Hallowed Be The Fatherland

Epilogue

When Jaco Tompson came to, he found he was back in the capsule. He looked to his side, expecting to see Janis holding onto his grappling hook, but he only found a frayed rope. Immediately, his mechanical stomach felt ill. If Janis wasn't there, it meant she could've been blasted to beyond oblivion.

However, there was hope. Jaco knew that even as his pod returned to the planet and was recovered by the Volksreich Imperial Navy and his Symphonic drones. It would take time to find her, and he had lots of time. The libraries of Siloporea had been rediscovered, and some useful information would have to reside there.

Hell, I'll see if I can find some way to unfreeze those people stuck in time. They were experts back in their day, and once they get over the culture shock, we've got a lot to learn from them, Jaco mused. By no means will this be my effort alone. I'll invite people from the guilds, government, and hell, whatever other countries can offer aid. Manifold research is going to be a hot topic in the future.

It did not take an economist to foresee that.

---

In the following days, an economist was preparing for the big day. He and Kwan would finally be walking down the aisle. Both of them being nonreligious, the ceremony would be a quiet civil one, with a government official reading them the vows. Yoshua was putting on his best clothing when Darius Bisandine entered the room.

"So, how's it feel?" his boss asked. "I've just wanted to give a letter to you. It's fairly urgent."

"From who?" Yoshua asked as he ripped it open.

"You'll see," Bisandine replied with a smirk. "Read it aloud."

Yoshua did just that. "Dear Yoshua, I am writing to congratulate you on several things. First of all, your strategy of housing vouchers and budget allocations helped house the thousands of homeless in the aftermath of the Imperial City and the Tarin City disasters, as well as ensure money for humanitarian relief was used in the most efficient manner."

"Keep going," Darius ordered.

"Second, your strategy of economic blockades has resulted in the capture of the rogue Othuni general Al-Dajjal. He and his accomplices were handed to the Volksreich shortly after your recommendations of sanctions were employed. In addition, the late Karlov Reeve's criminal enterprises and international crime rings are currently under investigation, as well as the officials he had bribed or blackmailed."

"The best parts are last," Bisandine snickered.

"Third, I would like to make two announcements. The first is funding for the development of economics into a practical science would have been impossible without you. A new committee, comprised of both public officials and private academics, to develop economic theory has been formed. Economic thaumaturgy will also be studied. You are requested to lead the committee. Second, I shall abdicate the Golden Eagle Throne soon. Effective upon my resignation, the Volksreich is to become a full republic. Until proper elections can be held, Darius Bisandine will be interim-Chancellor. However, there is one more thing I shall due before my resignation is effective."

"So it's from the Kaiser?!" Yoshua exclaimed, his voice somewhere between elation and shock.

"Keep reading," Bisandine ordered.

"That last thing is something that should make you and Kwan proud. Upon hearing you were having a small civil ceremony, I immediately protested. Instead of a local magistrate reading the vowels to you, I will personally read them myself. I will throw a banquet afterwards, in honor of both your fiancé's and your service to the Fatherland. You have both went above and beyond the call of duty. -Sincerely, Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm I."

Gazing at Yoshua's speechless face, Darius mentioned, "There's still more."

"PS- Otto sends his regards."

"Oy vei! You went all out for this!" Yoshua exclaimed.

Darius smiled as Yoshua hugged him. In the following wedding, Otto was the best man.

---

The mist settled onto the sea, lapping at the base of the rocky cliffs. Upon the cliff, a crowd of robed figures gathered. Isabella from Parliament was there, as she was trying out a Druidic lifestyle due to a very close friend's counsel.

"Archdruid Wian Pamsnos, we are ready for the ritual," she told her close friend.

The Archdruid removed his robes. He was sky clad, save a small loincloth. "Glory be to the All-Father!" he said.

"Glory be to the All-Father!" the druids repeated.

"Blessings to the Son Zostra."

"Blessings to the Son Zostra!"

"We must humbly learn thaumaturgy as servants of the All-Father."

"We must humbly learn thaumaturgy as servants of the All-Father!"

"Hallowed be the Fatherland."

"Hallowed be the Fatherland!"

"Blessings unto all under the light of the All-Father, whether they know it or not."

"Blessings unto all under the light of the All-Father, whether they know it or not!"

"May the peace remaining last."

"May the peace remaining last!"

A column of light came down from the clouds and surrounded the Archdruid. "May the All-Father hear our prayers."

"May the All-Father hear our prayers!"

The ritual continued, as all manner of woodland creatures gathered around the ritual circle. Flowers began to bloom. The Vigilant Keepers of the Grove were preparing for a special guest arriving soon. Soon enough, a zeppelin landed nearby, and the newly anointed Supreme Pontiff Serlach Zarusal climbed out. The celebration began in earnest, with Orthodox and Druid talking to each other. Deists and Qaballists were quick to join in as well.

---

Meanwhile, in a different dimension, far away, Janis Zweiblutten walked. She trudged through yet another wasteland, through the deepest void, and banned from paradise. She was left alone, and walked alone. She had her will and her weapon to keep her company, and that was enough.

What does not kill me makes me stronger, she recited.

She now had a lot more time to think now. If her home dimension, as well as countless others, were born from the Manifold, perhaps a few conclusions could be drawn. If the Manifold reacted to sentient thoughts, and created images based on such thoughts, perhaps all those worlds were the dreams of someone, somewhere out there.

Perhaps I should find that entity or individual sometime, Janis thought. It is companions the creator seeks, not corpses nor herds nor believers, but fellow creators. Those who write new values on new tablets.

Someone out there was her homeworld. Somewhere out there were also probably new worlds. Since she had no idea what or who was around, if anyone, exploration was her only option. It would be lonely for most, but loneliness had been overcome. At least for the foreseeable future.

And so Janis walked, beyond good and evil, and beyond the dimensions all knew.

The End.