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|Operation Phoenix, Pt. 1: The Landing|
3: Turned Tides
Air. Water. Earth. Fire.
After a long, fulfilled and yet exhausting life, Avatar Korra passed, being succeeded by Sari of the Earth Kingdom, who died early and didn't play a role in history.
The current Avatar is Asura of the Fire Nation, who mastered the elements quickly.
Although she thought she would never play an important role in history, she was proven wrong when the black ships arrived. The first one came in peace, but all the following carried a deadly load: WAR.
A war even the Avatar and her allies can barely end, one that threatens to end the worlds involved.
Now, more than ever, ending the war is urgent, for that for both sides it is either victory or death, for that this war could be the end of all of mankind.
Previously in Avatar: The War of the Worlds
While Arzowa, Shen-Lin and Seon end the war on Avatara, preparations for Operation Phoenix run at full speed.
"Mein Führer! We have reports from our bases in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Hawaii, Alaska, the Bahamas and Cuba. They've all been overrun. Also are our forces only slowly recovering from the massive blow the European bombing raids of yesterday caused, especially the EMP bomb.", a brown-uniformed young soldier reported to his Führer, who sat at his chair in the Oval Office. It had changed a lot since he first had sat there - most of all had he replaced the US-seal with a swastika, and made a few alterations to the whole White House complex, but that mattered little now.
"Prepare to strike back at Nova Scotia and Alaska in a land offence, bomb Hawaii, Cuba and Newfoundland, or something.", he spoke with little motivation, focussing on the map before him. A digital map of the whole world, which now zoomed in on the waters between the East Coast and Bermuda, showing a huge force of ships, depicted as European. A man in red robes, Fire Lord Olizon, examined the installation amazed and stated, "Ii appears Europe launched an invasion."
"Of course... ", Johnston, the Führer, now realised, " ...that explains the intensifying bombing, and the EMP strike yesterday, and why they took Cuba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Alaska and Hawaii, so they could keep our Navy and Air Force at bay, that explains why their numbers on all other fronts didn't increase as expected... "
"What is your plan?", Olizon asked emotionlessly. Now after the fall of the Fire Nation, he was basically the most trusted advisor to Johnston, and commander of all home defence units.
" ...good thing I already have prepared for that case... ", Johnston stated smirking evilly, not really answering the Fire Lord's question.
" ...and in what way, exactly?", Olizon's curiosity was awoken.
"Two letters: SS", the answer came devoid of any emotion, and Johnston stood up to get to the map, and work out his strategy. "They're not going to accomplish another Overlord... "
"The ships are in position. The last bombing flights returned to their origin, everything is in position. Load the main cannonry.", Admiral O'Brien spoke. She stood at her flagship's bridge, overlooking a digital map of the East Coast, from Newfoundland to Cuba. Looking around, the officers' looks were enough assurance for her. "Aim." She stepped forward to the bridge's very front, and shouted her final command, "FIRE!"
All those thousands of kilometres, the shore shook in a blinding falsh of light, huge mushroom-clouds of dust following. The whole East Coast of North America, from Florida north to Newfoundland was set ablaze, with the most powerful conventional explosives available. Admiral O'Brien had to cover her eyes at the flash, and had to grasp the railing under the bridge's windows to not get knocked over by the following massive shockwave, which rocked all the ships heavily. As the dust started to settle and the state was normalising again, she walked over to the map again and commanded a communication officer to establish a connection with Bermuda.
"Grand Admiral Přemysl speaking, what's it Sally?", Mike greeted her through the radio.
"Your Airbornes are ready to go. All preparations are complete, Operation Wallenstein ought to be executed now.", was her dull answer, although she giggled a little at the mention of her given name.
"Alright, Admiral O'Brien. Grand Admiral Přemysl over and out." Mike answered equally void of emotion, and then ended the transmission.
Mike helped Asura adjust her parachute, before turning to the rest of the Team, who had gathered behind an aeroplane. "A'ight, seems like the day has come. We've trained for that moment for months, now we must be ready. Everyone knows how to use a parachute, everyone knows their objective. Ours is the most important one, to capture Johnston and Olizon. We've simulated this often enough, and now, unlike in the trainings, everything must work. Lads, we're about to end the war, or at least accelerate its end. So, no mistakes, we can't allow them. Everyone- ", he spoke, stopping at the realisation that someone very important was missing, " -Where's Asura?"
He searched the whole airport for more than an hour, but found her nowhere. As he had just turned around, Malu landed in front of him, startling him greatly, and it didn't help that she took him and took off, explaining, "I've found Asura"
Her glider took her over the airport buildings, and taking him to a meadow, where a lonely spacecraft, the Valkyrie stood. Malu landed softly and dropped Mike, who walked up to his favourite transport and weapon, and walked up the open ramp, as he took notice of a sound coming from the radio, a recording in fact. Asura sat there listening to the message Olaf had sent Mike months ago, seemingly knowing what the Admiral had been talking about. She jumped as Mike touched her shoulder unexpectedly and fell to the floor. She smiled awkwardly as she stood up and turned off the radio, stating innocently, "You got me."
"C'mon, let's get back to the airport. We've got a war to win.", Mike spoke as he dragged her outside of the Valkyrie, closing the ramp after her. Malu had been eavesdropping all the time and now offered Mike to take him back, which he gradually took, while Asura shot herself skywards with an earth pillar, and then propelled herself further with firebending. It took them only half a minute to get back to the aircraft, where the Team's rest and two squads were already waiting for take-off. Making the last adjustments, they walked in and seated themselves on the metal bench-like installments, as the jet engine roared up and the aircraft began rolling forward, before leaving ground towards Washington D.C. The invasion had begun.
The jet engines noise filled the aeroplane's body. Two and a half squads of soldiers filled it, all of them trusted with the most important objective of Operation Phoenix, to capture Lloyd Frederick Johnston, the Führer. Mike checked his Lee-Enfield's sights, Zolu partially unsheathed Space Sword to make sure its blade was still sharp, and then rechecked his electrified glove, which he had improved with a better battery, among minor improvements. While the benders relaxed, the other two squads of soldiers too rechecked every part of their equipment, before a small traffic light-like lamp changed its colour from red to green. Mike was the first to notice, stood up and went to the plane's back, where he opened the doors on each of the aircraft's sides. "A'ight, you know the procedure. We've trained it since May, and now it's September. We've been drilling for this very moment. Now let's stop talking and GERONIMO!", Mike screamed, before jumping out of the plane, soon followed by the Team's rest and the two squads. As his parachute opened, several enemy infantrymen opened fire on him and the other dozens of paratroopers descending, but only had their assault rifles at hand. After having descended for a few minutes, the few of them landed somewhere in middle of Washington D.C., only knowing where they had to go. Mike just dropped the parachute, let it lay where he had left it and then walked onwards, soon meeting Zolu, struggling to get his parachute off. Mike cut it off with his bayonet and the two found Kiruya only seconds later, her parachute having entangled itself in a house's rain gutter, with which Zolu dealt by usage of his sword. Just when they wanted to turn around a corner beyond which, unbeknownst to them, laid a machine gun nest, Luo took exactly that enemy position out, and only barely missed the three of them with a boulder, which a surprised Asura - who had just jumped from a roof - redirected, before a startled Malu was urged to duck under it to avoid it. The six of them were back together after initial difficulties, and so the probably most important question arose.
"So... how do we get to this White House?" Malu was the first one to ask.
"You're an airbender, you can play a reconnaissance aeroplane and then lead us there. In other words, just fly around and watch out for it!" The relatively unkind answer came from Mike, who then admitted that he himself didn't know the way, due to his lacking knowledge of the place, and the lack of signs. Malu seemed to agree with Mike's harsh comment and jumped into the air, opened her glider staff and then circled around their position in the air few times, spotting the structure in the distant to the south-east, just when an enemy soldier fired his assault rifle at her, but failed to hit her or her glider even once, though it urged her to land again and tell her fellow companions of her discovery. The six of them hurried into the told direction, and came up on a bunch of soldiers having lunch in a left house, soldiers who certainly weren't enemy ones. The few of them, seven or eight, and joined the Team. That was when two things happened at once. From Mike's walkie-talkie, which he'd been carrying since their arrival on Bermuda, Jan's voice sounded. Mike lowered his head to look at the portable radio unit, and, as trivial as it might seem, it saved his life. At the same time, a bullet shot towards his head, aimed a little too high, but still at his head. It pierced Mike's beret and directed his attention towards its source, which turned out to be a machine gun nest further down the road, than now opened fire. The dozen of them parted to hide behind houses to both sides, before Mike shortly took the portable radio unit of his and spoke to Jan, "A'ight now sum up what you just said."
Mike couldn't understand much, except the basic information. Delaware and southern New Jersey were under their control, as well as eastern Maryland and Virginia. Also had he understood that Jan's units - a tank division - would arrive in Washington any second, so they at least had some kind of backup should they not be able to advance to the White House. Then, he, all of sudden, leaned out from his cover and blindly fired his Lee-Enfield rifle, silencing the machine gun fire. Amazed and surprised at his luck, the few of them got out of their covers and onto the street again, climbing over various obstacles to reach the enemy machine gun emplacement, only to realise that there only were a few hundred metres more to go - then, there stood the White House, surrounded by sandbag walls, machine gun emplacements and AT- and AA-guns. Without much consideration, the dozen charged forward, greatly surprising the enemy. They leapt over the sandbag wall and the sent barrages of bullets, boulders, fireballs, icicles, air swipes and bolts of electricity, slaughtering the defenders en masse. After having cleared out a quarter or half of the defence, they met up with the rest of the company assigned with the task of the capture of Johnston. "Lads, we need half of you to guard us on the outside, if possible, make use of enemy weaponry. The other half helps us secure the White House, for you counts the same as does for the others. Now, let's go!", Mike ordered, as he kicked the door open.
The Lion's Den
An Wehrmacht soldier's attempt to surprise the bursting-in Team, but failed terribly in doing so, since he couldn't know of Luo's ability of seismic sense. When the door had swung open, the sole defender laid on the floor, hit by a boulder. Luo's skill helped him, who was walking barefoot, to clear out any enemy defenders as far as the floor was cobbled with stone. The hall they entered through had a massive swastika flag paved in the ground, which Asura decided to destroy. As the platoon had completely gone inside, Mike began to assign squads with objectives. After the soldiers had gone, and soon fighting filled the infamous residence, the Team gathered, and Mike announced, "C'mon, lads, to the Oval Office!", and stormed off, soon afterwards a shot of his Lee-Enfield audible. The others decided to follow, having no idea what else to do. Mike had just taken care of three soldiers in brown uniforms, and then advanced through the corridor. As he walked slowly, always aiming his rifle, his fear rose with each metre he had gone. He encountered no resistance since the three he'd killed shortly after entering. As he arrived before the door that lead to the well-known office, his hands trembled so much he couldn't even hold his rifle without the trembling causing him to pull the trigger. He tried to kick the door open, but found himself unable to do so, and thus, Malu decided to take action, and, highly alert of what may lie beyond, blast the door open with a swing of her staff. As the door was burst from its hinges, it revealed Johnston's workplace. Everything was positioned in perfect order, nothing - except the door - was out of place, not even a grain of dust. Where once had been the US president's seal now a huge swastika shined forth. Malu took a timid and careful step inside, and as she realised there were no mines or the like, she gestured the others to follow. Mike's trembling increased, if possible, and as he took notice of the giant swastika on the ground, he had the urge to examine it. It looked like the carpet it ought to be, but when he touched it, he knew where the rest of the defenders was, and especially Johnston.
"Where's Johnston? I mean, it'd be stupid to hide here, but where else could he be?", Asura wondered, studying the desk, the Führer's workplace. "I think I know the answer!", Mike spoke triumphant, and as all the attention was directed to him, he knocked at the swastika, which resulted in - nothing, nothing at all. As Malu walked over and knocked with her staff, a metallic noise was the response.
"Was that what you meant?", Malu asked Mike rhetorically, only earning a scowl as a response.
"But, I know how to get to Johnston!", Mike announced proudly, walking over to the desk, where Asura had revealed a small fingerprint scanner, "I'm gonna hack it!"
As he rose his rifle's butt to hit it, Asura asked, not even bothering to wonder, "I thought you said 'hack'?"
Mike, obviously hit unprepared, just responded with the rifle's buttstock hitting the scanner, and the swastika vanishing, only to reveal a completely plain metal surface, which then shot up to reveal itself as an elevator, only commented by Mike, "Welcome to the 22nd century!"
At the end of a minute-long elevator ride, Zolu couldn't help but wonder, "I thought we turned their electricity off... "
"Yes, but that was to demoralise the population and to prevent the military to be ready to respond our actions all too soon, of course some high-security underground facilities would escape the bombing and remain powered with electricity.", Malu, who'd - out of boredom - had learned everything about the whole invasion plan, explained before Mike could even open his mouth.
The few of them walked onwards, down a corridor, they encountered a massive metal door, made to withstand even direct nuclear blasts. Luo then decided to bend it, but failed to move it, and then focused on the bolts that seemed to keep it closed, but failed again. That was when he realised that they were surrounded by concrete - ferroconcrete, but concrete nonetheless. He, aided by Asura, bent a corridor through the wall, and went through, only to come up at another such door. This repeated itself for a few times, until they got into a hall after tunnelling through the concrete. Its walls were lined with computers and its centre was the position of a monstrous map table. On the walls above a few sections of the computers, there were massive inscriptions in German, such as Oberbefehl der Wehrmacht, which meant Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht, Oberbefehl der Luftwaffe, meaning Air Force Supreme Command, Oberbefehl der Kriegsmarine, Naval Supreme Command, and as the last, Oberbefehl der Kriegsraummarine, Supreme Command of the Space Navy, a gigantic swastika flag forming the ceiling, and the whole place deserted, much alike the Oval Office.
"That's the Reich's Supreme Military Command - but why is it deserted?", Mike stated, also noticing that all lights were turned on, "Just like the Oval Office... "
"And not just because of it being deserted... Look at this!", Kiruya shouted from the hall's other side, knocking a chair she took from one of the computers against the wall. The resulting sound was, again metallic, and just as she had done that, the wall was revealed to be a gigantic metal sliding gate, that now appeared to open. What lay behind was a throne, overlooking it all, on which sat a pale-skinned man with blue eyes and black, graying, hair, in a brownish uniform, and a swastika armbind on his right arm, and a sharp jaw line, and to his right stood a red-robed man with a moustache just as wide as his nose, and relatively short hair, barely enough for a topknot to hold a golden headpiece.
"Welcome to the lion's den, well done so far, well done indeed.", the former, the Führer, spoke with faked kindness, "So. Far."
Notes and Trivia
- The repeated usage of the word Overlord refers to Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in Normandy in 1944.
For the collective works of the author, go here.