tagSci-Fi & FantasyWings of Fire Ch. 01

Wings of Fire Ch. 01

bySwirlingJedi©

Author's Note: Another four weeks and another chapter drops. I had hoped to get this one launched in three weeks, but with work and other things that needed doing around the home (purging old shit) I've had my hands full for the last week. Thankfully, with all of that done, I can get back to focusing on writing my stories.

This is the fourth story that I have released, and this will be the limit that I have set for the moment concerning how many I'll work on at this time. Some folks might be wondering, how do I keep the worlds separate? That's why I have my notebooks and write everything down. Makes it easier to sort things and keep everything straight. Hopefully, with everything handled now, I'll be able to pick up the pace and keep giving you, my faithful readers, something you can read at least once every two weeks. Now, shall we begin?

*

James Brighton laid back on his cot as he finished his sandwich, while he picked up one of his favorite books. It wasn't one of those exciting novels or pulp stories that was circulating around these days. It wasn't even a comic book, which was becoming increasingly popular with young men his age. No, this was a book about history. Specifically, World War Two and the social and political impact that it has had on the world at large.

It was one of two history books that he'd owned. In fact, in was one of the only two books that he owned but that never stopped him from enjoying them. He loved the feel and smell of a good book. It reminded him of happier, simpler times, before everything for him changed. Despite learning about history in school and the fact that everyone knew how history had transpired, he liked reading the unvarnished account.

Many textbooks that he'd seen and read through were heavily edited and full of nonsensical propaganda that had no place in real history. The current book that he held was the version of history that wasn't taught in the United States, primarily because such books were illegal. Mainly because it told the truth about the actions of those who'd been involved and what they'd done, the good and the bad. Although possessing this book could land him in jail, it was a risk that he was willing to take.

Even though the war was over by a good nine years, he still liked to read of the exploits of history's most distinguished figures. By the accounts of those who wrote the other versions that were socially acceptable, much of the truth had been expunged. James hated that when it came to history. If people didn't learn the truth about the actions of the past, they were doomed to repeat them in the future.

He picked up where he left off, during the Battle of Britain in nineteen-forty. How despite great heroism on Britain's part, the sheer volume of Nazi planes was too much for their air defenses to handle. Seeing no other options available to them, Britain had then retreated to Ireland and Scotland. Despite seeking shelter with those that they had once oppressed, they hoped that they could appeal to their humanity. Although they weren't on the friendliest of terms, both nations took in their beleaguered brethren, as the Nazi offensive forced them from their homes.

With the air battle won, the Nazis began landing their troops, marching all the way to Hadrian's Wall. They chased after the retreating Brits, with the expectation that they'd destroy the once mighty empire beneath their jackboots. When they reached the ancient Roman remnant, the first few battalions were caught in a crossfire ambush, which slaughtered hundreds. It was then that they realized that both Scotland and Ireland weren't going to relinquish their lands without a fight. It was clear that the Scots would be waging a grueling guerrilla war, one which they had every intention of winning.

The Irish were just as cunning in laying their traps and using their lands to their advantage, the high cliffs giving them a definitive edge in ground combat. Their ships were useless in their landing assault, the high cliffs giving them little to aim at and the few beaches on Ireland having been heavily mined and fortified. The Irish made the Nazis pay for every inch they advanced, steeping it in German blood before giving any ground.

Despite taking Great Britain, the British didn't leave the Nazis with anything to use, employing scorched earth tactics. Any military facilities or anything of strategic value was destroyed as they fled, to buy whatever time was needed to regroup and strike back. With each loss the Nazis suffered, the combined might of the three nations slowly built up their arsenal with stolen weapons and vehicles. It was a bitter tooth and nail fight, where Britain fought to the last in a desperate bid to retake their nation.

Because of the successful invasion, the war, which was previously estimated to take maybe five years, was extended by another three. Due to the trouble the British faced and facing the very real possibility of attack from the Nazi regime, America entered the war. With their warships steaming across the Atlantic, the Nazis now had to contend with another enemy aside from Britain.

With their full attention on the events transpiring in Europe, the US would never leverage any sanctions on Japan, so the attack that some analysts predicted would fall on Pearl Harbor never came. The Japanese Empire were effectively free to do what they wished in east Asia and would expand their empire throughout China, Thailand, Laos and many other Asian and Pacific Rim countries.

Since the US was entering the European theater of war, the Japanese felt no obligation to aid the powers that made up the Axis. Once it became public knowledge that the Nazi war machine would sooner wipe them out than give them any sort of aid, Japan broke their treaty with the Germans. They believed the Nazis to be honorless dogs, who would break whatever treaties and deals they wished, whenever it suited them.

Neatly cutting themselves away from any form of German influence, the Japanese Empire prepared itself to dig in and entrench themselves within their new lands. They put down revolts when necessary, while secretly sending what aid they could to the Allies. War machines, weapons and even some spare troops were sent for the Allied generals to direct as they needed.

The US did everything they could to slow down and harass the Germans as best they could. Backed by the Canadian fleets and their airpower, the Americans gave the British the much-needed breathing room they required to launch their counter-offensive. Because of this, the British attack was successful, and they drove the Nazis back from Hadrian's Wall. Pushed all the way back to Oxford, the Nazis did what they could to halt the advance, but it was a delaying tactic as the vengeful Brits would not be stopped.

It was another whole year before British troops could lay eyes on London again and another six months, before they could march in its streets unmolested. The Nazis fought hard to stymie the Allied advance, but in the end, they won out and the Nazis were forced to flee Britain's shores. There were still several cabals of them to root out, but it was eventually done. It was while they had cornered and subdued one of the last groups that they made a monumental discovery.

Professor Einstein, who was being forced to co-operate with the Nazis, was found in a below ground facility. It was there that he was found as a prisoner, for trying to run from his masters. He told the Allies that he was conducting research into a compound that he'd discovered. It had the potential to change the outcome and tide of the war, to whichever side possessed it. This new molecular compound could be tapped as a source of energy or used as a deadly explosive.

This compound though, dubbed 'Flash' due to the way it would flash rapidly when exposed to light, was unstable. Einstein had been working on way of perfecting it but had secretly been doing what he could to delay his work. He owed the Nazis no allegiance and ceased working for them in earnest, once he found out that his family had been killed. In good conscience, he could no longer help monsters destroy this world, so he ran, hoping that he would escape from these terrible men.

He'd been caught while making his way through London, trying to find passage to Scotland, where Allied command had been holed up. They arrested, locked him up and tortured him, thinking that he'd been a spy of the Allies all along. Once the Nazis were convinced that he wasn't a spy, they labelled him a traitor and were going to ship him back to Berlin to stand trial. The Allied troops had arrived just in time and cut down his captors before they could get to him.

Now that he was free, he offered his research to the Allies in the hopes that they would end these monsters. More than eager to help, Britain offered whatever assistance that they could in the hopes that he could stabilize the compound, so it could be put to use. Despite their assurances, Einstein wished to go to America, as the Nazis would go to great lengths to recover him and his research. Grudgingly, the British agreed and let him go to the US, where he'd be safer from discovery.

Once on American shores, Einstein commandeered all the resources he needed to make his experiments work. The Allies would spend the next four years, fighting a hard tooth and nail war against the Nazis. In the winter of nineteen-forty-five, Einstein finally delivered on his promise and found a way to stabilize the Flash compound. With its stability assured, they started experimenting with ways to use it to maximize the explosive force of their bombs, among many other applications.

The most successful of which was when they had managed to create a type of reactor that would use Flash to create vast amounts of electrical power. Gas engines were soon converted to electrical engines and production on these new machines began. Even with the earliest prototypes, it gave the Allies the edge they needed to finally take the fight to the Nazis. In the spring of nineteen forty-six, the first prototype planes and boats were drafted then assembled later that year.

This new development would change the entire demographic of war for the rest of its duration and beyond. Now, with the ability to keep planes, flying fortresses, zepplins and other airships aloft almost indefinitely, as well as tanks, halftracks, jeeps and such constantly moving, it didn't matter how many boots you had on the ground. What mattered most was how many planes and war machines you could field and the skill level of the pilots who flew and drove them.

Despite the stability of Flash, using such machines was dangerous work and many test pilots and seamen were killed during the test phases. Towards the end of testing, many soldiers were clamoring to fly and sail these new war machines. Although, no one wanted to fly these machines more than the widows of the testers. Their husbands had perished in making sure that these machines would work as they intended. Because of their sacrifice, they felt that they had more right than some hotshot pilots who had never flown them.

They were led by a woman who was half black and half Japanese, named Margaret Bishop. Her husband had flown the earliest prototypes and died while trying to land his plane. She demanded that she be allowed to honor the memory of the men who made it possible to give the Allies a fighting chance. Many women stood with her, believing that they all had that right and had no qualms about making the same sacrifices that their husbands had.

Despite their enthusiasm and need to honor their husbands' memories, the US military turned them down flat. They were all told to go home and get back to their hearths and kitchens as women had no place in combat. Refusing to take that as an answer to their pleas, Margaret and the rest of the widows banded together and devised a plan to steal these machines. Packing what was most essential and sending their families off to the western states, they executed their theft.

Using their feminine wiles and charm to lower the guard of the base that harbored these new machines, they broke in, subduing every guard without setting off the alarms. They did so in the dead of night, when most of the base was either asleep of away on leave. The widows knew that it wouldn't be long before the day shift would show up to take over. Working together, the ladies stole the only prototype carrier, along with both destroyers and several frigates that had been outfitted with the new reactors.

Loaded on the carrier was an entire contingent of XB-30's and upgraded Corsairs, designed to be faster and more agile in the skies than what the Nazis currently had. By the time the sun started peeking over the horizon, they were long gone, steaming into the South Atlantic. Although many of them had been serving in small capacities in factories and such during the war, their husbands also taught them what they could when they were still alive. Being strong willed and strong-minded women, they wanted to fight alongside their men should the time ever arise.

The time for them to step up was long past and they all went about the daily routines of looking after their ships and they drilled themselves relentlessly on board and in the skies. After several weeks at sea, just off the southern coast of Africa, they believed themselves to be ready to fight the Nazis. Steaming towards the Mediterranean, they put in at Rabat, Morocco to pick up the supplies they would need for the long fight ahead.

As they put in to purchase what they needed, they found out that the country had been largely ignored. The Allies had thrown Rommel's Afrika Korps out more than a year ago, so their arrival went unnoticed to the world at large. Once it was known that they were headed for battle, many of the men in the port tried to convince them not to go. Although concerned for their safety, the women knew that the men just wanted their ships and planes, but the widows weren't having their brand of nonsense. If trained soldiers couldn't stop them then the patriarchal men of the city wouldn't either.

In fact, they picked up another several dozen women, widows all of them, who wished to fight. This was too much for the men of the city as they believed that it was a man's place alone to go to war. They tried to force their way aboard to take the ships and go to war themselves, leaving the women behind. The men of Rabat got a rude awakening in trying to overpower the widows and they instead were pushed off the boats, some were even killed.

The fight was a short-lived affair as the men weren't trained soldiers, nor did many of them have the stomach for combat. They retreated to the safety of their homes, not wanting to anger the women any further. After tallying their losses and packing the last of the supplies, the ladies weighed anchor and left the city.

They mourned the women they lost while they sailed on, holding a memorial service for those who died before battle was even joined. With that business handled, they headed into the Mediterranean Sea, then set up shop in the Adriatic. Once there, they began launching hit and run attacks on German holdings and bases. A harassment campaign on their enemies was quite effective and they did what they could to deny the Nazis any form of respite; this was war after all.

Not knowing who exactly these mysterious pilots were, the Allies were grateful for the assistance as they managed to break through the lines of entrenched Germans. In the wake of these harassment campaigns, rebel groups started to form in the villages across the Balkans, emboldened by this new resistance group.

Eventually it came out that these pilots and this fleet was manned by none other than the war widows of soldiers who'd died, it bolstered the morale of the Allies and the rebels in the area. They thought that if a ragtag group of women could make this much of a difference in the war, then what could they do? With Margaret as their Fleet Admiral, ordering and sometimes carrying out these strikes against the Nazis, it gave the people of these countries a sense of hope. Hope that the Germans could be beaten.

Many people had done what they could to use whatever craft they owned or outright stealing them from the Nazis, to sail out and join this battle group. With so many volunteers, they eventually formed an impromptu battlegroup flotilla, almost like a massive city on the water. With so many people coming to join their ranks and learn at the feet of these women, their mission became one that attracted the attention of both sides.

The Nazis had sent fighter and bomber wings to try to destroy them, but they were too well defended, as few, if any planes survived a single strafing run. The US called these women traitors to their country and sent out orders for them to stand down and tried to call in Allied assistance to have the fleet turned back over to proper soldiers. The British, French and Canadian forces heard these orders, but refused to acknowledge them. The war widows had proven their usefulness and effectiveness tenfold and they wouldn't have such seasoned and solid allies jailed.

With the various sorties being sent out daily and the penchant for the ladies leaving few, if any survivors in their attacks, they were dubbed the 'Black Widow Battlegroup'. Over the course of the next year and a half, the Black Widows would liberate many cities, sending the Germans running. In many cases, once it was known that the widows were inbound, many soldiers deserted their posts, not wanting to face the fury of the Black Widows.

In the Spring of nineteen forty-eight, the Black Widows had just liberated Trieste when they received a coded message from the Allies. Although the D-Day landing was nearing launch, it would be a bloodbath for sure and many soldiers would lose their lives in the first three waves. The message had stated that Adolf Hitler was finally surfacing after spending months underground, to rally his troops to fight the invasion that was coming. He would be headed to Nuremberg, where the Nazis always rallied before big offensives and he'd be heavily guarded.

Although they were all tired from their recent sortie, Margaret rallied her women, many of whom had become aces in their time fighting the Germans. This was the one mission they'd been waiting for, to cut the head off the snake and end the Nazi threat once and for all. Pepping themselves up on coffee and big breakfasts, the women soon mounted up and were airborne. More than half of their entire complement of planes and bombers made the six-hundred-kilometer flight to Nuremberg.

They managed to make the flight with few close calls and they hadn't been spotted as they used all sorts of cloud cover to mask their approach. When they arrived, Hitler was in the middle of his speech when they descended like hawks upon the rally, strafing Nazi regulars and SS soldiers in their attack run. They managed to get two passes in before the JG 26, Germany's oldest and best fighter wing, dropped in on them. The fighter wing was there doing maneuvers to help bolster the flagging confidence of the Nazis.

Despite the element of surprise working against them, Margaret and her widows made a very good account of themselves, dropping half of the JG 26. After an intense firefight, which saw many of their planes fall in flames, the wing commander gave orders to retreat and fall back to the fighter base. The Widows had mostly been shot down, with many of them being blown out of the sky. With more than eighty percent of her wingwomen blown up or grounded, Margaret and her second in command, Yasmin Hassan, gunned down as many Nazis as they could to buy their girls the time to assemble and regroup.

Yasmin herself however, had spotted Hitler's motorcade making a run for it, so she shot them up, stopping the motorcade cold before her and Marge were shot down. They managed to bring their planes down near the assembled survivors. The Widows rallied around their leader and charged what was left of the Motorcade, easily overcoming Hitler's remaining bodyguards.

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bySwirlingJedi© 11 comments/ 2576 views/ 14 favorites

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