ago that the US public would support him even if he ordered the extermination of all Japanese everywhere. With Hannah in the scene he no longer needed to really invade Japan, in fact, he should just let her do the work and help out, saving him money, casualties, and responsibility for anything that happened DURING the offensive in Japan, while still putting the territory in his sphere of influence. He asked his secretary to deliver his telegram to Hannah.

It read simply "Hold firm to your terms, my friend, we must not let Hirohito stand except on trial! May God be with you." Truman was not interested in losing public support by letting Hirohito live, not after all the propaganda demonizing the man…

January 26, 1948

Hannah smirked as she received the messages coming in over the past few days regarding the Japanese announcement and the world's public response. Each country had made its own response, and all the major Allies voted in the negative to the Japanese demands, typically, their messages to her included something about "Who the fuck do they think they are to make demands of us at this time?"

She sent a telegram to the Japanese first, in the form of "We are saddened to learn that you would not accept our generous surrender terms. Did you know that many of the Allies were pushing for total annihilation of your civilization? I will not annihilate the Japanese race, but rest assured that if you do not surrender now, at least half of said race will die in the coming battles. You are in no position whatsoever to make demands, it is time to admit defeat…"

Then she ordered the dropping of the pamphlets she had printed just for this purpose, they had been delivered by a supply convoy just hours ago. It said in part "The Japanese people are facing an extremely important winter. Your leaders were shown certain articles for surrender by the Allied Nations to put an end to this war. This demand was rejected by your leaders, specifically the section regarding the abolishing of your Emperor and putting him, along with relevant members of his family, on trial for their part in the horrendous war crimes perpetuated by Japan's armed forces against the peoples of the world. Their failure to comply may well doom the Japanese people as the might of the Allies is overwhelming. The United States, for example, has developed an atom bomb, which had not been done by any nation before. It plans to employ this frightening bomb. One atom bomb has the destructive power of 2000 or more B-29s." She had worded it to be somewhat inflammatory, as it would either pound in the hopelessness of the Japanese situation inducing surrender, stir up a civil revolt inducing surrender, or make the Japanese Army fight to the death. Any of those outcomes would result in the neutralization of the Japanese military and a satisfactory conclusion to this tiresome war. However, she really hoped it would not be the last outcome and that they would not force her hand.

It turned out to be the last and worst outcome as Japanese civilians were pressed into front-line service in the form of concentrated attacks in the mountains of the Niigata Line starting on February 5th, 1948. Pillboxes, Gun Turrets and AA turrets alike were turned on them and cut them down in countless numbers with machine-guns, though they ceased fire once the civilians began to rout. That was just before the regular Japanese Army units began driving the civilians forward again and the commanders on the defence line realized what the Japanese were doing. While the invaders were stretched thin—three divisions were still engaged in pacifying northern Honshu in a systematic sweep of the island for holdouts—the Japanese were going to try to force their way through by, if no other means presented itself, exhausting the readily available ammunition supply of the SI units.

That was when the rocket artillery bombardment went into effect, a fusillade of the ballistic projectiles coming down out of the sky mere minutes after the barrage was called. Only a few of the targets—the regular Army units—had the chance to even take note of the attack before it raked over their positions with the large HEAT warhead design that was also designed to fragment. They were torn up badly where the volleys hit, but that didn't stop the 200,000-plus Army troops from driving ten times their number of fanatical civilians toward the Niigata Line as bullet sponges. It was then that the hatred of the Allies toward the Japanese military rose to its apogee as the hordes lapped closer and closer to the lines in the areas of attack…

In the end, Hannah had to authorize the firing of cannons and flamethrowers. The thundering of 95mm and 40mm cannons fired in enfilade accompanied the conversion of countless thousands of people into pieces of half-liquefied flesh and shattered bones with sonic overpressure, as well as those killed or shredded directly. The wails of the wounded, the burning and the dying became even louder, while the chattering of machine-guns went on endlessly, mowing down the oncoming horde to more manageable numbers. Aircraft hurling any small bombs on hand, 40-alls and 40-burns, joined the fray and strafed the Japanese hard.

In total, about 300,000 of the civilians surrendered, they were all that remained after the military units had been cut down to the last man and last vehicle. Finally came the search-and-rescue operations, and it was then that the SI troops emerged from their APCs into a land which truly could only be described by Dante. Shredded human bodies, many burnt to crisps, piled up in hills of corpses, sometimes as tall as two men, fluids, flesh and residual body heat from the dead melted the snow and turned it red and brown in rivers of fluids from shredded human bodies. Human entrails squished and tore under the boots of soldiers as they walked cautiously through the graveyard. Bones crunched underfoot too, mostly the skulls and ribs of the bodies the troops had to walk over. The smell was horrific as broken fragments of people were scattered all over the place in a layer at least ten or twenty centimetres deep. Even the most hardened troops threw up at least once as they sifted through the mountains of dead to look for survivors who could possibly be saved. It was a nightmarish butcher shop that had been forced upon the men and women of SI's military arm by the Imperial Japanese Army.

Most of the survivors had to be put out of their misery by a merciful bullet to the head, but some of them blew themselves—and their would-be rescuers—up with hand grenades before they could be dug out of the mounds of human remains. Shortly after that, the search-and-rescue ended with the Raider IIs emerging from their enclaves—where they'd been restocking on ammunition delivered by the supply trucks—and cleaning up the battlefield. They ploughed long, deep trenches, then dozed their way through the piles of corpses, tearing quite a few apart (the stench of shredded intestines was rather nauseating) as the tanks did so. Finally they turned around and dozed the corpses into the trenches they'd ploughed out, before finally pushing some more frozen, cracked-up dirt onto the bodies to cover them up, regardless of whether they were alive or not. If there were still any survivors, they sadly were no longer worth the time, effort and doubtlessly lives required to retrieve them.

While the first surge was happening, Hannah received alarming news: The Communist Chinese, victorious in China, had just joined the war, persuaded by Truman, on the Allied side and invaded the Japanese puppet state in Manchuria. That was bad, very bad, it meant the Chinese could set up their own puppet state in Korea which would likely clash with Allied states in the future and cause tensions between the powers. She also suspected inviting another probably up-and-coming superpower to the Allies was to intimidate her into submission, but she didn't trust Mao as far as she could throw him… Actually, that could be pretty far, but that was beside the point.

She needed to advance, immediately, and finish off Honshu as soon as possible before moving on to the other islands and the Korean Peninsula. She'd already installed a state of semi-martial law in her occupied territories. No Allied personnel were to assault Japanese people unless they hit first and even then there would be an investigation. This law proved unnecessary since the surviving Japanese were the quieter, more docile ones that were surprised at the comparatively humane treatment they were getting and how the food supplies SI had requisitioned from the United States had been for THEM. The Allied personnel were also forbidden from eating the scarce Japanese food, though Truman had protested a little when food was being requisitioned from him, he shut up when Hannah told him that if he didn't give any food he would be no better than Hitler for putting the Japanese on starvation just for their race, like Hitler did with Jews. There was no uprising, there weren't even riots, though there were a couple protests when the Japanese Rising Sun flags were torn down and replaced with the Red Maple Leaf with Bars or Stars and Stripes all over the occupied lands. Things were stable behind the front, now it was time to push that front forward.

A/N: I hated how the Allies didn't let Hirohito take responsibility for war crimes he authorized, just to be politically expedient. Hannah knows when to be political and pragmatic… but she also knows when to be resolute and absolute in her morality. If a few deaths will let you kill a madman and prevent him from killing even more the next time, then you kill the madman. Mercy is for those who are powerful enough to extend it upon the defeated foe… but first that foe must be defeated.

February-March, 1948

Howitzers opened fire all along the front and rocket artillery fired en masse in the opening bombardment beginning at 0000, February 10. 7000 of the aging V-F-1946s, deployed by Aviation Divisions and Brigades alike, smothered the Japanese lines in what would be the greatest close air support mission in terms of weight of bombs and number of planes for the next several centuries. They flew in 5 groups, each group consisting of 1400 planes with one group in the air at any given time, the rest rearming and refuelling. The remaining 360 planes available were given CAP duty, also in 5 groups.

The huge number of planes came from two fixed-deployment Aviation Divisions which added up to 10 brigades with 480 planes each plus eight mobile-deployment style Aviation Brigades, with 320 planes each. They were armed with an assortment of bombs that rained down on the Japanese at relatively irregular intervals en masse all along the line even while the artillery was blasting the Japanese as hard as possible. American heavy bombers were hitting cities all over southern Japan with impunity, flying from Okinawa now, in support of this operation. They were especially focused on Kyushu and Shikoku, to soften those two islands up for the inevitable landings. American intel operations reported that Kyushu's defences had been weakened considerably by troops being pulled out to be thrown in front of the Niigata Line into their own line, and so the US invasion fleet set sail in Operation: Olympic.

Stage Three of Operation: Tyrannic had begun. Commonwealth troops had filtered into the line over the past week to man the weapons and installations as the tired SI troops rested and prepared for the operation. The bombardment continued until 0400, then abruptly stopped. From 1300 to 1400 there was another heavy bombardment. Then on February 11, there were two more bombardments, intermittent from 0000 to 0400 and 1300 to 1400. This pattern continued until February 14 as a magnified version of the usual artillery shelling that had happened since the Niigata Line had been installed, then it stopped so abruptly the Japanese were awake chattering on radio in a sort of fear for the whole night of February 14-15. The lack of SI radio chatter for the last several days unnerved them even further. This silence was because Tyrannic had been so thoroughly planned that unless there was a severe disruption everyone knew exactly what to do, including responses to a few contingency scenarios. February 16 saw the bombardment resume, but it was on the 17th that everything really came to a head, with the initial bombardment even more furious than that of the 10th followed by Hannah's armies surging over the Line. The Japanese had gotten so used to the regular blasting that they were caught in near-total surprise that this time was actually followed up by an attack. They had thought the bombardments were a distraction from the attack on Kyushu.

It seemed that the Japanese still had plenty of kamikazes (having given up on trying to use them on the SI/British fleets) and these had taken a toll on the landing ships as they charged the shore at Kyushu, despite the pre-invasion distraction fleet killing most of them with AAA before the main operation. Suicide boats also attacked US landing craft and their escorts en masse at the southwest-most of the Japanese Home Islands. There hadn't been enough fuel to move them up for use against the invaders coming in from the north, so they were kept here for the defence of Kyushu. The US Marines and Army personnel ashore fought through heavy resistance with armoured support, destroying Japanese installation after Japanese installation using firepower superiority. They were still grinding their way up through southern Kyushu and its quarter-million defenders plus millions of armed civilians when the main hammer-blow of Tyrannic landed.

This blow was landed in the mountainous terrain of central Japan, and it taught the world that, to quote Hannah: "Anywhere a tank can possible go or be put is tank country, even the tops of mountains." By the end of the third day the offensive had completely isolated Tokyo and held the high ground all around the capital, and was blazing west with four of the seven divisions she had on hand. Certainly, the Hokkaido division (Eighth Division) had been brought down to supply heavy hitting power for keeping northern Honshu under control, but enough Logistics and Aviation brigades were in Hokkaido to keep the peace and to keep the Allied troops in check This was to prevent any infractions between Japanese civilians and Allied personnel, to maintain their moral high ground, whatever was left of it after the Niigata Line Massacres.

A huge flag was brought up on the fourth day and a group of soldiers ascended Mount Fuji to plant it after the entire area was secured. The three divisions that surrounded the Kanto Plain were left where they were and dug in as the others advanced doggedly west, supported by Allied troops from the Commonwealth. They had already blasted through Nagano, Kanazawa, Shizuoka, Nagoya, Gifu and were headed for Kyoto. The sheer firepower, armour and mobility superiority allowed them to do this so quickly, the canisters of sleeping gas also helped GREATLY in acquiring Japanese prisoners from caves. Being at DEFCON 1 meant this use of chemical warfare could be authorized, and Hannah had authorized it.

To facilitate isolation of the assorted islands, the Inland Sea was bombed like there was no tomorrow. For the ships there, there wasn't a tomorrow as a tide of aircraft loaded with bombs and in a few cases torpedoes washed over them. The Attack Submarines went in next, firing torpedoes at anything not yet sunk and sweeping the area clear of mines. They would remain there and torpedo anything they needed to until the end of the war, only leaving to re-supply. This killed all shipping between the Japanese Home Islands that was not done in rafts or boats with less draught than about 1.5 meters. The Japanese fleet could not stop them, for it had been bombed so thoroughly it no longer existed, the last few midget subs being torpedoed in their dry-docks BY the Attack Submarines.

Kyoto was overrun on February 25, 1948, due to need for pacification operations in the occupied territory, Osaka and Kobe fell two days later. Tottori was conquered on March the First, and Hiroshima was grinding under the treads of Raider II tanks by March the Eighth. However, contrary to her usual modus operandi, Hannah had ordered that Japanese telegram lines from Tokyo to the other islands be preserved. Hirohito was known to have escaped to Shikoku, which was now the most fortified island in the Japanese Home Islands as Kyushu was crumbling under the weight of the American armies marching up through it and Honshu was almost entirely occupied by a massive Commonwealth force, with the SI divisions as the tip of the spear. The calculated survival rate of the population of Honshu was a mere 33%, far higher than anticipated given the massive hordes that had swarmed the Allied lines with everything down to bamboo spears only to be mown down by machine guns and flamethrowers, plus cannons fired in enfilade if it was found expedient.

A/N: At the time, racists were the vast majority, Hannah is actually astoundingly open-minded, and after fighting as brothers with Black, Brown, and Asian people most of her troops are quite tolerant too. Bonds forged in battle are like that…

On March 5th, all the Japanese Home Islands had been secured and occupied except Shikoku and the Tokyo region. To quote Hannah at the time, stating rather bitterly as she surveyed the footage of the "Fields of Death" as Allied troops named the battlefields for the sheer kill ratio, which was awfully close to being undefined, "If the Japanese consider asking for surrender terms too much of a loss of face, then let them lose face, or let them be crushed. No island so far has had a survival rate of 40%, but I guess that's why the Japanese started the war in the first place, though I didn't want this to be the solution to their problem… which was too many people with too little space to live in." It almost felt like the reports she had read of the Greek Civil War which was still raging even now.

In the meantime, the succeeding Chinese Communists had pushed the Japanese into southeast Manchuria, almost to Korea, and Hannah just somehow knew that Mao, being a dictator, would sooner take all of Korea than adhere to his agreement with Truman. She had a bad feeling that if they did not crush Japan and execute Hirohito soon, as had been agreed on at Potsdam in a more secret part of the conference, the war might just continue with now-Communist China…

The invasion of Shikoku was perhaps going to be the most tragic event of all of World War Two, other than the Holocaust… but it wasn't, surprisingly. This was because of one facet of Stage four of Operation: Tyrannic. The Dawn and the Mist—with the hull lettering painted Hikari and Kasumi respectively to mock the Japanese—sailed into Tokyo Bay. This was after Attack Subs, Corvettes and Frigates had swept the bay of mines and, with the help of several American and British battleships—including the DukeofYork, fitted now with much more reliable turrets—ensured the absence of coastal guns. That meant they looked around, saw nothing, sailed in, waited, and the Japanese did nothing, not entirely unexpected considering the incessant aerial bombardment of all guns in Tokyo over the past weeks and the state of siege the city was under.

It was fortunate that much food had been stockpiled in the capital, or the Japanese would have starved. But according to many, that would have been a preferable fate to watching with awe as two ships flying the ship flags of their greatest battleships—the flags of the Yamato and the Musashi—sailed into the harbour, turned their mighty armaments toward the city, and began shelling the Imperial Palace. The fact that both had been modified extensively did nothing apparently to prevent the Japanese from recognizing the distinctive flags of the ships. As traditionally a ship's flag would always be torn down if the ship sank, and would never be allowed to fall into enemy hands… there was only one conclusion that the Tokyo civilians and Army could draw on that fateful day, March 7, 1948.

They, Japan, had been utterly crushed, if the enemy could have taken the very symbols of Japan—for Yamato was a term for the Japanese race/culture as a whole—and transformed, modified, mutated, desecrated them, then all must have been lost. The shelling of the essentially abandoned Imperial Palace was not nearly as significant as the psychological effect it had on Tokyo and the shocks that travelled through Shikoku as the news was received and spread. For once, the rumours spread slower than the photos on the pamphlets spread by rented B-29s from the US Air Force, but still the civilian will crumbled. Vast sections of the coast were left undefended in the sort of national mourning, and at a few select areas, the Invasion of Shikoku began at the same time as the three SI divisions and seven Allied divisions surrounding Tokyo surged toward the city.

SI First and Second Divisions, followed by the 131st and 79th Divisions of the British Army, came ashore at the large peninsula-like extrusion north of Matsuyama, probably one of the largest cities left on Shikoku. There they met immediate and very stiff—about as stiff as a bamboo stick under a Raider II tank tread—resistance from Japanese Army units, which fought hard despite morale hitting absolute rock bottom. Third and Fourth Divisions, backed by three US divisions, were coming ashore near the southernmost point of the island to nearly no resistance, thanks to the crumbling civilians. Fifth and Sixth Divisions were landing in the east, across the Inland Sea form Kobe and exploiting the valley leading west as well as the plains to the northwest of their LZ to rapidly establish a powerful foothold, fortified by an Australian division and a British Army division. The invasion had begun on March 9, 1948, when it became apparent that despite their despair Japan was determined to commit national seppuku just to preserve face.

In the meantime, the Tokyo area was thoroughly overrun, all defence collapsing as many soldiers and civilians committed mass suicide in the streets with the smoke of the Imperial Palace being levelled forming a backdrop. It took until March 15th to, as Hannah snarled when she read the reports of mass suicides throughout Shikoku just like there had been on Honshu and Kyushu, "Slice the face—which Hirohito wants to keep—off his thick head." She didn't quite do that per se, but she did take care of him personally after the man was dug out from under wreckage along with most of his royal family.

"You speak English?" She growled at him as he was dragged before her by two of her soldiers who threw him before her. He'd been found unconscious after the palace compound had been levelled, hence was captured alive and woke up bound and gagged, with a metal tube jammed between his teeth preventing him from biting off his own tongue in an attempt at suicide.

"Yes" it came out garbled and sounded like "Yesh" but Hannah could understand anyways.

"Tell me, Emperor, why did you start this war?" She shoved the microphone at his mouth.

"The military had a good plan to lead Japan to a glorious destiny of power… I was mostly a figurehead for them." He was still comprehensible enough for the rest of the audience too, judging by the spectators' hissing and spitting at him.

Shouts of "Kill him! Kill him!" rose from the spectators in a great tide of rage before Hannah waved it down and the crowd silenced itself.

"Well, your military failed, and let me tell you, even figureheads can fight their puppet-masters. The Emperor of Japan could make all the Japanese women shave their heads if he decreed it, make your people walk with their hands, but you couldn't wrestle power back from the Army? Bullshit." Hirohito looked away for a moment before Hannah yanked his head back around with fire in her eyes "You authorized the Three Alls Policy in China, you know what that stands for? Kill All, Burn All, and Loot All. Maybe your people should get what's coming to them for supporting such an emperor? An eye for an eye?"

"No, my people are innocent in this!" Hirohito actually managed to shuffle forward a few centimetres on his knees before Hannah kicked him in the stomach to stop him.

"I'm impressed, you have some shred of humanity left after all… you directly sanctioned the deaths of at least 3 million Chinese civilians, and forced the Chinese into a Scorched Earth Strategy. You authorized the killings of over 30 million in the Pacific Theatre by not stopping Japan's out-of-hand military. The worst thing about you as an Emperor was that even when you'd lost, you would not accept deposing of the monarchy and would rather see more than 30 million of your own citizens, men, women and children, looking to you for protection against the big bad world, throw themselves at my tanks. You killed them, Hirohito, not my men, not the Americans, you killed them. Can you live with that guilt? If you can, then you deserve to die, if you can't, then I will give you this final mercy that you deserve." She pushed her pistol to the man's head "Any last words?"

He started in Japanese, then translated to English "With this… I apologize to all of my subjects for the crimes and humiliation they have been forced to bear by my folly…" Hirohito closed his eyes as he finished.

"Good, you at least are decent enough to apologize to them. May you rest in peace, Hirohito, may the Empire of the Rising Sun rest in peace." She gagged him "I hope this hurts more than the obligate hanging an international court has already decreed for you, you deserve it after your sins. A few apologetic words do not balance out an ocean of tears and blood." Then she fired once into his groin to wild (in motions) but quiet (in volume) cheering from the audience eagerly awaiting the serving of justice "That was for the millions of women raped and murdered by the armed forces that you authorized to invade foreign countries." Then she yanked him up by his hair and pushed the gun to the man's forehead as his eyes watered and he writhed in pain. "This is a merciful bullet to the head of a malignant ideology. This will be the death of fear and the birth of hope."

Something notable to readers is the fact that when almost a century later a certain leader who shall not be named here and is at this point in time (1948) unknown to the world at large paraphrased her, Hannah complained for several moments before returning to her work. Unfortunately, most people had by that point long since forgotten the victory speech at the end of the Second World War, thanks to the wars in between, however, SI Propaganda still got the man pretty good for being a copycat.

She moved slightly away from the microphone before firing, then firing again, splattering the platform she was on twice with blood and brains. Then she threw the corpse off the platform where it landed with a dull thud and truly thunderous applause "Rejoice, people of the free world, the blood of your oppressors have been spilt and twenty years of tyranny had ended! Change is coming! The future… will be ours!" The up-thrust fist brought a loud shout and similarly up-thrust fists from all the assembled soldiers at the final victory gathering, needless to say, there was no protesting whatsoever in the Allied Nations as to the execution of Hirohito.

Unfortunately it also brought the survival rates of the Japanese Home Islands' populations down a bit as mass suicides happened all over Japan at the news of their Emperor's death. It was not broadcast, but the basic summary, censored the way Hannah wanted it censored, was printed in papers. There was now only one problem: What to do with Japanese government? Certainly it would be an Allied puppet state of sorts as it was basically shaved down to just over a quarter of its pre-war population. However, the two teenaged candidates for a puppet Emperor, which the Allies had chosen to use as it had more sway with the Japanese people, had both died. The elder son of Hirohito had died fighting, while his brother had been crushed under debris. There was only one real candidate left: the young Yoshiro, who had been found with his mother, hiding in a secret passage out of the hastily set up imperial quarters. The kid was barely a year old, so Truman assured Hannah he would make an ideal puppet. Besides, she didn't allow the murder of children… those running at her troops with explosives strapped to themselves excluded of course.

The people of Japan had been used to an emperor for so long that direct democratic conversion was going to be too rough, and they would NOT respond well to it if she presided over them. None of the other Allied leaders wanted to look anything like a dictator, even if it was for a brief time, it seemed. Hence, she agreed with Truman and the other allies and installed Yoshiro as a puppet, with a full-scale military occupation of Japan. Things would be all right… until the end days of the Psychic Dominator Disaster, over 35 years after the day Yoshiro was crowned. It would be then that madness would return to the world…

But that is a story for another day, another Part of this Archive.

A/N: The second part of the Archive is up now, it will likely examine crimes done by both sides first, you have been warned. There will be reasons why Hannah didn't quite take the UN side in it… and managed to persuade Mao of something

This is the first story I've ever had end on a prime-numbered chapter, it feels… wrong somehow, like I've compressed the second half too much, compromised my principles, or something. Then again it does technically cover three wars, the Spanish Civil War, the Winter War and World War Two, as well as being mostly impersonal, so I guess… yeah.

To complainers, Napoleon took a LONG time with his victory streak before his first defeat…