Author's notes: FYI, due to the original Ch 2 being combined with the new Ch 10, and all other chapters (other than Ch 1) being shifted down by one, reviews posted before 4/19/2013 for chapters other than Ch 1 will be out of sync. For example, a review for the original Ch 6 actually refers to the new Ch 5, not the new Ch 6.
There's a dictionary at the bottom of each chapter for military or foreign language words. Let me know if you come across an unfamiliar word that had no dictionary definition with it.
Oh, and don't worry. There will be a dragon later in this chapter.
Chapter One, Crash Land
Today is 1944, April 2nd. Welcome to Keroman IV base, which is located on an unnamed island in an unnamed archipelago. The archipelago is located somewhere in the Norwegian Sea, north of Britain and west of Norway.
It was built early in the war, when Der Führer hoped that a rocket could be developed, manufactured, and fired at the Yankees' homeland, such as New York City.
Sadly, his dream came nowhere near true, and the research team was shipped back home. Bombing raids also replaced resupply ships as our visitors after the Brit and Yankee naval forces tightened their grip on the Atlantic Ocean.
A lone Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft was flying away from the base's airfield on an early, clear morning. Another aircraft took off as well, but instead of joining the first one, it proceeded to dive at several anti-aircraft guns that were manned by half-asleep crews, then pull steeply up right before smashing into them.
Unsurprisingly, this spooked the trigger-happy crews into firing shortly after the first dive, and somebody turned on the air raid siren.
The other anti-aircraft crews that were sleeping in their barracks came sprinting out to their battle stations, many of them still in their pajamas or underwear and undershirts, some buttoning up their shirts or pants.
The first pilot, the one that wasn't diving at hostile anti-aircraft cannons, turned on the radio's microphone and asked, "Anton, is that you?"
"Good morning, Daniel! Just playing a little prank on the anti-aircraft gunners," Anton replied.
"You know that even as a friend, I'm required to punish you for such actions. That may include ordering you to wash all of the gunners' underwear for two days. Assuming you don't become a fireworks show," Daniel warned as he loitered around the base in a circle to get a view of Anton's stupidity and recklessness in action as the sky was being dotted with puffs of black smoke and metal shrapnel from the exploding anti-aircraft shells.
Anton's plane was nicked by a large shell, one large enough that it typically demolished an aircraft with one hit. His aircraft quickly tumbled out of the sky after eating several hails of smaller shells, and then it nearly crash landed on the runway.
A few of the anti-aircraft batteries almost immediately turned their attention to Daniel's aircraft, and made their intentions clear when they opened fire. Loud pings echoed through the aircraft as some of the high velocity metal shards embedded themselves in the aircraft's skin.
"You are shooting at a friendly aircraft! Cease fire! Cease fire!"
The radio crackled, "This is Oberstleutnaut Schleicher. Hauptgefreiter Eisenhauer. Were you the dummkopf who attempted to spook us? Because only one aircraft was supposed to take off this morning, not two, and we have a downed aircraft with German insignia on it."
"No sir, but I'll deal with the pilot once I'm done with my mission. Now please get them to stop shooting at me!" Daniel replied.
"Already ordered them. Have a nice patrol," the Oberstleutnaut replied. Daniel chuckled at a mechanic ranting angrily in the background about how he had just finished repairing the troublesome ME 262 and was in no mood to repair an even more chewed up aircraft.
Daniel continued to fly for the next hour or so, trying to find anything suspicious. He flew through a few low clouds, close to a steep mountain on another island that was surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It was a very beautiful morning—few white clouds, a beautiful red and orange sunrise, and the islands below him were covered with green vegetation.
Our radar station had noticed something flying around on the edge of their radars' range for the past week or so, after numerous troubleshooting and calibrations of their constantly malfunctioning radar systems. I was sent out to search for the unidentified object and neutralize it if it was hostile, but I hadn't seen anything yet. I think they had screwed up the calibration or something.
Daniel then noticed something very dark blue flying below him. He pushed on the controls to send his aircraft into a slow dive. As he neared the large unidentified object, a tail, head and the flapping of what appeared to be wings were apparent, but he still wasn't quite sure what he was looking at. The thing had no feathers and shared little resemblance with bats.
He then did a tight turn around the unknown thing while decelerating just above the aircraft's stall speed, and flew in a circle around it to try to get a closer look. The object then increased its speed and dove toward another island, through a narrow, curving gap between two steep mountains. Daniel positioned his aircraft behind the object and proceeded to stalk it, gently tilting towards the left.
The dark blue object pulled up hard and disappeared from Daniel's line of sight. He knew his aircraft could not match the object's maneuverability, and decided to give up chasing it, figuring that it was probably something else that was getting the radar station's attention. He pulled up his aircraft and tilted it hard left to get out of the gap by flying over a portion of the mountain that was lower than the rest.
Suddenly, a fireball came from behind him and slammed into one side of the mountain, exploding in bright flames, throwing hot gravel everywhere and rocking the aircraft. It spun in a brief barrel roll as a dark blue blur zipped overhead and flew back up. The tip of the aircraft's wing scraped the other mountain side, sending sparks flying.
What the heck just hit me?
He evened out the aircraft and pulled up harder. He mashed the accelerator and scanned the area that was viewable through the canopy. However, the sun was behind the object, preventing him from spotting it. Such situations often significantly shorten pilots' life spans, when they weren't aware of the enemy's position.
"We've got hostiles at..." Daniel was about to finish when he realized the radio was dead, most likely from the explosion or the gravel.
Another fireball appeared from the side and slammed into the rocky surface that was several meters below and behind him, sending more hot gravel into the aircraft. A large rock ricocheted off the canopy, leaving a spider web of fractures in the glass. The explosion and the hot air it generated tilted the aircraft into the rocky ground, nose first.
Cursing, he yanked hard on the control to pull up, but the aircraft's propeller and part of the engine ended up biting into the rocks. It crumpled into a useless, twisted metal mess before he managed to pull up to prevent a crash landing. He turned off the broken engine and piloted his aircraft towards a sandy beach on another island about half a kilometer away, hoping to make a soft landing.
The dark blue object reappeared in Daniel's line of sight again as it dove toward the troubled aircraft from the right, and slammed its claws against the aircraft's nose and fuselage, leaving deep dents in the two sections, and nearly completely shattering the canopy. It then began to push the aircraft down and towards another part of the island. It had a cliff that was only a very short distance away from the beach. At the base of the cliff was a very small gravel beach littered with boulders.
Landing on large rocks and ramming into the cliff side at high velocity—what a peaceful way to die.
He pulled out his pistol and attempted to jettison the canopy of the cockpit by pressing on a red lever. When the glass and metal frame only came off halfway, he punched at it to remove it, and fired a few rounds at the murderous flying object, but the sheer wind resistance threw off his aim considerably.
The object spun around as it backed off from the aircraft. His and the object's eyes locked for a split second. He realized the object looked a lot like one of those childhood fantasy dragons. Its green eyes were cat-like and somewhat squinting, strongly indicating that it was clearly not pleased to meet him. Its skin seemed to have faintly outlined scales on it, or a scale-like pattern. It also had a scar on the side of its face that ended a few centimeters below the eye.
As the dragon flew away, it smashed and broke off about half of the aircraft's right wing, sending the aircraft spinning in a corkscrew. Daniel unbuckled his seat belt and jumped out with his parachute backpack as soon as the airplane was upside down. He then pulled the string of his backpack, releasing the parachute.
Almost immediately, the dragon spat a weak fireball from a distance, and it burned through the parachute, leaving a gaping hole in the fabric and setting the remains on fire.
This just keeps getting better and better...
The dragon dove down, grabbed onto Daniel's shoulder, smashed him face-first into the water, and kept him under the surface for several seconds while flying at high speed. What appeared to be a very short period of attempted drowning was an eternity for him. The dragon then pulled up, threw him onto the rocky beach, and flew off.
With Daniel's pain nerves firing all over his body, he slowly rose, coughing up the salty water. He looked up and noticed the dragon entering another dive. Acting on instinct, he dove for cover behind one of the groups of large rocks just before a fireball slammed into the beach.
Terminology (German words):
-Der Führer: Adolf Hitler
-U-Boat: (Anglicized version of the German word unterseeboot, submarine)
-Unterseeboot: (literally translated as underwater craft, submarine)
-Dummkopf: (A stupid person, a block head)
-Hauptgefreiter: (Lance Corporal)
-Oberstleutnaut: (Lieutenant Colonel)