Before I begin today's update, I would like to remind everyone that my book My Tank is Fight! is only days away from its October 3rd release. It is available from Amazon or, if you prefer, you can pick up a copy from Barnes and Noble. It is also available in many brick and mortar bookstores.
Many people have emailed me asking for a sample and many people have emailed me asking about the fictional elements of the book. There is a rough draft sample chapter available in PDF form, but I thought I might offer a little something to (hopefully) please both groups. It's an excerpt from chapter 13, the fictional encounter of American reporter R.E. Lincoln with the German Daimler Project Series flying bombs and carrier aircraft.
7:49 PM February 23rd, 1945
Area Bombing of “Yellowfin”, Bomber Group 5, Lancaster “My Salty Lady”
Approaching Pforzheim, Germany
“Hang on to your tackle,” the pilot advised. “We’re about to get shot to ribbons.”
The nose machineguns clattered. Something crashed against the Lancaster and the whole aircraft rocked violently.
“Aw, quit windin’ ‘em up, Sully.” The copilot leaned back and gave R.E. a crooked grin. “We only been ‘it a bit. Nothing we can’t soldier through.”
“Tell that to the number three.” The pilot feathered the prop and with a jerk it coughed and sputtered back to life.
R.E. Lincoln fought down the vomit rising in his throat and grabbed one of the upright supports next to the bombardier’s post. When he leaned back and looked to the front of the aircraft he could see a constant flash of explosions and the deceptively slow arcs of tracers curving up through the sky. The view did little to calm his stomach.
“’Ere we are then,” the copilot gestured expansively, “lovely Yellowfin. Looks like we’re a wee bit late fer the party.”
“Try not to give me any bumps,” the bombardier shot R.E. a serious look and dropped his earphones onto his head.
“Holy God.” The copilot seemed at a loss for more descriptive words.
“Mister Lincoln,” the pilot began, “you might want to pop up here and have a look.”
R.E. reluctantly abandoned the relative reliability of his spot next to the bombardier and began to walk up the shaking fuselage towards the cockpit. He found handholds where he could and bit his tongue when something rattled the side of the plane and nearly bowled him over. When R.E. was able to steady himself on the pilot and copilot seats he looked through the windscreen. The view of the city below was nothing short of apocalyptic.
“That ought to pay Jerry back for London all by itself.” The pilot sounded genuinely impressed.
“Caw, pay them back fer Ol’ Trafford, more like.” The copilot scoffed. “Burn ‘em to a cinder, I say.”
The city was one contiguous fire, raging high into the sky and dwindling to isolated fires around its edges. Every moment another storm of incendiary bombs crashed down into the inferno and raised a plume of flames and a gust of black smoke.
“What’s that?” R.E. pointed out the window.
“That’s Yellowfin, the objective.” The pilot explained.
“It’s where we-“
“No,” R.E. interrupted, “what is that?”
He jabbed his finger against the windscreen.
There was another flare in the sky ahead of them. The burst was too small to be a flak explosion and it kept burning and growing larger. A third flare finally caught the pilot’s attention.
The aircraft passed them with a distinct engine roar. It was moving faster than anything R.E. Lincoln had ever seen. It resembled one of the buzz bombs the Germans were still occasionally using, but larger and with what distinctly looked like a cockpit. R.E. pressed against the pilot and both men leaned to the side glass to watch the strange aircraft pass. It dipped its wings a bit and plunged straight into the cockpit of a nearby Lancaster. The big bomber dropped its nose, pulled up again and then exploded. Not a single recognizable piece could be seen in the cloud of burning debris.
“Oh fuck.” The pilot stated with remarkable dryness.
A second flying bomb zoomed past them as scarcely more than a blur of light. A third seemed to be headed directly at their aircraft.
“Ross,” the pilot addressed the nose gunner, “if you would be so kind, please shoot Jerry’s new bomb.”
The Lancaster’s nose gun began hammering. The tracers disappeared into the dark shape hidden by night at the end of the engine exhaust. They did nothing, had no impact, and as R.E. watched the flying bomb grow larger and larger he felt as if he were in a dream. It was the sort of dream in which he would see a tornado drawing near, yet could do nothing to move or seek shelter. Fate could not be stopped.
Ross stopped fate with his twin .30 caliber machineguns. The flying bomb exploded in a brilliant flash and a moment later the Lancaster slammed through its debris trail. Something popped in the number three engine and it began to burn. There was a moment of stunned silence and then the pilot regained his senses.
“Not the end of the world,” the pilot said, flipping switches on the control panel.
“Aw, be honest now, Sully.” The copilot looked to R.E. and gave him a crooked grin. “We’re proper fucked now, mate.”
R.E. Lincoln staggered back to his safe spot next to the bombardier and resolved to stare directly at the floor of the aircraft until it had landed.
If you enjoyed that, if you have enjoyed my articles in the past or you're just interested in strange inventions of World War II, then please order a copy of my book!
Now, on with the update! I am very proud to introduce Echelon: An Interactive Play In One Act...
Scene 1: A Parked Rental Car in Virginia.
Greetings to you, what vexes thee?
The President of the United States of America,
As are the tallies of senators past and present,
My very essence boils at the thought,
Of these rogues,
Free men who still draw breath
Aye, I see this too,
A seething dragon of inequity,
Dwells and stinks within Motte and Bailey,
Western fortress of excrement,
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
I have determined to slay the President, Bardu.
May my own blade bite deep, Ismael
Praise Allah, Bardu
Allahu Ackbar, Ismael
Scene 2: A Skating Rink in Washington D.C.
Death to Israel,
Death to America,
The jihad roars like witchfire within my cockles
Tidings to you my Al Qaeda brother,
We do not fear the epoch of injustice,
With haste we close its pages,
Ismael and I will soon end the President
Good to hear at long last,
But what of the senate and their lackies,
And the degenerate whores who bare their flesh,
And the scions of wealth who control the world?
That is the subject of whence I speak,
For the slumbering must be over,
All men of action and of Allah,
Must rise now and greet the day,
To bring down this foul Dragon
This is very good,
Plans must be wrought,
With haste and vigor,
For the sun is low,
And the time is right
The leaders must convene,
In hallowed halls of learning,
Where prying eyes are heavy-lidded,
And we are free to seek the truth
We gather then at the library,
As the dark curtains of the firmament,
Draw closed around us
So too do those curtains,
Close slowly on the era,
Of the Great Satan.
Scene 3: The Dark Library
It is good to see you brothers,
I was just researching vital schemes,
To fold and mingle with our own
I am certain of your truth, dear Ismael
Alas, no possibility that your path,
Returned you once again,
To your lustful ways of the he-boys
Your words are like arrows,
Lashing through my breast,
Wounding my inner heart
Let us dally not on this subject,
My patience is like your bodkin,
Worn thin and frayed already
I did not bring up the matter,
T'was Bardu and his cruel-
No more will I hear of this!
The plans are moving already,
Rental vans and police uniforms,
Targets picked out upon the globe,
Now all we must do is turn to the computer,
And allow Google Maps to light our way
I am vexed by Google Maps,
The lambent fox collapses beneath it,
Perhaps Map Quest is a-
Everybody down on your faces!
Get down on the floor!
He's got a gun!
Thus forsake fuck,
Our plans so hastily undone,
While comrades and brothers cower,
I will not be renditioned softly,
From this mortal coil
AH! I die! I am dead!
The doer of evil has not,
His deeds remain undone,
Unraveled and in ruin.
This incredible thing,
Salvation and peace,
We owe to...
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The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.