The Blood of Enemies

Ophelia Adelmann stared at the brightly decorated birthday cake. The cheery colors counter-balanced the boiling torrents within her. She counted the candles yet again, one for each year that could’ve been. Years that could’ve been spent sitting by the fire with her husband, Edwin, and little Elijah at her knee. Instead, the Nazis stole everything for their own in 1934. They killed anyone who disagreed with their fanaticism. They claimed Edwin was a communist rebel. He was merely a scientist with his own ideas and one too quick to admit being Jewish. The sight of Edwin gunned down in their home triggered a miscarriage. The birth of Elijah never blessed her life.

A rage took the place of little Elijah in her belly, and it simmered with fury.

The Nazis thought they captured everything. Edwin’s meta-materials possessed properties indistinguishable from magic. The Nazi fools never realized that the driving force behind his ideas was Ophelia’s brilliant mind. They never knew she was an heiress. The money she commanded in Swiss banks could buy a nation. The strength of Ophelia’s engineering and the force of her incredible wealth empowered a pitiless lust for revenge.

Ophelia blew out the candles and left her cabin, cake uneaten. She walked down aluminum grates to the pilothouse. The winds at 12,000 feet were strong but her airship rode steadily among the gusts. Below, five Nazi Zeppelins covered the invasion force attacking Britain. Ophelia smirked. During ww1, zeppelins enjoyed brief success, then seemed doomed as an offensive weapon. That is, until Nazis killed Edwin for his meta-materials.

The ceramic plates that lined the underside of the German zeppelins below provided a small counter-gravity field. It wasn’t strong. They still possessed the shark-shape dictated by helium sacks, but much less helium was needed. The other effect of the counter-gravity fields was far more important. It created a field impervious to any known weapon. It changed everything, and only the Nazis possessed the technology. Hitler’s Blitzkrieg rampaged across Europe, then zeppelins proved critical in winning the Battle of Britain in 1940.

By then, Ophelia’s airships were complete.

“Come left to 020, Mr. Walinsky,” she told the helmsman. The thousand-foot airship, Edwin Elijah turned smoothly, positioned above the German zeppelins. She watched the eyes of the crew. The British government happily accepted her proposal for a counter to German zeppelins, but they didn’t like its secret weapon in the hands of a woman. In the end, it was her ideas and her money funding the project, or nothing. She became captain of Britain’s first aerial warship. She saw no doubts in the crew’s faces at taking orders from a woman, and a Jew. “Gun Captains. Aim for the top of the enemy airships.” Her smile was predatory. The Nazi technology was stolen, and for that reason they didn’t truly understand how to use it.

They lined the bottom of their Zeppelins with the meta-material, “CouGrav.” It pushed the vessels up into the sky. They never realized with some electrical finagling they could switch polarity of the plates. Ophelia’s airship carried CouGrav plates on the top that pulled up while lower plates pushed up. She moved faster, and the plates made Edwin Elijah invulnerable on the top and bottom. The German zeppelins were vulnerable at the top where they never expected attack.

Ophelia spoke softly, “Fire.”

Ophelia’s meta-materials didn’t stop at counter-gravity. The barrels of her guns were frictionless. Each round exited the barrel five times faster than normal. The 5-inch shells contained no warhead. Instead, they carried a rocket motor that propelled them even faster. Each shell struck its target at Mach 9, hitting with the explosive power of a 5,000lb bomb. A single hit could sink a heavy cruiser. What they did to the naked top of Zeppelins was appalling. In twenty minutes, the Zeppelins were twisted wrecks. Without hesitation, Ophelia turned her guns on the hapless invasion fleet. Two hours later, with the help of the Royal Navy, the invasion was obliterated.

First Officer Ephraim Shapira joined her as she watched the flaming waters of the English Channel. “We’re out of ammo, Cap’n. I’d guess 100,000 Germans died today. Isn’t that enough?”

Ophelia’s eyes narrowed. “Enough to balance the murder of a child before birth? No. It isn’t enough.”

“Seems to me you’ve still given birth.”

Ophelia glared. “What?”

“You’ve given birth to a new kind of warfare.”

She smirked. “Perhaps.” Her eyes narrowed to slits and burned with unquenchable fire. “But this child will be swaddled in the blood of enemies!”
Author’s Notes:

Adolf Hitler seized power of Germany in 1933. In 1934, Germany became a totalitarian state:

In the real world, Britain won the Battle of Britain. Had they lost, Hitler planned Operation Sea Lion (the invasion of Britain):

Meta-Materials are real, and they can do some incredible things:

If you’re a military historian (I know some of you are), then you’ll notice a fatal flaw in this story. Zeppelins which are not vulnerable at the top could still come under attack by British Spitfires and Hurricanes. Such huge targets couldn’t be missed. I simply didn’t have the word space to address this. With the lifting power of CouGrav plates, zeppelins and Ophelia’s airships could carry LOTS of machine gun nests, making them very dangerous opponents in aerial combat. Plus, all were filled with helium, not our history’s hydrogen-filled Hindenburg. Helium isn’t flammable. Holed helium sacs might force a zeppelin to withdraw, but not destroy it. Ophelia’s airships possessed even fewer vulnerable areas, allowing very concentrated, and thus very deadly, defensive machine gun fire. German Messerschmidts (bf-109Es) would’ve died like flies while attacking.

Written for the Mutant 750 writing challenge at the Grammar Ghoul Press. This week, the media prompt is a birthday cake (seen above). The word prompt is, “birth.” Look here to see what other folks wrote:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
This entry was posted in Short Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Blood of Enemies

  1. List of X says:

    I think that Zeppelins could be large and slow enough targets to be attacked by bombers, not just by fighter planes. Ophelia wouldn’t even need a special airship to destroy the Zeppelins.
    On the other hand, Germans would have to expect to be attacked from above, so they could have installed the anti-gravity plates on top pushing the ship downward, then compensate that by extra helium.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      That’s an interesting idea. What the Germans never expected was an attack by heavy guns from above. They knew aircraft might attack. German fighter planes would have been dispatched to attack Ophelia’s airship and the pilots would certainly record that it had CouGrav on top. German high command might assume that Ophelia did exactly as you describe and apply that to future zeppelin designs. There would be issues with this method, but it might work as a stop-gap. Good thinking!


      • List of X says:

        I think the logical outcome would be to make warships and zeppelins fully covered with these plates to create weapons that are fully immune from conventional attack. However, conventional weapons are pretty much all various projectiles, so I wonder if this field is able to withstand a laser, EMP, or radiation.
        I kind of want some of these CouGravs for experiments now. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye says:

        Ah! But no device is truly invulnerable. There are always weak points. The issue for CouGrav plates is cooling. They have to be electrically charged to have the effect. This causes heating. So zeppelins need to operate at altitude AND they must have heat sinks (which ARE vulnerable) sticking into the airstream. It wouldn’t be practical on a surface warship (unless in the arctic). The molecular structure would break down and the plate would cease to operate. So conventional attack CAN bring down a zeppelin. It will just require special tactics and exceptional bravery to do so.

        Another thing I envision for the zeppelins are parasite fighters. The US Navy actually tried this with ships like the USS Akron and the F9C Sparrowhawk fighter. So airship combat like carrier battles would exist. Fighters could attack the airships by firing in the gaps between plates (necessary for cooling) but they’d risk a large number of machine guns on the way. It’s much like actual history. Warships “could” be sunk by aircraft but at substantial risk to the pilots. The advantage of airships is they could go places a warship couldn’t, and still bring big guns with them, then be very nearly impervious to defensive ground fire.


      • List of X says:

        Hmmm, given the need for a lot of cooling, these airships can’t actually go everywhere – Battle of Britain might be okay, but the usual war theaters like the Middle East with temperatures of 100F and up will probably be out of bounds.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye says:

        Well, they can, but they have to operate differently. The plates are fine up to 120 degrees F, so long as there’s no electrical charge running through them. That also means no invulnerability. They would have to take off without the plates charged. That means relying on helium and the propellers to lift them up. A very slow take off and landing. In the middle-east, the tropics, even Europe in the summer (tarmac is hot), they would be vulnerable. Once in the cooler air of high altitudes they could engage the plates and be relatively safe.

        During ww2 the Me-262 jet fighter was difficult for allied fighters to catch. So they would hang around Me-262 bases waiting for them to land. During landing, the jets very vulnerable. They couldn’t accelerate quickly and at low speed they turned poorly. A similar tactic might be in use against these blimps in warm climes.


  2. joetwo says:

    Did the Germans evenhave stocks of Helium? The Americans had the world’s supply in the thirties and had an embargo against selling it to the Nazi. Besides; it qasn’t the Hydrogen that did it for the Hindenberg, it was the ahitty Aluminium powder paint that went up in flames.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      In our history, you’re right they didn’t have helium. The Hindenburg was originally designed to use the far safer helium. The US refused to export and Hindenburg was redesigned to use hydrogen. Things went south from there. And you’ve done your homework. Impressive! It was the skin of Hindenburg that made most of the blaze. The way helium was obtained was as a by-product of oil drilling. In this alternative history, Germany would’ve had access to the Romanian oil fields, and that’s how they got their helium. Great comments, Joe!


  3. Lyn says:

    I don’t care whether this is historically accurate, or the physics is wonky or anything else that may be out of place. A piece of fiction is for enjoyment, and enjoy it I did. Once again Monsieur Wicklund, the little grey cells have been working overtime, oui? (sorry, I’ve been watching Hercule Poirot all afternoon) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Mais oui! I agree completely. As long as you had fun, that’s all that really matters. Hercule Poirot is tres addicting, n’est-ce pas? I’ve spent a few afternoons watching it too. Thanks so much, Lyn!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. c2avilez says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable read! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mara Fields says:

    Oooh, this has a dark undertone to it. A mother with a vengeance that has been made insatiable with her grief. Add crazy gun-power. Not a happy combo. But well written, as per usual!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, she’s gone a bit mad. Her anguish has possessed her and taken over. She’s doing a good thing for the good side, but she’s deeply flawed by her own hatred. I didn’t originally intend for her to be like this, but sometimes characters develop into something we never expected. Now she captains a very powerful warship, with more joining under her command. She may have given birth to a new warfare, the Nazis gave birth to their own doom.
      I’m glad you enjoyed this story. Thanks so much for the kind words! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael says:

    Killer closing line. It’s not a good idea to make Ophelia angry.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Suzanne says:

    Love the alternate history! And I love all your technical explanations too. Very interesting stuff. Oh, and I would not want to get on the wrong side of Captain Ophelia. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, Ophelia is not a patient, forgiving woman. Woe betide anyone who crosses her, especially Mr. Hitler. Glad you like the technical stuff. I just love it. I have to control myself and not write a story that’s only technical details.

      Thanks so much, Suzanne! 🙂


Don't be shy. Say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s