A More Perfect Union: An Alternate History of the Land of the Free

"Namely allowing the OTL George VI to ascend the throne of one of the independent dominions. I’m thinking Australia."
i wonder how a closer connection with
royalty would affect Australias pop culture image?

the memes would be hilarious no doubt
If that did happen (unlikely to be offered and even more unlikely the king would accept it) there would be a lot of political cartoons where the King is in a prison cell labeled “Australia”.
 
That's highly unlikely, especially since I have plans for New Zealand's north island to break away at some point and form a Maori-majority nation.

Also, update on the (belated) Thanksgiving special: I'm almost done! Expect it in a couple of hours or so.
Ah, makes sense if the Anzacs embrace Vespasianism and crackdown on minorities like the motherland. Australia is going to be an interesting issue, maybe split into two nations?
 
THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS: A THANKSGIVING DAY SPECIAL
So, uh, just note that this is a bit "out there" in regards to the rest of this TL. And in case you can't tell, I really like Alexander Hamilton. Also, thanks to @Napoleon53 for letting me use his incarnation of Hamilton here!

Enjoy! (And sorry this is late, it took longer than expected to write it.)

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Alexander Hamilton wasn't afraid of death.

Well, he wasn't afraid until it caught up to him. And catch up to him it did; Hamilton had lived a long, happy, and full life, going from rags to riches on his storied journey from an unremarkable Caribbean island to the highest seat of power in all of North America as the President of the United States and beyond, but he was not a man who wanted to leave. When his time came, he didn't want to go.

Three sharp knocks came from the doorway, and the aged statesman spun his head to see one of his many students, Abraham Lincoln, standing there. "Ah, Abe. I see my wife let you in, then."

Lincoln removed his stovepipe hat and nodded. "Yes, she she said you didn't look well."

Alexander Hamilton chuckled softly, but before he knew it the laugh morphed into a hacking cough that just wouldn't stop. Lincoln rushed to the bedside table to pour the man a glass of water, but Hamilton raised his hand, steadied his cough, and said, "I can manage myself. But do call Eliza in for me, would you?"

Eliza, Hamilton's beloved wife of seventy years soon entered, as did a handful of their now-adult children. After a few encouraging words to Abe Lincoln, he left, knowing this was not his place. There was not much conversation, yet the silence was not dampening, but pleasant. After a few hours, his kids trickled out one by one, until it was just Eliza at his side.

"You know, almost twenty four years ago to the day, I was in this very situation. Just on the opposite end," Alexander croaked.

"What?" asked Eliza.

"I was down in Washington, celebrating the Fourth of July with Andrew Jackson, when I caught wind that John Adams had died, and that Thomas Jefferson would soon follow. Jefferson sent for me in a letter, so I went to Monticello."

"I don't think you've ever told me about this," she mused.

"No, I haven't. I've been... keeping it to myself."

"Well, go on, then."

"I arrived at the estate. It was enormous, far bigger than this home on the Hudson we own. Slavery was still a few years off from being ended in Virginia, so negroes still labored in the fields. I went inside, and a slave led me to find Jefferson in his bedroom, alone. And we talked. It wasn't a long time that we talked… but that talk changed my life, I think."

"How so?" asked Eliza, deeply intrigued.

Alexander smiled. "He stared me down. And let me tell you, when Thomas Jefferson stares you down, you listen. He was concerned, not for himself, but for the future of the nation. He was worried that, as he and John Adams and the rest of us founders who fought in the Revolution and built this country from the ground up died off, the Union would lose sight of what we had fought for in 1776. So, he asked me to carry that torch, and to spread its flames far and wide. That's where my ideas of Revolutionary Spirit come from. Not my mind, but Thomas Jefferson's."

Eliza grasped her husband's hand. "Yes, but Thomas Jefferson wasn't the man who stood before crowds of thousands and demanded change. He wasn't the man who traveled the world preaching liberty and justice for all. That was you, Alexander. You did that."

"So I did. But, in any case, I fear that I may join him soon, and truly then will the Age of Revolutions be over," he said.

"Oh, don't speak like that! We'll get through this bout of illness. And even if you were to go today, just think of all the young people who are fighting for your cause! There's Abraham, and Frederick, and--"

"Eliza, make sure they stay on the right path," Alexander said suddenly.

"…What?"

"Keep them on the right path. The straight and narrow. Ensure that they don't fall off, that they are not corrupted in their ideals by the promise of power. Keep the flames of the Revolution burning brightly. And, Elizabeth?"

"Yes?" she choked, tears in her eyes.

"I love you."

Alexander laid back in bed, coughed once more, and then breathed his last.

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Alexander Hamilton felt like he'd just had the best sleep of his life, the kind where the instant your head hits the pillow you're out like a light. He wanted to just lay there awhile, relaxing, but he was a busy man. There were places to go, people to see, worlds to save. So Alexander let his eyes flutter open, and his heart skipped a beat.

The statesman sat up quickly, adrenaline pumping through his veins as he realized he didn't know where he was. The landscape around Alexander was not the cozy bedroom he'd been in mere moments ago, but was resting on the roots of a towering old oak tree. As he leapt up in shock, he had his second revelation of the day: he was young again. Alexander was no longer constrained to his old, withered form, but was now back in the body of his early twenties. The clothing he was wearing definitely didn't fit that era, though. It looked more like the suits the young men of the 1850s would enjoy, but it all felt lighter, more breathable and his necktie (colored a dark gold in contrast with the blue fabric of the suit) was long, reaching far down his front.

"Eliza?" Alexander called. "Anyone?"

There was no response, save for the cawing of a few seagulls. It was then that he noticed the river nearby, placid and tranquil, and the city across it. It was unlike anything he'd ever seen, greater than Athens or Rome or Paris or London. Great towers of glass and metal climbed high into the sky, strictly held in a grid by a sea of black pavement that was traversed by horseless carriages. Grand bridges rocketing hundreds of feet up into the air crisscrossed the river, binding the island city to the mainland. Far off in the distance stood a titanic green statue of a woman, clad in a dress and a phrygian cap made of the Stars and Stripes and hoisting a shield aloft.

"Where am I?" he muttered, climbing to his feet and staggering forwards a few steps.

As if on cue, a metal sign appeared from behind a tree, reading, "Welcome to WEEHAWKEN HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY."

Weehawken? Never heard of it. But it's good to know I'm not too far from home, he thought.

Deciding to follow the paved path before him would be the best course of action, Hamilton continued on down the road into Weehawken. An eerie silence filled the town, which was utterly devoid of people. Eventually, he came across the first sign of populated civilization: a place called "Giuseppe's Diner." Behind the plate glass windows a number of people could be seen inside, eating and drinking and talking. Shrugging his shoulders, Alexander stole one last glance at the buildings on the other side of the river and walked to what he presumed to be was some strange restaurant.

As the glass door swung open, a bell chimed, alerting the diner's denizens to the arrival of a new customer. Immediately, the room fell silent as Alexander strode in. Unsure of what exactly was going on, he awkwardly waved and said, "Um, hello?"

A middle-aged woman in a hairnet and apron strolled out from behind the counter, pot of coffee in hand, and smiled when she saw him. "Oh, a new arrival! Grab a seat at the front, why don'tcha, and have a chat with Stew. I'll get your order in a minute."

Hamilton nodded and walked toward the row of cushioned stools at the bar, as the rest of the room stared at him in total awe. He barely made it halfway before a young man stood up and saluted him. "Mister President. It's a great honor to meet you."

"Likewise, Mister…?" Hamilton responded hesitantly.

"Corporal Jackson O'Reilly, 11th Marines, sir. I fought in Lisbon and Seville and died in Gibraltar stickin' it to the damned Limeys, '43 to '44. It's a pleasure to meet the man who put this country on the right track all those years ago."

"Uh, I certainly feel the same way about meeting an American veteran. …I'm sorry, did you say you fought in Iberia in 1843? Surely you mean you fought in Italy in 1848?"

"Oh, that's right. You died in the 1850s. You have no idea what I'm talking about. No, I mean I fought in Europe in 1943."

Alexander's eyes widened. "I'm sorry?"

"Perhaps it's better you come sit up here, sonny," called a soothing voice.

He spun on the spot to see an old black man seated at one of the stools, nursing a mug of coffee in one hand and running his fingers across the cover of a book with the other. Reluctantly, Alexander did as he was told and sat down on the stool next to the man after bidding farewell to Jackson O'Reilly.

The second Alexander opened his mouth to speak, the old man shushed him. "I'm sure you have a million questions that require a million answers. I'm afraid I can't answer them all now, but I'll give you a rundown on a few of the more common ones we get around here: Yes, you're dead. Yes, this is the afterlife. No, this is not Heaven or Hell. No, none of Earth's religions were quite right in their predictions. I am the Steward, but people usually just call me 'Stew.' I evaluate people on their life choices before I send them to the Room Where It Happens. I'll take one question now, and one question only, so make it good."

"…Why New Jersey?"

Stew launched into a hearty laugh that broke the silence in the diner. "Any question in the universe. I offer people an answer to any riddle, any puzzle, any paradox or theory or vast mystery of the universe. I am asked questions about gods and demons and the way the world works. I have never, in all my years, been asked why we are where we are."

"But I did."

"Correct. And I shall answer your question. We are in Weehawken, New Jersey because your spirit is tied to this place. Nine times out of ten, you are shot here. I've seen you die so many times, shot by Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson and John Adams and Daniel Shays. But it's almost always in a duel, and almost always here. In Weehawken."

Alexander furrowed his brow. "I don't understand. I've never been here in my life. And I've never been in a duel."

Stew grinned. "That's what makes you so special. You're not like the other ones. You overcame your greed, your thirst for power and vengeance, your carnal urges, and you spent all your life fighting for the good of mankind. In all the Multiverse, across all space and time, you are the best you you can be."

The woman from before in her apron and hairnet suddenly butted in, tapping her notepad and asking, "Coffee? Or tea?"

Head swimming, Alexander managed to respond, "I haven't had tea since the British closed Boston."

"Delilah, why don't you just give him the blue plate special and pack it up to go. I think this young man is more of a 'seeing is believing' type of fellow, so we'd best get him moving on," suggested Stew.

The woman--Delilah--nodded. "I was afraid of that."

"Stay strong, sonny. You're in for a wild ride," said Stew, clasping Alexander on the shoulder.

In a flash, the world jumpcut from the diner to a railroad station. Sleek trains with no engine at the front and aerodynamic steel and glass frames lay still on the tracks, flanking the platform the former president stood on.

"What the hell is going on," muttered a bewildered Hamilton.

"Welcome to the Room," boomed a cool, female voice from behind him. Alexander whirled around, but he was unable to find the source of the sound. "There are many steps to the afterlife," continued the voice. "Dying is the first, but before someone is sent to Heaven or Hell or is reborn, people go to the Room Where It Happens. The Room is a unique place because it is a crossroad between worlds. It is where one may meet their many, many counterparts across the multiverse, where what went wrong and what went right can be discussed at length because no one knows themself better than themself."

Suddenly, the doors to one of the trains slid open, and out walked Stew from the diner, hobbling along with his cane. "Alexander!" he called. "I sense you're still having a tough time, so I'll help guide you through here."

"Thank God," Alexander gasped.

Stew put an arm around his shoulder and walked with him, explaining the whole deal about dying, and the afterlife, and what comes next. "Essentially, you're gonna meet a few alternate versions of yourself now, as part of the soul judging process. We don't just look at what you did do in life, we look at what you could have done. It's a very modern process."

"So you're going to judge me for something I didn't even do? That doesn't seem fair," protested Alexander.

"Not so much as judge you as compare you. The Justice is an understanding, if blunt, woman; she won't do anything rash."

"Great."

A few minutes later, Alexander and Stew arrived at the entrance to a great hall, one entirely out of place with the rest of the station's aesthetic, which Stew had pegged as "turn-of-the-twentieth-century." It felt like it would be more at home in a medieval castle from the days of yore, and indeed the view out the windows reflected that, showing the beautiful landscape of the Swiss Alps stretching for miles and miles into the distance. Apparently, this was the Hall of Justice, where souls were judged and sent to either the Good Place, the Bad Place, or were reborn into a new life on Earth.

"Go on," urged Stew, pushing Alexander forward across the threshold.

Startled, he turned to see Stew, but he'd already vanished. Turning back, he saw that the previously empty room was now full of people, all of them frighteningly similar. It was like looking into a thousand mirrors, he thought. Everyone was him, and he was everyone. Dozens of Alexander Hamiltons milled around, conversing and debating ad nauseam, and so Alexander decided to join himself. Walking around, he discovered some of the strangest versions of himself he couldn't have ever hoped to imagine. One of them was a British royal, another was a ballet dancer, and a third simply couldn't speak in anything but fast rhymes he called "rap." After a while, though, court was finally called in session, as the hundreds of Hamiltons filed into the jury benches.

A striking woman in the robes of a judge appeared at the front of the room in a flash of light, saying, "Gentlemen, and a few ladies, welcome to your trial. It is here that we evaluate your lives and what you made of them. Your jury of peers are alternate versions of yourself drawn from across space and time, here to ensure that only the fairest of rulings are made in the Room Where It Happens. We shall now begin with our first soul, Alexander Hamilton of Universe N-53. Please come to the stand, Alexander."

A Hamilton rose from the bench and made his way down to the stand. After taking an oath, the Justice continued, "Mister N-53, your life was just like any other Hamilton here, it seems. Born in the Caribbean, orphaned, moved to New York City in 1772 to go to King's College, fought in the American Revolution, yadda yadda yadda… wait, no, it would appear I spoke too soon, N-53. It says here that you had a very large role in bringing down your world's version of the United States of America."

The room exploded into an enraged frenzy. If there was something any Alexander Hamilton stood for, it was the nation they'd helped build.

"Now, now, hold on, I can explain," said N-53. "I did not mean to bring down the republic. It was an accident, a side effect of my other dealings."

"Traitor!" screamed someone from the crowd.

"Benedict Arnold!" roared another.

The Hamilton at the stand looked confused. "How is 'Benedict Arnold' an insult?"

The Justice slammed her gavel into the podium until the room fell silent once more. "Back to the matter at hand, Mister N-53. It appears that you were the architect of a plan to manipulate the democratic ideals of the United States, stuffing ballots to install John Adams as your presidential puppet of Congress Assembled. You led the United States into a futile war with Spain over Louisiana, put the country down the toilet, and suffered a coup in 1801 by minutemen veterans of the Revolution. You were hung by an anti-Federalist mob soon after."

"Your honor--" he protested.

"No. You might have been saved if your memory had been worth anything, if it had somehow inspired ideas of freedom and liberty and peace. But it didn't, N-53. I've seen the world you left behind," spat the Justice. "It is a world of hate. Genocide lurks on every corner. There is prejudice, slavery, totalitarian governments and police states, Orwellian nightmares, religious fundamentalism and rampant evil. And it's all because of you and your little Fraunces Tavern plot of '96."

"But--"

"What does the jury have to say?"

The jury was on its feet by this point, spewing a cacophony of screeches to "Hang the bastard!" and "Send 'im to Hell!"

The Justice neatly arranged the papers on her podium and said, "There is nothing that can save you now. To Hell with you, Mister Hamilton."

With the rap of her gavel, N-53 led out a horrific shriek as he disintegrated into a pile of ash, well on his way to eternal torment and suffering for his terrible, terrible actions.

The proceedings went smoothly after that. Most of the Hamiltons got sent to Heaven, with the caveat of spending a few decades in Purgatory atoning for their earthly sins, though a couple were sent south. Alexander was surprised at how many alternate versions of himself had cheated on Eliza. A few Hamiltons made some outstanding accomplishments here and there--one of them, for instance, was from a world where New England never joined the American Revolution, and that Hamilton had served four terms as the first US president and had the capital named after him--but a whole bunch had simply wound up only achieving Secretary of the Treasury or Vice President and then, for one reason or another, stopped. Alexander was also surprised at the lack of mention of Revolutionary Spirit. What was going on?

"I call to the stand Mister Alexander Hamilton of Universe AMP-U6," the Justice announced. Somehow, Alexander knew she was talking about him, so he stood and dragged himself down to the front of the Room. With any luck, he wouldn't be vaporized.

"Mister AMP-U6," began the Justice, taking off her glasses and wiping her forehead, "I must say, in reviewing your file… I think you just might be the best version of Alexander Hamilton in the Multiverse. Same childhood as expected, as well as service in the Revolution and the founding of the United States… though I do see this world is much better off in terms of human rights, given America's anti-slavery stance from the start… you avoided an affair with Mariah Reynolds, very admirable… became president in 1808, served two terms, and led the nation through the Canadian War… oh, what's this? After a meeting with Thomas Jefferson on his deathbed, you founded the idea of Revolutionary Spirit, a radical ideology that swept the North in the Second American Enlightenment and espoused the ideals of abolitionism, civil rights, anti-xenophobia, feminism, and multiculturalism. You also played a large role in the democratic Revolutions of 1848 in Europe. Mister AMP-U6, you are without a doubt one of the most outstanding people I have had the pleasure to judge. Almost single handedly, perhaps with a bit of help from Jefferson, you shaped the future of the United States and the world, and sent it down the best path possible. That, I think, deserves a round of applause."

The Room erupted with raucous applause, with a few whoops and cheers sprinkled in for good measure. "Would you like a glimpse of your universe, say, a hundred and fifty years or so after your death, AMP-U6? It's the least I can do," the Justice stated.

Alexander shrugged. "Why not?"

A moving image appeared before him, at this point the least strange thing he'd seen all day. It showed the city he'd seen before, on the shores of Weehawken. "This is New York City, Universe AMP-U6, in the year 2000 A.D. It is one of the largest cities in the world, over ten million people, and by far the biggest in the United States, which itself spans from the Arctic Circle to the Rio Grande and even further east to west. This world is currently in the longest period of global peace in human history, and will be for the foreseeable future," explained the Justice.

Alexander was awestruck. "I… I caused all that?"

She smiled. "Yes, Mister Hamilton, you did. Now, I bid the farewell! You succeeded greatly in life. I hope you enjoy your time in Heaven. Eliza is waiting for you."

The Justice rapped her gavel once more, and Alexander Hamilton of Universe AMP-U6 disappeared.
 
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Good update; I got the N-53 reference right away (that Hamilton deserves the worst Hell can dish out), as well as the references to @Kanan's TL...

An interesting Thanksgiving interlude, and, yes, TTL's Hamilton deserves Heaven...
 
That was amazing. One caveat. Napoleon 53 wmit World seems to be doomed for evil regardless. Everyone there seems to go mad. George IV going mad which led to Napoleon winning would not be affected by dark Hamilton. Yes dark H deserves disintegration.
 
"Corporal Jackson O'Reilly, 11th Marines, sir. I fought in Lisbon and Seville and died in Gibraltar stickin' it to the damned Limeys, '43 to '44. It's a pleasure to meet the man who put this country on the right track all those years ago."
Raising the Flag on the Rock of Gibraltar! Semper Fi!
 
I have a question Mr. @HeX ! Why was the statue of liberty equivalent in Weehawken? Was that just a thing for this episode or was it foreshadowing?
Weehawken is just across the river from New York City. So I may have played with perspective a bit, but Hamilton was in AMPU's modern-day Weehawken, and was looking across the Hudson River to NYC and the Statue of Lady Columbia.
 
So, uh, just note that this is a bit "out there" in regards to the rest of this TL. And in case you can't tell, I really like Alexander Hamilton. Also, thanks to @Napoleon53 for letting me use his incarnation of Hamilton here!

Enjoy! (And sorry this is late, it took longer than expected to write it.)

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I kinda want to see more of this afterlife and more updates in the room and the rest of the afterlife.
 
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