Chapter Seven: Antedeluvium
[28 February 1942, RAF Molesworth, England, 1800 hours]
The crews of 460 Squadron walked into the briefing room semi-despondently.
It was kind of hard to get worked up over another night training mission with
those massive 'pumpkin' bombs, when you had been doing that for almost
Take off before dark, spend some time milling around the North Sea, and then
go in low over Scotland, before dropping your bombs on the target range by
radar. The first few times had been exciting. By the 20th or so time, it was
boring as hell, something to be done so that you could go on the town at
at the end of it all.
As they stepped into the crowded Operations building, Flight Lieutenant
Russell noticed that several high ranking people were standing by the briefing
map, along with that guy they'd taken up into the air a couple of months before.
"This could be it, Mark," he muttered to his flight engineer, who only nodded
back as he prepared his engineer's sheet for the upcoming mission.
As his men milled about talking to each other in the excited tones of men
about to be shown a Big Secret, Squadron Leader John "Crocodile" Hayes
walked onto the stage, and pulled a velvet cord, revealing the mission map,
which showed a dark red string reaching out from Britain to somewhere in
"Gentlemen, I give you Operation Veritable, a test of how well the Royal
Air Force can extend it's powers overseas at a moment's orders. Your planes
have been repainted in Italian colours, because at the end of this mission,
they are to be turned over to the Italian Air Force, who paid for them several
months prior. That little fact, by the way chaps, is considered to be Most
Secret by His Majesty's government until well after the handover. I hope
no one wants to enjoy the hospitality of the Tower. You leave at dark, and
your destination is Mannock field in Albania, a field the Italians have agreed
to use as the handover point."
The crews continued to listen to the details of the mission in the bored manner
of men who knew what to filter out as being unnecessary, writing from time to
time in their flight journals and making markings on their maps. The briefing
continued for forty more minutes before Hayes finished up and bade everyone
a good voyage.
As the aircrews left for their bombers which waited outside under the harsh glare of
floodlights, Cowen walked over to Hayes, who was conversing with some relatively
high ranking officers from Bomber Command, and tapped his shoulder lightly.
"Why didn't you tell them the truth?"
Hayes shrugged. "No need to tell them. Compartmentalization and all that.
They'll learn the truth later, much later."
[29 February 1942, Somwhere in the skies over Germany, 0100 hours]
"Never thought we'd be doing this," muttered Russell as he looked out the cockpit
onto the ground below, which was lit up with a vertitable forest of lights.
"Doing what?" replied Rusbridge as he listened to the pitch of the four Merlins throbbing
in the airstream outside the fuselage. So far, no problems, other than some slight overheating,
which had been solved by throttling back slightly.
"Flying over bloody Berlin without a shot being fired."
"Well, there is that. But what about the mission? You heard what Croc said..."
Russell snorted. "That bullshit? We didn't train for two bloody months just to act
as bleeding ferry pilots."
[29 February 1942, Somewhere over the Balkans, 0400 hours]
"Will you look at that?"
Rusbridge turned to look out the cockpit windows towards where Russell was pointing
at. Then he saw it.
A dull glow was on the western horizon, flickering irregularly as guns of all types fired
throughout the night on the Italian penisula.
"Sure glad I'm not there," replied Russell.
[29 February 1942, Kuwait City, British Araby Protectorate, 2200 hours]
Brigadier Basil Liddell Hart walked through one of the many warehouses
next to the railyards in Kuwait City, and watched with contentment as his
men swarmed over the latest batch of Comets to arrive from France under
the glare of spotlights from the ceiling.
The men were repainting the Comets from Olive Drab to Desert tan, and
were installing the necessary desertification equipment to allow them to
function in the desert.
One of his Majors walked up to him and saluted. "Brigadier, we should have
this last batch ready to go by H-Hour, sahr."
"Excellent, excellent, Major Philby. Keep me appraised of your progress."
As he left the warehouse and emerged into the hot dusty night of Kuwait,
Hart smiled. Soon, in just under four days, he would lead his Long-Range
Desert Group into battle, and prove once and for all to those old fogies in
the Army establishment that manouevre, won wars, not sheer firepower.
Inwardly, he still chafed over them forcing that Motorised Battalion down
his throats. Infantry would just slow down his entire force. Speed was
of the essence, not stopping to fight every little threat that popped up,
which was what the infantry would do, of course.
[29 February 1942, Near Reims, France 0900 hours]
Pierre Devincour watched as the British tanks rumbled across farmers'
fields in the early light of the morning, on one of their many exercises,
which was mostly to prove to the French people that the British hadn't
deserted them, but was still there, ready to defend France if the Hun
crossed the border once again.
When France had gone to war against the Domination, large tracts of
the countryside had been declared off limits to the civilian population,
and the population in them had been evacuated; for use as military
training grounds. Most of them were in southern France, but this one,
near Reims, had apparently been created for security reasons and to
allow British troops to get training that they couldn't get in the British
Isles, with it's dense population.
Devincour was on the edge of the Reims Training Area, where it
was still legal for civilians to live. Only a single strand of barbed wire
on fenceposts separated the training area from the rest of the French
countryside, but no one from the village who had crossed that almost
invisible boundary had never been seen again; so no one, not even
teenaged lovers, were willing to violate the premises of the training area.
So, like everyone else, he had to observe the maneouvers from
a distance. The tanks participitating in this exercise had a rounded
turret, and the roadwheels were fairly large. There were only a few
British tanks that had those features, and one of them was the
A34 Comet, the latest, and most modern British Cruiser tank.
Sighing, Devincour put down the pair of binoculars he had been
observing the tanks with, and closed the shutters of the small loft
he had rented in this small town near Reims. It was time to send
another report to his superiors back at Tarleton. From what he'd
observed in person and in newsreels, the British were continuing
to reinforce the BEF in France.
[29 February 1942, Near Turbat, India 1900 hours]
Field Marshal Richard O'Connor, CINC of the British Army in India,
watched as his command car sped down the paved road, past miles
and miles of ammunition all stockpiled for the offensive out of Baluchistan
and into Draka-held Persia. The British Army in India had been called up,
all of it; right down to the Martini-Henry carrying police units, in response
to the Japanese advance in Burma.
Officially, but I know otherwise., thought O'Connor. In just a few days,
or whenever old Winston gave the word, Hell would be unleashed onto
the Drakian border outposts in Persia, courtesy of several thousand modern
artillery pieces that the British had built in Indian factories as part of their
efforts to build up an indigenious military base there in the twenties and
thirties, to ease the strain on British industry. As his headquarters, a grand
old building built during the 1880s, came into view, O'Connor turned to the
man he was counting on to lead the assault that would break through the
Drakian defense lines.
"Bill, do you think your Indians are up to it? You're asking an awful lot
Lieutenant-General William Gott clucked. "I can assure you that my men
will take their objectives on H-Hour. They just have to be competently led,
if their commander loses his nerve, so do they. I assure you that will not
happen with me."
[30 February 1942, Mannock Airfield, Albania 0700 hours]
The airfield (if it could be called that), was nothing more than a strip somwhere
in Albania, just barely long enough to take a Lancaster. Inside the tents that had
been set up for the aircrew, Russell and his crew were snoring away. Since
they'd arrived in Albania a day ago, they'd been kept on the airfield by armed
guards. The turnover of the planes hadn't happened, and as Russell noted
acidly over dinner last night, wasn't damn likely to happen, as the only Italians
around were members of the old-men's unit which patrolled this area.
[31 February 1942, Cyrenaican RCC, near Banghazi - 1145 hours]
“Well, what have we here,” muttered Centurion James T. Leyland as he stared
at the latest aerial reconnaisance photographs of the Italian airfields in Albania.
Looking through the magnifying scope on his light table, Leyland paid close
attention to the large planes shown on the airfield that had previously been
bare a few days before.
“What does it look like Jim?” asked his aide, Tetrarch Carl Lindbergh, who formed
the other half of the Photo-Reconnaisance analysis unit attached to the Cyrenaican
Regional Command Center.
“Planes,” came the sarcastic reply from Leyland as he peered closer at the insigna
on the aircraft.
“I know that, Jim. What kind?”
“Big fuckin' ones. This could be those new Piaggos that Intel said the Eyeties
were building. Didn't think they'd be so close to fielding them, though.”
“Give me that,” snapped Lindbergh as he reached for the scope and viewed
the mystery planes in question himself.
“I'll be damned, they're four engine jobs, Look Italian too.”
Pulling away from the light table, both men looked at each other, and then
stared at the clock on the wall. “It's your turn to write up the recon report,
Carl, but lunchtime first.”
“Got you, I hear that the Golden Calf has some new serf dancers this
week,” added Carl, with an obvious leer.
[2 March 1942, Archona NCC, near Archona - 0850 hours]
Arch-Strategos Karl von Shrakenberg stared at the ceiling, noticing the lovely
water stain patterns, as the Junior Strategos in charge of detailing what had happened
in the Italian theater of operations over the last few days droned on about the latest
additions to the enemy forces in the region; most of it was the usual stuff about more
and more German and French reinforcements, with the odd tidbit of an Irish unit entering
the fighting in the San Marino area.
“Irish?” asked one of the men in the meeting room disbeleivingly, a Senior Merarch
whose name Shrakenburg couldn't recall at the moment. “All the Irish are good for
Strategos Vincent deVeers, who was currently commanding the San Marino front,
as commanding officer of XXII Army, snorted at that. “The Irish from what I hear
from my officers, are hard fighters, they grant no quarter, nor ask for any; they're
almost as bad as the Italians.”
Shrakenburg sighed as the meeting dissolved into a childish comparison of the fighting
qualities of the forces opposing them; with some arguing that the Russians were the
better fighters, while others said the Germans, et cetera, until with some annoyance, he
broke up the tittering by clearing his throat out loud.
“Gentlemen, as much as we would like to talk about various things, we are here
on business, is there anything new of note to report?”
One of the junior officers in the meeting, someone's assisant, spoke up uncertainly.
“There are reports from the photo-reconnaisance boys up by Cyrenaica that the
Italians have deployed those new P.108Bs we've been hearing about for some time
now in Albania.”
“What does this mean?” asked deVeers, who was showing some interest; Albania was
just across the Aegan Sea, these bombers could strike deep behind his lines.
“Well, from our reports, the P.108B has a little over twice the bombload of the
current S.M. 79, and can fly it a bit higher and faster than the '79.”
“Shit, that means twice as much crap will be landing on my forces every night,
in spite of our glorious night fighters,” muttered deVeers rather sarcastically.
The interception rate of night bombers by the Drakian night fighter corps was
one of the Domination's badly kept secrets. Oh sure, the propaganda all said
that Drakian night fighters were the world's best, and that enemy bombers
were being shot down by the score every night over Italy, but the truth was,
Drakian airborne radar was simply too far behind everyone else.
“We could try bombing the fields that they're being based from,” suggested a
“Good idea,” replied deVeers, slowly breaking out of his morose mood. “Shoot
that up to LVI Air Command up in Rome, when's the latest we can bomb those
“The third, sir.”
“Make it so.”
[2 March 1942, Mannock Airfield, Albania 1700 hours]
As the bomber crews sat down in the cheap folding seats provided for them,
the chatter in the briefing tent rose to a crescendo, before Squadron Leader
Hayes walked in, and raised his hand, signalling for the men to shut up, it
was time to go to work.
"Thank you for all being here tonight. Our mission, as you have already
guessed, is not to turn these aircraft over to the Italians...”
Laughter rippled through the tent; everyone had figured that out long ago.
“...instead at midnight our time, you have the great honour of sending twelve
thousand pounds by airmail to the Domination of Draka. Tonight, the Empire
Boisterous cheers suddenly erupted from everyone, along with a variety
of comments, the most numerous being “About bloody time!”
“As you well know, the Domination long ago harnessed the power of
nature to create the Al-Quattarah hydropower plant. This plant supplies
power to a large part of the North African coast, as well as to a radar
research laboratory in the depression itself.
“Our mission tonight is to destroy the Al-Quattara complex, no matter
what the cost. If we don't do it tonight, we will come back tomorrow and
do it again, and so on until we do the job right.”
“Your target is not the hydropower structure itself in the depression; that
would be pointless, as it could be easily repaired with new equipment.
No, your targets are the tunnels leading from the Mediterranean to the
depression; once they are fractured, they must be rebored or expensively
A voice from the back rose up. “How are we going to find these tunnels?”
“The Royal Navy has been kind enough to establish a GEE network off the
coast of North Africa with several of their submarines to guide you chaps in.”
A low murmur passed through the room as assistants walked up and down the
aisles of the briefing room and passed out briefing packages to the bomber
"Ah, does everyone have their target package?"
When every plane captain had raised their hand to signify that they'd gotten it,
Hayes continued. "The Domination has helpfully provided you chaps with
above-ground visual clues of the tunnel locations by cheerfully placing brightly
lit pumping stations along the routes of the tunnels.
“How are we going to find them at night?” asked one of the navigators.
Hayes smiled evilly at this question. “Approximately three miles away from the
coastline, the pumping stations begin to be brightly lit, and are well patrolled
due to saboteurs in the night who like to spontaneously explode. If the Draka have
turned off their lights, just use your H2S to find them and bomb blind.”
"Accuracy is not a major concern; our engineers have calculated that a bomb
landing within five hundred yards of a station should be sufficient to cause
fracture to the underground tunnels under it.”
“What about the radar lab?” asked one of the pilots, an annoying fellow whose
name was Smith something.
“If you arrive and find that your assigned target has already been struck by
a preceeding bomber, you're to divert to the Quattarah depression and give
them twelve thousand pounds of love and happiness.”
“But destroying the radar lab is not your primary mission; that's No. 633
Squadron and their Mosquitoes' job.”
“Any further questions?”
“No? Then good luck and Godspeed to you all.”
[2 March 1942, Otranto LCC, Italy - 1900 hours]
The bored Draka who manned the 1242th Air Defense Cohort hadn't seen
much since they had been posted in the ass end of Italy, on the Otranto
penisula, which stuck out of the main mass of Italy like a diseased pustule.
Their job was to keep track of what small air activity there was in the Balkans
across the Adriatic sea and keep their immediate superiors at the Taranto SCC
advised of what was going on.
“Goddamn, I'm bored,” muttered one of the Tetrarchs who was manning the radar
scope to his companion, a Senior Decurion who had pissed off the wrong kind of
people to end up here, on what was considered the asshole of a country which
was also considered the asshole of Europe.
“What's that over Albania?” asked one of the new kids, a Monitor just fresh
out of radar school.
“Huh?” muttered the Tetrarch as he turned around in his seat to see the 'scope.
“Looks like we got a night raid forming up in Albania.”
“Yep, I'll phone Taranto and let them know.”
[2 March 1942, Taranto SCC, Italy - 1915 hours]
The Centurion in charge of the Sector Control Center in what had been the
former Italian port city of Taranto watched as one of the enlisted men down
below in the pit placed a little wooden block engraved with a red aircraft
outline over Albania.
“Looks like a raid is forming. Probably to hit XXII Army's supply depots.
I'll let their chief of staff know,” he said to no one in particular as he picked
up the phone and asked for XXII Army.
[30 minutes later – 1945 Hours]
The Centurion was now throrougly confused. The raid had indeed formed up,
along with another smaller raid which was hard to track with radar, but instead
of heading westwards for Italy, it was now headed south. There was nothing
south, except for Africa, surely this couldn't be a suicide mission by the Italians?
[15 minutes later – 2000 Hours]
“Sir, didn't we get a report that the Italians had emplaced a new four engined
heavy bomber in Albania a day or so ago?” asked the Centurion's young aide,
a fresh faced Tetrarch fresh out of finishing school and on his first military tour.
“Fuck...Fuck me dead!” shouted the Centurion as he realized what was
“Get me Cyrenaica!”
[Cyrenaican RCC, near Banghazi – 2015 hours]
The Junior Merarch in charge of the Regional Command Center listened patiently
as the Centurion on duty frantically explained that two raids were headed his way.
“Now, now, calm down dear Julius. We have five night interceptor merarchys near
Cyrenaica alone. They won't get far. I'll notify the roving SCC and tell them to be
on the lookout for them.”
[Roving SCC, 28,500 feet over Waddan, Libya – 2300 hours]
The huge airship was one of the twelve “Roving” Sector Command Centers that
the Domination fielded for commanding and controlling their vast borders; it was
in effect a standard commercial drigible modified to carry a very large radar set up
as high as possible, along with the sensor operators to man it, and the radios to link
into the integrated command system of the region it was operating over.
“Multiple contacts, large, approximately 800 kilometers out, bearing 035, speed,
380 kph, altitude estimated 6,700 meters..” came the voice of one of the female
radar controllers as she read out the new contacts on her scope.
“Right, send that information down to the 294th and 341th Night Interceptor Merarchies,”
muttered the commander of the airborne radar post. “We've got those Eyetie bastards
right where we want them.”
[Lancaster Mk. I (Special) “Tasmanian Devil” 22,234 feet over the Mediterranean – 2301 hours]
“Enemy radar emissions to starboard, fairly strong,” muttered Flight Sergeant
Charles Muldoon, as he picked up the energy radiating from the airship some
five hundred miles distant.
“Well, they know we're here now, boys; look alive.” replied Russell as he looked
out his window into the blackness of the night, lit only by the stars in the sky.
[Elephant III(N.1) Night Fighter 22,234 feet over the Mediterranean – 2345 hours]
“If you come to a bearing of 056, you will be on a course to intersect with the intruders,”
came the pleasant voice of the SCC controller in her airship.
“Right, Right. Warm up the radar,” growled the Senior Tetrarch who flew the converted
medium bomber, while his enlisted men searched the night skies with their electronic eyes.
[Lancaster Mk. I (Special) “Tasmanian Devil” 22,234 feet over the Mediterranean – 2410 hours]
Deedle Deedle Deedle went the annoying sound of the radar warning equipment
in Muldoon's domain behind the cockpit of the Lancaster. “Night Fighter radar, estimated
distance, 5 miles and closing.”
“Blind the bastard,” came the reply from the cockpit.
“With pleasure,” replied Muldoon as he toggled the switch on his panel which
was oddly enough, marked as Window.
[Elephant III(N.1) Night Fighter 22,234 feet over the Mediterranean – 2346 hours]
“The fuck is going on? The fuck is all this?” came the panicked shouts from the
radarmen in their closed off section, causing the pilot to scowl. What was it
now, those damned spark weenies were always complaining...
“What's the problem?” asked the pilot.
“Hundreds of targets! HUNDREDS!” came the shout.
“That's impossible,” was the pilot's flat reply.
“Fuck impossible, I'm seeing it right now on my scopes!”
“Well, which one is the enemy?” asked the pilot, by now
growing quite annoyed.
“How the fuck can I tell? They all look the same!”
[Roving SCC, 28,500 feet over Waddan, Libya – 0050 hours, 3 March 1942]
“You say you are picking up hundreds of contacts?” said
the female controller with skepticism in her voice. “My scope only
shows two targets in your sector, you and the intruder.”
“That's lovely, can you guide me to the bastard?”
“I can try.”
[Cyrenaican RCC, near Banghazi – 0130 hours]
“We have a problem.”
“What is it?” asked the Junior Merarch as he rubbed his eyelids. Damned
“Our night fighters are unable to intercept the intruders. When they get close
enough to the larger and slower targets, their radar scopes fill up with hundreds
of non-existent targets, while with the smaller intruders, they're simply being
outrun,” replied the Centurion whose unpleasant task was to break the bad
news to his boss.
“Is there any good news?”
“One of our night fighters managed to catch one of the larger intruders and down it,
apparently the pilot of the craft managed to catch a glimpse of the engine exhaust
glow and home in on it. He reported that the aircraft was a very large four engined
heavy bomber, of non-Italian manufacture.”
“Is the problem that's affecting our night fighters bothering our ground radars?”
“Good. Order the entire regional command to full alert. Notify the anti-aircraft
batteries and searchlight crews. It looks like good old Ack Ack is going to have to
do the job this time.”
[Quattara Depression Hydropower Plant - Provinca Egypta - 0150 hours]
Piter Kanut woke up reluctantly. He had taken one of the scientists who worked at
the plant, a pretty redhead who went by the name of Erika to bed, and it had been
a pretty good night all in all; except now the damned air-raid sirens were going off.
“What's going on, honey?” asked Erika, stirring from the bed.
“Nothing, Nothing. I'll go see what's going on, you stay in bed.”
Putting on some pants and a shirt from the floor, he walked out the door, and into
a kaliedoscope of sound and light in the middle of the night. Searchlights were
sweeping the skies, while gun crews were running to their pieces.
Running over to the Security office, he almost ran over Cohortarch Walter Görtlizer,
who was running to his post.
“What the hell is going on Walter?”
“Don't know. Full scale air raid alarm, I think this is the real deal.”
“Shit, will this interrupt production?”
“I don't think so. You better get back inside, someone is bound to see something
where there's nothing and open fire, and then everyone else will open fire as well,
and all that steel is going to come down sooner or later.”
[Lancaster Mk. I (Special) “Tasmanian Devil” 22,234 feet over Egypt – 0200 hours]
Anders leaned down as low as he could in his seat, and then tried to lean down
even more; as the sky was full of exploding ack-ack bursts, as well as searchlights
that swept the sky.
Before his eyes, he saw a trio of searchlight beams suddenly converge on a Lancaster
several miles ahead of them, and moments later, the bomber was bracketed by a quick
series of ack-ack bursts which tore a wing off, and sent the flaming bomber in a dive
towards the ground.
“Fuck me...how much longer to target?” he shouted, his flying suit drenched in
sweat as the Tasmanian Devil continued to fly into the hailstorm of anti-aircraft
fire ahead of her.
“Twenty miles, boss. I got it on the scope.”
Beneath each bomber, was a magical device known only by it's designation: H2S;
it's beam could pierce the darkness of night and show a clear radar image of the ground
below to a trained operator.
Ten minutes later, it was their turn in Hell, as the searchlights bracketed them, and the
shells began to explode all around them.
Anders suddenly felt the control column push down, and he tried to fight it, but it was
like a great weight was on the controls. “Shit, Rusbridge, help me out here!”
“Goddamnit you fucking Kiwi bastard, HELP ME!”
Still no reply. Anders turned around in rage, only to see Rusbridge's headless body
slumped against the controls, and a howling wind whistling through the jagged hole in
the bottom of the fuselage where the enemy shell had entered and taken off poor Mark's
head before leaving through the top of the fuselage without exploding.
“Fifteen Miles, Boss.”
“Get up here Muldoon, Rusbridge's bought the farm, and I have to fight to keep
his body off the damn controls!”
“But I'm on the bomb run, sir.”
“I don't give a fuck what you're on! If I fly this damn thing into the ground
we all die!”
[Quattara Depression Hydropower Plant - Provinca Egypta - 0210 hours]
From his quarters, Pieter watched as the sky on the horizon lit up with shell flashes
and a low rumble enamated from the north. “I think it's getting closer,” Erika said
as she looked out the window as well.
“Definitely,” he replied.
[Lancaster Mk. I (Special) “Tasmanian Devil” 22,234 feet over Egypt – 0220 hours]
“Right, bomb bay doors open.” Mechanically, Anders pulled the lever that opened the
bomb bay doors, trying to ignore the blood splattered all over the cockpit from Rusbridge,
he had a job to do.
Behind him, Muldoon stared into his radarscope, watching as the radar image of the
little shack that housed a set of valves for one of the tunnels slowly moved towards
the bomb-release point for the Tallboy.
Then it was right on top of them.
“Bomb away!” shouted Muldoon as he mashed the pickle.
The airframe of Tasmanian Devil gave a huge shudder as over twelve thousand
pounds of deadweight exited it
[Quattara Depression Hydropower Plant - Provinca Egypta - 0225 hours]
From the north, a deep low rumble, much deeper than the sound of exploding shells
came forth; and both Pieter and Erika wondered what it was.
“Ammo dump explosion?” she asked.
“No, no, if it was an ammo dump, we'd have seen it by now.”
[Archona NCC, near Archona - 0230 hours]
The scene inside the National Command Center was pandomeium, as junor
officers ran around like rabbits, trying to get what sketchy information was
coming out of Egypt on this attack by what seemed like the Italians.
Suddenly, a Centurion jumped up from the bank of Telexes at one end of the
room and ran towards the duty officer.
“Sir, our forces in Persia are reporting coming under intense artillery fire
from British Baluchistan!”
[The Persian Border]
The sun had begun it's slow climb up the sky, and already smoke from the artillery
strikes on Drakian frontier outposts by the 21st Army Group was stretching across
the lightening sky as Spitfire Mk XIIs and Tempest Vs roared across the formerly
inviolate border in wave after wave, the early morning sun gleaming off their skins
and the loads of bombs and rockets under their wings.
Beneath the protective wings of the Royal Air Force, the British Army of India was on
the march, backed up by the near inexhaustible manpower reserves of British India,
which showed in the endless lines of Indian-built Valentines and ex-British Army Matildas
trundling towards the front, while Indian troops marched alongside them
on the dusty roads as artillery thundered in the background.
The few Citizen forces on the border were quickly overwhelmed and destroyed by
the sheer weight of forces arrayed against them, and the Janissary Legions thrown
into the battle found that their Principes wheeled tanks and Peltast II APCs were
worthless against even the 2 pounders of the Matildas.
Slowly, inexorably, the British Army moved forward, like an elemental force,
sweeping all before it.
[Mosquito B.I (Special) “Howlin' Hell” 6,000 feet over Egypt – 0250 hours]
Squadron Leader Edward Halleck watched as the ground whipped by in a blur under
his Mosquito at speeds approaching 400 miles an hour, let the Snakes try and catch
him now; he was moving simply too fast and too low for all their searchlights and
ack-ack to catch like they had those poor blokes in the Lancs.
Ahead of him, he saw the glow of the Quattara complex. Right, time to get ready,
climb to 15,000 feet for the dive on the cliff face.
[Quattara Depression Hydropower Plant - Provinca Egypta - 0300 hours]
“HOLY SHIT!” shouted someone, Pieter wasn't sure who said it, but it perfectly summed
up his feelings as he saw the desert-camouflaged twin engined aircraft suddenly appear
in the skies outside his window, before rolling over into a dive.
[Mosquito B.I (Special) “Howlin' Hell”]
“Every bloody snake is shooting at me right now,” muttered Halleck as he rolled his
Mossie into a dive, and flipped the ARM switches for his rockets from SAFE to ARM.
[Quattara Depression Hydropower Plant]
”Get that bastard! Get him the fuck now!” shouted Görtlizer
as he kicked an unlucky light anti-aircraft crew chief on the head with his boot
as they spun around their light antiaircraft cannon far too slowly for his taste.
[Mosquito B.I (Special) “Howlin' Hell”]
“Haven't these bloody idiots heard of dousing lights?” muttered Halleck as
he lined up the cliff face in his gunsight. There was so much light from all the
lights still on even well into the attack that he didn't even need to use the huge
searchlight buried in his left wing.
“And bye bye,” he shouted as he pulled on his trigger, sending his rockets
rippling away from under his wings towards the cliff face in one massive
And then a stream of 40mm tracer tore apart the Mossie before Halleck could
even see his rockets strike home.
As the odd rumbling noise of the rocket strikes on the cliff face reverberated
through the depresssion, Pieter ran out of his quarters, shouting
“No, No, No NO!” as he finally realized what the Italians (if that's
who they were, the damn Eyeties weren't this brave OR this smart) were trying
Before his eyes, he watched as more and more aircraft tried to attack the cliff face,
even though the antiaircraft batteries in the depression had already been alerted.
Most of them were blown apart at the apex of their climb in preparation for their
diving attack, but a few survived long enough to launch their weapons, and at
each hollow thud of the rockets striking home, Pieter despaired.
When the skies overhead had been quiet for several minutes, Pieter ran into the
barracks building, banging on the doors of his engineers and scientists, shouting
for them to wake up.
“What's going on? Are we under attack?” shouted one of the more dim-witted
engineers under his command, and Pieter in return shot him in the right knee
with his service pistol.
“OF COURSE WE'RE UNDER ATTACK! Do you think this is
Running out of the barracks, Pieter looked at the cliff face, and with a sinking feeling
in his gut, realized that it wasn't going to hold much longer. Water was already trickling
down it's face in ever increasing amounts.
As he entered the control room set into the side of the cliff-face, Pieter looked at the
engineers running around chaotically and sighed. This was the best the Domination had
“ATTENTION!” he shouted, drawing their attention and silence.
“Have you turned the up-stream valves off yet? If you don't we'll lose the whole plant.”
“Tried that,” came the laconic response from one of the engineers. “Valves B10
and B22 on tunnel B are closed, yet the water's still coming. Same for all tunnels
“Shit. EVERYONE THE FUCK OUT NOW!” shouted Pieter. When nobody listened
to him, he simply shrugged and ran like hell out of the door; followed several moments
later by some of the more observant engineers.
Behind him, he could hear a loud groaning and cracking noise coming from the cliff
face, and just as he'd run almost half a kilometer in record time, all hell broke loose
as over two cubic kilometers of rock broke loose in a spray of foaming water, the
concussion of the collapsing rock almost knocking him over.
Turning around, he saw that where the control center had been was now buried under
quite a lot of rock. Shouting to one of the engineers who had followed him out the
door, he found out that Olaf and Ingolffson hadn't made it out. Damn shame
about them, but well...shit happens. He looked to the south and saw a vision out of
the bible-stories his grandmother had told him. The collapse of the cliff face into the
reservoir had displaced all of the water, and now a tidal wave over a hundred feet high
was racing across the depression, straight for the heavy water plant along the shoreline.
In twenty minutes there wasn't going to be a plant anymore, and the material stored there
would be scattered across the whole area.
Waving over Görtlizer, Pieter shouted into his ear, "GET THE DAMN MILITARY OUT
HERE! THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR US TO CONTAIN BY OURSELVES!"
“RIGHT, I GOT YOU!”
“AND GET SOMEONE OUT TO THE PUMPING SUBSTATIONS ALONG THE
TUNNELS! THE AUTOMATIC VALVES AREN'T CLOSING!”
[Quattara Depression Hydropower Plant – 0700 Hours]
Pieter watched from the top of what was left of the cliff face as the military fished
through what was left of the complex after the wall of water from the cliff collapse
had flattened everything in it's path. Every so often, one of the Serf Auxilaries being
used would come out of the wreckage of a building with a body in their arms.
Shit, such a damn waste...
Suddenly, he spotted water bubbling out of the fractures on the cliff face below him.
Oh shit, not again....
As he began to run away from the cliff edge as fast as he could, Pieter began screaming
at the top of his lungs
“GET OUT YOU FUCKERS, OLD MAN OCEAN IS COMING THROUGH!”
Below, in the depression, the troops and auxilaries looked up in puzzlement at the
strange man who had begun running along the ridge and screaming his head off,
when they spotted the rubble at the bottom of the cliff face beginning to move with a
deep groaning noise. Suddenly, a few jets of water appeared, streaming dozens of
meters through the air from the pile of rubble in all directions. The rumbling grew louder,
resonating from the soles of their shoes to the pits of their stomachs.
"Oh shit..." was the last word many of them managed to get off before the rubble
burst forth in a torrent of water, as the Mediterranean attempted to drain itself
through the shattered cliff face.
Above, Pieter ran on from the ever-widening chasm. He was exhausted from the
night's efforts but self-preservation compelled him to live as his domain was crushed
under the endless tidal wave of saltwater, he glanced to the side and saw tiny figures
running futilely away from the oncoming wall of water in a futile effort before they were
swallowed up like they were never there. He tripped, and fell, his hands and arms
tearing themselves on the gravel. He waited for the collapse to take him, but it didn't.
He raised himself to look over his shoulder and rolled to a sitting position. His feet
were less than a meter from the edge.
In morbid fascination, Piter watched as the depression slowly filled with water. Pieter
pulled out a crumpled cigarette from his pocket and lit it, while slowly muttering the
realization that Someone Was Going To Have To Explain All This.
And that it was probably going to be him.
"Ah, fuck it." He stood up and dusted off his hands, wiping blood on his pants.
He trudged numbly down the slope, wondering if this was what Noah had felt like
when his world was destroyed by God's anger.
[USS Pensacola (Part of TF 32.1) – 0800 Hours]
The sailors on the cruiser watched with interest from their railings and duty
stations as the survivors were plucked from the water by one of the P-Cola's
On the launch, a young Lt. (jg) had the unfortunate experience of asking one of
the men in leather flying gear if they were Italians, since it was reported that an
Italian bomber had gone down in the area an hour ago, only to be met by a string
of curses and a fist in the face.
“Call me a bloody Italian will you, you damned Yankee! I'm Australian, you
bloody fool!” shouted Anders Russell as he proceeded to beat the shit out of
the Lt (jg) before being subdued by the Marine guards on the launch.
"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong
"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944