Antarctica, a.k.a Neuschwabenland
Ilsa Hauppman hung up her cellphone as the young officer burst into her private chamber. She frowned at the lack of protocol, but the look on the soldier's face told her that whatever it was it must have been urgent. Svetlana quickly recovered and saluted her Reichsführer with her arm outstretched like a steel bar, swallowing hard. She just realized what she had done and her eyes bulged for a moment. Ilsa waived it away and waited for the member of her personal guard to relay whatever it was that was so important. The tall, uniformed woman returned her arm to her side and began to speak, her voice with just the tint of a fearful tone.
"My Reichsführer, I am afraid to report that Oberstabsführerin Brunhilda Adelar has escaped. She overpowered several soldiers and has fled Jotunheimr."
The officer looked directly at her superior, expecting at any moment for the smaller woman to fly into one of her well documented, unpredictable rages. Ilsa's temper was legendary and frightening to behold. Once she had even transformed into her bestial form and thrown aside a handful of her own scientists when they failed to provide results on one of her many experiments in extra-dimensional portals. Another time she had assailed her own command staff verbally, throwing objects at them from her desk. The younger woman was surprised when Ilsa returned a bored expression.
"Is that all?"
"Y-yes Reichsführer." Svetlana stammered out, still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Very well. Are you tracking her?"
"We are," she began nodding, "it appears she is moving across the Atlantic and towards..."
"Germany." Ilsa said, putting down her phone and reaching for her morning tea. "She'll go to the Fatherland."
"You do not seem surprised Reichsführer." the officer spoke, almost regretting she had said it out-loud.
"I'm not. I rarely am. Continue tracking her, but make no move to intercept her. She'll be returning to us very soon."
"Yes Reichsführer." Svetlana snapped to attention and saluted her leader again. Ilsa half-heartedly saluted her back and took a sip of her tea.
Brunhilda's heart was pounding loudly in her chest as she approached Berlin. She truly enjoyed flying, the freedom and exhilaration of hurtling through the skies at close to the speed of sound, or even exceeding it. The cut and thrust of aerial combat, fighting and reacting almost without thinking. In the dying days of the Reich, Brunhilda was ordered by the Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering to flee to Antarctica and the secret bases there with the last remnants of the Reich's ultra-secret high tech weaponry, such as the infamous Flying Gyros, robots and other wunderwaffe in the hopes of preserving some part of the Nazi Regime. There she was frozen in cryostasis in the Ahnenerbe facility, the place that Ilsa Hauppman and her so-called Fourth Reich called Jotunheimr. She wasn't a murderer like the SS. When she killed it was when she had to and in the name of the Fatherland and the Reich. People like Ilsa Hauppman were nothing more than murderers...thugs in jackboots and black uniforms, selected from the criminals of Germany. She still had her doubts that Hauppman was even a hold-over from the Struggle, but something about the woman nagged at her that she was the genuine article. After all, she herself had been thawed out from seventy years of cryogenic sleep, perhaps this madwoman had been some project of the SS as well. Regardless, she had managed to overpower her guards and escape with relative ease. It would be glorious to see Berlin again after all these years and perhaps get the answers she sought as well.
She flew low in a deliberately circuitous fashion, she didn't want to betray her flight path from 'Jotunheimr', at least until she was sure of the age she was in...
Oberstabsführerin Adelar landed near the Brandenburg Gate, gazing up at it with a mixture of joy and national pride. Tears glazed her eyes over as she looked it over. She could almost hear the Königgrätzer Marsch as she studied the landmark, the tears streamed down her cheeks now, hot and wet, a smile on her lips. It was exactly as she remembered it, even if the area around it had changed...Berlin had changed. It was modernized, full of high-tech looking buildings and strange looking automobiles. She would have a great deal to catch up on technologically from the last seven decades since the end of the Struggle. A crowd of stunned onlookers had gathered around her in a circle where she had come down. The woman known as Die TodesEngel turned to them and spoke in her native German to them. So many foreigners among them, swarthy faces she was sure would not have fit in the Third Reich. Things had indeed changed...
"People of the Fatherland, I have come home to you!" she spoke in a confident voice.
She turned to address a young woman in a colorful headscarf, she looked African. "Good day, miss. How do you find Germany?" she spoke cheerfully in English, addressing the bewildered girl she assumed was a tourist. She wanted to be as friendly as possible, this new Germany was as strange and wondrous to her as she assumed it would be to all these 'foreigners'. Himmler would disapprove, but then again she was not SS, so to hell with their bizarre racial myths. These were still people, less civilized perhaps being foreigners, but no less human. And they were guests in her country, too!
"I'm sorry, I don't understand," the girl replied in perfect German. "You...you think I'm a foreigner? I was born here, I am a citizen."
Brunhilda's eyes widened in surprise. What had happened to her Fatherland?
More and more people had started to gather around and gawk at the beautiful shapely redhead who had descended from the skies like an angel, but Brunhilda continued to smile. They were pointing at her Knight's Cross, the wartime Luftwaffe insignia on her uniform, and the swastikas on her twin swords. Whispering, murmuring.
"She's gorgeous!" Wolf whistles.
"Are you an actress?" " "Good grief, they're filming another war movie!" "Better a war movie than shite like 'Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters'!"
"I don't see any cameras!" "You've got a camera in your iPhone, idiot! Use it!" "No, I meant...never mind."
"No, she flew in, she's some sort of metahuman!"
"Must be some sort of promotion for the Luftwaffe!" "Yes, she definitely looks like one of those hot Luftwaffe models, but the insignia...my god, that's Nazi!"
"You can't wear those!" Someone shouted at her, pointing at the swastikas on her blades. "That's illegal!"
"Someone call the police!"
"She's some sort of Nazi supersoldier!"
"If this is a joke, it's not funny..."
And then someone finally recognized her. That was when things got ugly very quickly.
"You! The Angel of Death!" cried an old man in his late 70's, who tottered towards Brunhilda on unsteady legs.
Angel of Death. That was what they called that madman Mengele.
"I saw you flying over our camp many times. You knew what was going on there! You should have gone to the gallows for your crimes..." he fumed.
The crowd chimed in "Where have you been hiding all these years?? How dare you show your face here??"
"I lost my entire family in the death camps! I was at Majdanek!!" he shoved his withered forearm under Brunhilda's nose, the eerie numeric tattoo still visible after all these years.
"You fought for all that is wrong with this country, and you can proudly stand in the middle of Berlin with Nazi symbols on your chest?? You Nazis tried to exterminate my entire people!!"
"Exterminate?? I...I don't understand..." Hilde stammered, genuinely confused. "Yes, there were concentration camps, but you...you were held there for the greater good. You were a threat to...Germany..."
"I was five years old! Women, children, old men! What threat to Great Germany were we? Interned in our millions, slaughtered like cattle! Warsaw, Krakov, flattened because we dared to fight back against the SS!! SLAUGHTERED!!!"
"I'm not...SS. I was...I serve in the Luftwaffe. It was the Allies...they attacked and destroyed anything that moved. Supplies couldn't reach the camps, people starved, just as they did in the rest of Germany. We all suffered. But I tried to stop them, to save my people..." She remembered the bombs falling, the wailing of air raid sirens all around her as she ascended to do battle with the enemy bomber formations flattening her country...
"MY people were slaughtered!! Millions died, because of Hitler and his insane policies! YOU DARE defend the Nazis??? You SCUM!!" he spat in her face. It hit her harder than anything had ever done, not even anti-aircraft shells, enemy battleships or the blows of a superhuman foe.
The crowd surged in, feeding on the old man's anger. They reached for her medals, trying to rip them off her. Dozens of hands tried to shove her, reaching out for her, clawing, faces blurred in anger.
Suddenly a group of youths with shaven heads, clad in tight American jeans, jackboots and black jackets, rushed in to attack the people crowding around Hilde. They had noticed the commotion, and appeared to be trying to defend her against the angry mob, throwing bottles, punching and kicking. Someone pulled a knife. A flash of steel. Blood. Screams. Some of the shaven-headed youths turned to salute her, shouting 'Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!"
The situation was turning ugly, as more and more people rushed to the scene, but far, far more were fighting against the 'skinheads' than supporting them. It was turning into a riot, with Hilde standing confused and bewildered in the eye of the storm. Broken glass and blood everywhere. It was true what Ilsa had said, the 'Nazis' were now the...villains. Her head swimming, she tried to break up the struggling mass of humanity, but ended up flinging people dozens of feet through the air, she simply couldn't control her strength, such was her confused mental state. Cries of agony, bodies writhing in pain, some weren't moving at all. People were screaming in fear and pain around her, looking at her with terrified eyes. Like she was a monster.
"Murderer!" someone shouted from behind her.
"Butcher!" Came another.
Brunhilda looked all around her and saw the looks on the faces of her countrymen. Some were aghast. Other shook their heads and turned away. The majority of them gazed on her with cruel, hate-rimmed eyes. She opened her mouth to say something when the first rock hit her in the back of the head. Her invulnerability caused her to take no real damage from the stone, but the emotional damage stilled her tongue. Another rock pelted her, bouncing off her uniformed body. The mob had surged forward towards her, ripping at her uniform. It was the uniform and the medals and symbols she proudly wore that were reviled. Everything she had stood for was now held in contempt. She loved her country and believed that Germany had been in the right, that her cause had been just. Now she saw what defeat had meant for the German people. The Allies had over time caused her own people to betray the very memory of all those that fought and died for the German cause. All they saw was a monster, proudly displayed in a hated uniform from a hated empire.
"Enough!" Brunhilda stamped her foot with enough controlled force to cause a mini earthquake, the concussion knocking the angry mob off their feet and driving them back, setting off car alarms and shattering windows up to half a mile away. She did not want to hurt them, but she'd be damned if she'd let them touch her medals, mere trinkets to them, symbols of a hated regime that rewarded heinous acts, but to her they were symbols of her sacrifice and devotion to her beloved homeland. She would have to explain to them, make them understand what it was she had fought for. They had only forgotten and there were so many young faces.
The sounds of approaching sirens marked the arrival of the Bundespolizei, the German police. They piled out of their vehicles, drawing down on her with an assortment of firearms and taking up defensive positions all around her. Many of them had shields and wore helmets and what appeared to be body armor as well as being armed with submachineguns, looking more like soldiers than policemen. The audacity! Who the hell did they think they were dealing with? She was not an enemy to Germany or the German people, she was their protector! They were shouting at her to drop her weapons and lay down on the ground. The crowd of angry people had receded to the sides, shouting at her, calling her all manner of names, wishing death upon her, blaming her for all manner of terrible deeds. She tried to block out their angry, hate-fueled jeers. It was the fates that were really mocking her, sparing her just so she could see her country brought low by the Allies and turned against her. Germany, that she had loved more than anything else on Earth and meant more to her than her own life.
There was a loud crack and one of the submachineguns held by the police barked, slamming a 9mm round into her shoulder. The bullet caused no damage but she turned towards the officers with a sneer that caused their blood to run cold and their balls to retract into their groins. Her shock and confusion turned to anger- how dare these piss-ants shoot at her, after she had sacrificed so much for their grandfathers?? She took a step towards them, hiding like vermin behind their vehicles, bullet-proof shields and open car-doors. The police opened fire all at once, burying her in a hail of gunfire. The bullets ricocheted off her invulnerable body, screams of pain echoed through the plaza as the stray bullets found unintended targets. Brunhilda's eyes went wide in horror as she saw people, men, women and children who had not taken cover, crumple as the rounds aimed at her hit them instead. "No! Stop!!" she cried out at the policemen, but they kept on firing in panic. She had returned home to a country that not only did not want her, but wanted her dead and all traces of the Third Reich along with it. "Please...stop this..." Brunhilda felt sick to her stomach, she hadn't meant for this to happen, she did not want to cause her countrymen any pain or suffering. Without another word she launched herself back into the skies and shot away from Berlin, crying.
Two Luftwaffe QRA Typhoons of JG 71 'Richthofen' shot off the Wittmundshafen runway in under seven seconds, followed by another pair, and they quickly streaked after the retreating Todesengel as she sped across Northern Germany towards the North Sea. Their mission, to bring her back to Germany for trial, if at all possible. Shoot down orders were granted by the German Chancellor, overriding existing NATO Allied Air Component Headquarters intercept protocols. The German authorities were jittery- first, the never-ending war of terror, then the economic meltdown leading to rising levels of unemployment, social discontent, rising racial tensions, widespread despair, and now this, the sudden appearance of an immensely powerful Nazi metahuman that far-right wing groups and extremists could rally around. Dozens, hundreds had been hurt and killed in Berlin, though reports indicated that Die Todesengel was not directly responsible. No matter. The Chancellor would not risk having Germany plunged into chaos again...
Several miles over Germany
Brunhilda was lost in her own world, confused and dazed, hurtling over her homeland at several hundred miles an hour. Had she not fought hard, almost to the bitter end for Germany and her people? What had happened to her country? Was the leadership of the Führer and the government so wrong? What they had done was to restore the honor and pride of the German people brought low after the humiliating Treaty of Versailles, she remembered the chaos and fighting, the food lines, the crippling shortages, going hungry as a little girl. She knew that many had been sacrificed for this goal of rebuilding a shattered and humiliated Germany. But had they been deliberately killed? All she had heard and seen were that they had been deported to the concentration camps to live in harsh conditions, but it was wartime. Such measures were necessary. She'd heard rumors, especially in German-occupied Eastern Europe and Russia, but dismissed them as much. They did things differently in the East. SS cruelty was a fact, but surely such mass-killings could not have been performed by her own people? After all, despite the Führer's rhetoric, surely he didn't mean to actually kill all those people?
She breached the ceiling of clouds at 35,000 feet. Flying helped to clear her head, and take her mind off what had just happened, but barely. It was then she noticed the dark grey objects rising rapidly towards her. She tensed...enemy fighters? She gripped the handles of her swords, were the other European powers now aware of her presence? Still, she wanted to get a better look at these new aircraft and so flew in close. To her surprise there were Iron Crosses on the jets' fuselages! Despite their acting in a threatening manner towards her, boxing her in a four-plane diamond to escort her back to the nearest German airfield, 'Hilde was fascinated and enthralled by the beautifully engineered products of the Luftwaffe. She was admiring the new generation jagdfliegers of her Fatherland, waving at the pilots who were gesturing at her to follow them, even rolling under the belly of the flight leader to inspect this new jet.
"So sleek, so beautiful!", she whispered to herself in awe.
The Luftwaffe pilots of Raptor Flight knew who she was, and what she was capable of. They'd been cleared to open fire if she even appeared threatening, they weren't about to take any chances with someone as powerful as she was.
The pilot of the trailing Typhoon in the formation had given the verbal command "Rakete Sperre Auf", locking his weapons onto 'Hilde as she flew close to his flight leader. His eyes bulged wide when he saw Die Todesengel perform a graceful roll, disappearing underneath the lead aircraft. "Where is she?? All fliers, where is the target??" The two wingmen banked their wings, trying to visually acquire Hilde, as the flight leader, call sign Adler, tracked her under his fuselage. "Calm down, Würger, she's just admiring my jet," the flight leader said matter-of-factly. Jagdflieger Number Four, call sign Würger, was nervous. Although an experienced pilot with multiple F-22 kill-markings on his fuselage gained during air combat exercises against the best the Amis had to offer, he knew full well what a high level meta could do even against the latest generation war machines. He shuddered when he recalled what destruction the Soviet Superwoman had wreaked on her own countrymen a few years back...
Würger dove down behind his flight leader, gasping in horror when he saw 'Hilde reaching out towards the missile-festooned underbelly of the leading Typhoon. She was smiling, seemingly lost in her own thoughts. 'A wicked smile', Würger thought, 'she's going to tear him apart!' "Adler, tango is going for you!" Without thinking, he shouted, "Fuchs Zwei!", launching one of his German-designed IRIS-T ASRAAM's at Brunhilda. The missile streaked towards her even as the flight leader shouted "No, hold fire, she's not hostile!!"
'Hilde's eyes opened in surprise as she suddenly found herself under attack, this time by her beloved Luftwaffe! She dove upwards, rocketing out from under the jet she had been admiring so closely. The ASRAAM turned to intercept her and slammed into the underside of the plane, reducing it to a flaming ball of wreckage. Number Four banked hard to the side to avoid the fireball, as the other two Typhoons screamed in behind 'Hilde, trying to engage her with guns. Instinctively she jinked to dodge the high velocity 27mm shells, drawing her swords.
'Hilde performed a tight Immelman, turning back into her sleek pursuers. She dove directly at one of the oncoming Typhoons as it loosed another burst at her, banking just enough to miss the craft as it passed her while raking her blades across the wing. It came off clean, sending the plane into a wingover, spiraling down, out of control. "Horrido!" 'Hilde found herself shouting. It was exhilarating, but at the same time horribly wrong. These were her countrymen.... She was supposed to protect them, fight for them, not kill them...She paused only long enough to make sure the pilot had ejected, then went back to the business at hand. These boys meant to kill her.
She was now hot on the tail of the third Typhoon as it rocketed vertically into the sky. Falke performed a tight turn to get back to level flight, furiously twisting and turning, trying to throw her off, loosing a barrage of flares that did little more than annoy 'Hilde. Craning his neck over his shoulder, Falke shouted "Fuchs Zwei!", launching an IRIS-T directly behind him at the pursuing Todesengel. She banked hard to avoid it, looping, jinking and rolling across the skies, her superhuman reflexes allowing her to react far faster than any human, but the nimble dogfight missile simply kept on her, performing incredible 60 degree turns at a punishing 60 gs to keep up with her dazzling aerobatics. 'Hilde could not help but admire this technological marvel that German ingenuity had produced, even as it closed in to kill her. "Concentrate, 'Hilde," she thought, "this is combat, not a game."
'Hilde picked up speed, keeping well ahead of the IRIS-T. Abruptly she stopped, whirling about to face the hypermach instrument of death bearing down on her. "Thunderclap!" she shouted, clapping her hands together to create a massive sonic shock wave that vaporized the pursuing missile, powerful enough to rock the two remaining Typhoons that were still attempting to shoot her down.
Mere seconds had passed. 'Hilde reacquired Typhoon Number Three as it passed under her, she swooped down towards it like a hawk on its prey, dropping alongside the cockpit. Not to destroy it, but to try to reason with the pilot. Falke banked hard to the left. Just then she was alerted to the presence of the fourth jet behind her, bouncing her in a classic set-up.
Falke cross-controlled his aircraft, effectively throwing his nimble Typhoon out of controlled flight, just barely missing 'Hilde to give his wingman a clear shot. "Insane!!" 'Hilde thought admiringly, almost smiling. She was still exhilarated by the thrill of engaging in aerial battle again, even if it was against her own countrymen. Würger was trying to rake her with gunfire, eager to avenge the death of his flight leader. 'Hilde shot away, going supersonic to escape, but the aggressive Typhoon driver simply kicked in his afterburner and followed her. He was not going to let her get away.
'Hilde dove towards the surface of the North Sea to shake him off, but the stubborn Luftwaffe pilot doggedly pursued her. Skimming close to the wave tops, she banked and jinked furiously as the Typhoon driver blasted round after round of cannon fire at her. She climbed rapidly to perform another graceful Immelman, but Würger grimly followed her, his sleek grey mount clawing into the sky after its prey.
Their aerial dance of death was fast approaching its climax. 'Hilde had had enough. She performed another loop, diving straight towards Würger. They rocketed towards each other at hundreds of miles an hour, neither willing to back down in this supreme game of chicken. The Typhoon pilot snarled and pressed the trigger, spitting out round after round at Brunhilda as they hurtled towards each other. He launched all his remaining missiles at Brunhilda, but she swatted them aside like flies. Running out of ammo, he accelerated, intending to ram the Angel of Death. 'Hilde closed her eyes, tears streaming down her face. "Please, don't..."
Würger screamed, "Für Deutschland, ich diene!!"
A fireball erupted over the North Sea, marking the destruction of Jagdflieger Number Four. Mercifully, the sole surviving Typhoon had already turned back towards Germany.
'Hilde was unscathed, but her soul had been torn apart. She let out a cry of anguish so loud and terrible it could be heard hundreds of miles away.
'Hilde sank to her knees in the raging blizzard. It was 40 below zero and the cold would have killed a lesser mortal, but ‘Hilde felt nothing. Nothing, not even in her heart. Just an all-consuming emptiness. Her tears flowed, but they did not freeze. Heavy footfalls shook the earth as a massive shadow loomed over her. The would-be demigod Genocide paused as Brunhilda drew her swords and glared at her. Even in her monstrous form, Brunhilda recognized her as Ilsa Hauppman, leader of the Fourth Reich. Specially crafted from exotic alloys, they sliced through Allied armor plating like a hot knife through butter. 'Hilde had sent two British battleships to the bottom of the English Channel with them. Ilsa hesitated, looking down at her.
"Are you here to kill me?" Hilde asked quietly, almost hoping that the answer would be yes.
"Why would I have any interest in that? I wanted to welcome you back home Oberstabsführerin Adelar."
It seemed like a lifetime before ‘Hilde bowed her head and laid her swords at Ilsa's feet.
"I swore this oath when I joined the Luftwaffe more than 70 years ago, " ‘Hilde intoned, 'I take this holy oath before God, that I will render unconditional obedience to the Führer of the German Reich and of the German people, Adolf Hitler, and as a brave soldier will be prepared at any time to sacrifice my life for this oath.'
Choking back tears, ‘Hilde continued
"And to you Reichsführer Ilsa Haupmann, the successor Führer of the Fourth Reich, I pledge my loyalty."
A smile crept across Genocide's face. She was rarely surprised.
An INCREDIBLE collaboration between myself and , who provided this amazing piece of artwork!
The story was written by both of us and we hope you enjoyed.
Die Todesengel is 's property and creation and expect to see more of her.
Ilsa Hauppman and the Fourth Reich are my property and creations.
This story takes place in the universe.