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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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 'Second Coming of Christ' by Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor
Alternate Historian Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor says, Estelle Gerard, Holy British Empire and various Popes appear in this exciting tale from the Ratman. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Ratmanifesto site.


January 3

In 1521, German monk Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Henry VIII of the Holy British Empire. Brother Martin was disgusted with the corruption of the British Papacy, and nailed a series of theses on his local church door, enumerating and protesting the wickedness of the English Church. Pope Henry, who had never been one to tolerate protestants, excommunicated then executed Brother Martin.


April 3
In 1367, Henry Bolingbroke, a lesser Bishop who had been born into the distaff line of Plantaganets, was born in Lincolnshire. He seized power from the legitimate line of Popes and reigned as Pope Henry IV of the Holy British Empire from 1399 to 1413, igniting the infamous War of the Roses.


February 7
In 1301, Edward, the Black Pope, became Archbishop of Wales. His only lasting accomplishment for the Holy British Empire was the passing of this title onto each Papal heir; otherwise, his lackluster papacy was distinctive only for its diminishment of the Empire's influence.


February 13
In 1542, Pope Henry VIII executed a fifth consort for heresy. In spite of the rather horrendous ends met by his other consorts, women across Christendom still clamored to join themselves to the leader of the Holy British Empire, and Sister Catherine Parr, author of the devotional tracks Prayers and Meditations and Lamentations of a Sinner, became the Papal Consort in 1543.


February 14
In 1415, Pope Henry V commissions a host of poets to compose a series of love notes to Catherine of Valois, in order to woo her into agreeing to become his Papal Consort. After the success of the poems, it became a standard practice in the Holy British Empire to compose poetry for a loved one on St. Valentine's Day.


February 17
In 1568, Pope Elizabeth I, leader of the Holy British Empire and all of Christendom, launches a holy war by refusing to pay the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire a tribute to allow her ships to sail freely into the eastern Mediterranean. In the great clash between Christianity and Islam, the Ottomans are forced to retreat, and the Pope wins a great victory for her country and her faith.


February 18
In 1516, Sister Mary Tudor, first female Pope of the Holy British Empire, is born in Greenwich, England. Although her time in the shoes of the fisherman was short, she paved the way for her far more successful sister, Pope Elizabeth I.


February 20
In 1494, heretical bishop Johan Friis was born in Denmark. Bishop Friis converted to the Lutheran Church after Pope Henry VIII had Martin Luther executed. Friis was instrumental in spreading the outlawed faith across Denmark, against the laws of the Holy British Empire, and earned Pope Henry's wrath for himself. He was executed for heresy in 1542.


February 26
In 1361, Saint Wenceslas of Bohemia was born. He was canonized by Pope Edward IV in commemoration of his deliverance of Bohemia into the Holy British Empire. The requisite 3 miracles he was supposed to have performed consisted of that task, the healing of a blind girl, and a feast for his fellow Bohemians at which the food never seemed to disappear.


February 27
In 1594, Henry Plantagenet seized the Papal Crown from his cousin, Pope Richard II and took the name of Pope Henry IV. This diversion of the Plantagenet line into a distaff branch has been blamed by many as the reason God cursed the Holy British Empire with the War of the Roses; others say it was Henry's dark arts that encouraged evil to grow within God's Realm.


February 27
In 1594, Henry Plantagenet seized the Papal Crown from his cousin, Pope Richard II and took the name of Pope Henry IV. This diversion of the Plantagenet line into a distaff branch has been blamed by many as the reason God cursed the Holy British Empire with the War of the Roses; others say it was Henry's dark arts that encouraged evil to grow within God's Realm.


March 6
In 1475, Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest artist of his generation, is born in the village of Caprese, Italy, Holy British Empire. His talent was noticed by the clergy at an early age, and he was convinced to move to London, where he created such great works of art as the Ceiling of Buckingham Cathedral, depicting the creation of the world.


March 17
In 460, Patrick, a wealthy British Christian who had single-handedly converted the whole of Ireland to Christianity, died in his adopted homeland. In a few centuries, the Holy British Empire would use the legend of Patrick to convince the Irish to bow to their rule; the Irish became very loyal subjects of the Holy British Empire because of St. Patrick.


March 20
In 1413, Pope Henry V, second in the Holy British Empire's Lancastrian line of popes, dons the Shoes of the Fisherman at the death of his father, Pope Henry IV. Pope Henry V, while a miserable ruler in most ways, was a military genius, and recaptured many of the continental possessions lost by his weaker predecessors.


March 25
In 1133, the founder of the Plantagenet line of popes, Henri Plantagenet, was born in Anjou. As Cardinal of Anjou, he attracted the eye of Eleanor of Aquitaine, former wife of Louis, the Archbishop of France. Through her influence and possessions, Henri raises himself to the papacy in 1154, rules the Holy British Empire until his death in 1189.


March 24
In 1603, the female pope, Elizabeth I, of the Holy British Empire dies in London. In spite of initial trepidation at her rule, she turned out to be one of the greatest Popes the Empire had ever known, expanding Christendom across the oceans and onto all other known continents.


March 29
In 1058, Frederik van Lotharingen, a bishop of the Roman branch of the British Catholic Church, died in Belgium. During the first century of the Holy British Empire, many leaders of the old Roman church had been active in seeking to take back leadership from London, but with van Lotharingen's death, the Roman church's position was settled for a few centuries.


September 20
In 1870, the rebellious Italian baronies that called themselves the Papal States were finally subjugated under the banner of the Holy British Empire. Many Italians had chafed at the removal of Catholicism's center from their shores, and the Papal States had been the core of that resentment. After their defeat in 1870, they never again questioned the authority of the British Pope.


September 23
In 1122, the Concordat of Cornwall established that the Pope or his representatives would name the clergy in any Christian country. Pope Henry I of the Holy British Empire and Prince Callistus of Italy had been in a struggle over this issue for years, and Henry finally beat the prince down.


November 23
In 912, Otto of Germany, the last serious pretender to the old Roman Empire, was born in Saxony. Maintaining that Pius had lacked the authority to crown Arthur pope, Otto led rebellions against the Holy British Empire throughout his life until his final defeat in 971 by Pope Edward the Peacable.


November 30
In 1667, future Bishop Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland. Bishop Swift arose to his position by his harsh treatment of his native countrymen; during a particularly terrible famine in Ireland, he even suggested to Pope William that the Irish could use their young as a source of food. Of all the Archbishops the Holy British Empire appointed to oversee Dublin and Ireland, none was hated more than Bishop Swift.


December 7
In 1941, Pearl Harbor, in the Hawaiian Protectorate, was attacked by heathen Shinto from the Japanese Empire. Pope George VI of the Holy British Empire declared a Crusade against them the next day, and all of Christendom attacked the island nation and its Buddhist allies in Asia. The Holy World War led to the establishment of Christian nations across Asia and the Pacific.


April 11
In 1471, in the penultimate battle of the War of the Roses, the Yorkist Pope, Edward IV, defeats the Lancastrian Pope, Henry VI, and takes London. With the capitol in his hands, His Holiness Edward IV begins his 12-year reign of the Holy British Empire.


April 17
In 1534, prior to his summary execution for disloyalty, Sir Thomas More was confined to the Tower of London by Pope Henry VIII. Although More had proven himself a valuable propagandist against the few remaining Yorkists in the Holy British Empire, Pope Henry thought him too capable a man to be left alive.


March 5
In 1461, the Bishop of York deposes Pope Henry VI and is crowned Pope Edward IV. His sons will be the last generation of the Plantagenet line to rule the Holy British Empire. His reign marks the last 2 decades of the War of the Roses.


March 15
In 963, agents of the Holy British Empire assassinate Romanus II of Byzantium, paving the way for Pope Edmund the Magnificent to assume lordship of the eastern remains of the old Roman Empire. Although short-lived, the British rule of Byzantium produced some of the greatest medieval works of art, such as Athelian's Byzantine Skies.


January 22
In 1901, Her Holiness, Pope Victoria, died in her Scottish residence. Pope Victoria, at first a strong-willed leader of the Holy British Empire, waned in her later years after the death of her consort, Albert. Victoria wore the Shoes of the Fisherman longer than any other Pope, and during her papacy, the Empire grew to enormous heights.


January 21
In 1077, the Tuscan Bishop Hildebrand begged forgiveness of Pope William I for his heresy in challenging the Pope's directive that all clergy in the Holy British Empire should be approved by him. Bishop Hildebrand continued to defy Pope William, even declaring himself the Pope once, until His Holiness had him arrested and executed by the Papal Guard.


January 18
In 1486, a year after wresting control from Pope Richard III's cold, dead hands, Pope Henry VII wed his cousin Elizabeth of York, uniting the feuding Plantagenet line of clergy. There was some question about the wedding, as Elizabeth's brothers Edward and Richard were more than likely murdered by him to clear his ascension to the Papacy of the Holy British Empire. In her diaries, Elizabeth seems to detest both Henry and the life of a papal consort, but remains loyal to Pope Henry until her death.


July 14
In 1789, the Protestants of Paris rose up against Archbishop Louis and the excesses of his church. Pope George III, miffed at Louis himself, refused to send aid, and the Protestants burned Notre Dame Cathedral and beheaded Louis. Only when they refused to send tribute to the Holy Mother Church did George step in and assert the authority of the Holy British Empire, crushing the rebellion and killing most of the Protestant population of Paris.


September 4
In 1530, Ivan the Terrible, known as the Russian Tsar, was born in Moscow. He was the last independent ruler of the country, since after his death in battle in 1579, the Holy British Empire claimed Russia.


September 9
In 1585, Cardinal Jean Richelieu, advisor to Pope James I of the Holy British Empire, was born in Paris. Richelieu was considered by many to be the most powerful Prime Minister the Empire has ever known; in many ways, James was just a figurehead. However, the Red Cardinal had made many enemies during his years as James' red right hand, and on James' death, Richelieu was deposed by James' successor, Charles.


December 29
In 1170, Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury and rival for Pope Henry II of the Holy British Empire, is murdered by four priests as he knelt in prayer. Beckett and the pope had been friends for decades, but as Henry veered towards liberalization of the Holy Mother Church, Beckett began to oppose him, and he swayed many bishops and cardinals to his side. After his death, Pope Henry ruled with unquestioned authority.


April 21
In 1509, Pope Henry VII died. He had ended the long War of the Roses by deposing beloved Pope Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. In order to secure his papacy, he murdered virtually all of his predecessor?s family; in a masterpiece of propaganda, he painted Pope Richard as the usurping murderer who ill-served the Holy British Empire.


April 23
In 1014, pagan northmen, known as the Vikings, murder Archbishop Brian Boru of Ireland and attempt to carve the Emerald Isle out of the Holy British Empire. Pope Aethelred the Unready, who had been losing the Empire's continental possessions for years, was finally stirred into action, although he was unable to take back Ireland during the final two years of his papacy.


May 12
In 1937, Pope George VI put on the shoes of the fisherman in Buckingham Cathedral after his brother Edward gave up the papacy of the Holy British Empire out of love for a Protestant woman. Former Pope Edward had fallen in love with a colonial woman, Wallis Warfield, in spite of her heretical views, and gave up an empire for her.


May 27
In 2002, the immortal Comte de St Germaine finally achieved his goal of uncovering the Holy Grail. With its power, he began his campaign to have himself declared King of the Holy British Empire.


May 28
In 1704, Pope Henry IX succeeded his father, Stephen II, as pope of the Holy British Empire. Stephen II left behind a legacy of fanaticism unequaled in the history of either the church or the empire; thousands of so-called 'Protestants' were put to the stake under his reign.


May 29
In 1224, Pope Richard I of the Holy British Empire, (popularly known as Bloody Rich), died of an infection suffered when an arrow struck him in the chest in an assassination attempt. In his last words before his death at the hand of Papal Guards, the assassin proclaimed himself a protester against the cruelties of the Church; this spawned the anti-Church movement known as 'Protestantism'.


April 28
In 1442, Pope Edward IV of the Holy British Empire was born in England. His 22-year reign should have marked the end of the infamous War of the Roses, but the devilish Lancastrians were not put down even after two decades of holy rule by their cousins, and seized power from his brother Richard shortly after Edward's death.


May 13
In 1568, Mary, Archbishop of the Scots, is defeated and driven from power by the forces of Cardinal James Stewart in the name of her own son. Archbishop Mary flees to England to seek refuge with her sister, Pope Elizabeth, but is considered too much of a threat to the Holy British Empire, and is imprisoned and beheaded. Her rebellious son, though, eventually rises to fill the shoes of the fisherman himself as Pope James I.


May 31
In 1224, Pope John succeeded his brother Richard as ruler of the Holy British Empire. A noble and enlightened ruler, John was beloved by the people, but despised by his cardinals and bishops. His 17-year reign was torn by many rebellions, all put down with the help of popular support. Under John's reign, slavery was abolished from Holy British shores; unfortunately, on his death, it swiftly returned.


June 3
In 899, Pope Pius III met with King Arthur of Britain and declared him to be God's Apostle on earth. He crowned him Pope Arthur I, abdicating his own position, and Arthur renamed his kingdom the Holy British Empire. It included many disparate areas of Europe at its beginning, but by Arthur's death in 932, it stretched from Scotland to the Italian boot.


June 13
In 1304, so-called 'Protestants' founded the city of Jesu, in France. Worshipping in secret, the Protestants grew in number in the region until they felt strong enough to attempt secession from the Holy British Empire.


June 15
In 1225, Pope John of the Holy British Empire signed the Magna Carta, guaranteeing the rights of all British citizens. This move is universally opposed by his bishops and cardinals, leading to the first of many rebellions against his Holiness.


June 20
In 1837, Pope William IV of the Holy British Empire dies, and is succeeded by his daughter, Pope Victoria I. Victoria takes the stagnant Catholic empire and extends its rule from Europe onto every continent in a papacy that lasts for 70 years. Many during her reign believed that she was Arthur finally reborn, but this was squashed as heresy.


June 25
In 1265, Bishop Simon de Montfort faced Pope Henry III at the Battle of Evesham. After de Montfort was thoroughly routed, Pope Henry said, 'God has decreed a terrible punishment for all those who stand against him,' and ordered the rebel bishop dismembered. After tales of de Montfort's grisly end spread across the Holy British Empire, no one dared take up arms against the pope until after Henry III's passing.


June 26
In 1483, Archbishop Richard of Gloucester was named by the College of Cardinals as the next Pope of the Holy British Empire, following the death of Pope Edward IV. Many cardinals of the Order of St. Lancaster objected, preferring Monsignor Henry Tudor of their own order, and this caused a holy war to break out between the 2 factions. In the ensuing battle, the Lancastrians won, and Henry was installed in 1485 as Pope Henry VII. The Holy British Empire mourned the change; His Holiness, Henry VII, was not the best leader they had had.


June 28
In 1491, future Pope Henry VIII of the Holy British Empire is born. Henry was the most tolerant Pope towards the Protestants in history; some wags even called him the 'Protestant Pope'.


December 31
In 1958/1958, a televised broadcast of the Papal New Year's Mass is simulcast from St. Paul's Cathedral in Rome, Italy and Buckingham Cathedral in London, Holy British Empire. The confusing scene of Pope Elizabeth II and Pope John XXIII giving the same sermon in two different languages brought many Catholics to church for explanation.


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