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Iron Fish

Ch. 1

September 1st 1939

Western Approaches, Atlantic Ocean

Sitting on the surface of the choppy sea U-48 was recharging her batteries, getting fresh air and receiving the usual communications from the Fatherland. Kapitanleutant Herbert Schultze and Leutnant Erich Lange were standing in the conning tower scanning the horizon. War rumors have been going on for months and the crew have been eagerly waiting to show the Brits they weren’t safe even close to home.

“Awfully gloomy weather today.” Noted Erich at the clouds in the sky and the fog above the water.

“Ja, and look at the fog’s color, it’s even green.” Replied Herbert in slight confusion.

“Maybe the mist is a little seasick eh Kapitan?” Joked Erich nudging the sub commander.

Before Herbert could reply the communications officer climbed up the ladder with a note, “Message sir.”

Herbert read it then shoved it into his pocket, “The balloon has gone up.”

“Orders Kapitan?” Erich already knew but asked anyway.

Herbert shrugged, “Sink all ships flying the flag of England, France and Poland.”

They observed the horizon more intently than earlier for ships until the mist enveloped them.

“This stuff feels a little heavy.” Remarked Erich at the mist surrounding them then noticed a silhouette in the distance as it topped a wave. “I see a ship!”

Herbert looked through his somewhat fogged binoculars, “I think it’s a cruiser!”

Erich started to get even more excited, “Only ones out here with cruisers would be Brits!”

“Don’t be so sure mein Kapitan.” Came a female voice.

“Who’s there?” questioned Erich as he reflexively rested his right hand on his sidearm.

“On the bow.” Said the voice.

The two Germans looked to find a woman with long blond hair standing on the bow of the U-Boat facing the cruiser-shape before she started for the conning tower. “Get below, I’m diving.”

Herbert and Erich were confused by the “I’m” but did as she said. Once they were below the woman followed with the hatch closing behind her. Up close they got a better look at her, she wore a plastic hairband to keep her flowing blond hair from blocking her icy blue eyes. She wore the olive green Kriegsmarine submariner’s uniform with the sleeves rolled up and no insignia except the German eagle. U-48 dived to periscope depth as they were giving her the once over. The crew were standing around perplexed. “Kapitan, the boat just went down by itself.”

Herbert had an idea why, “Care to explain yourself Fraulein…”

“Names U-48. Now Kapitan what are your orders?” She directed the question at Erich.

“He is the Kapitan of the boat, not me.” Answered Erich to the strange woman.

“Not anymore, I choose you as my Kapitan. Now are we to attack or evade?”

“What are we attacking anyway?” Herbert asked miffed at being marginalized.

“The Morgana, Bewilderment to be specific. They belong to no nation and attack anyone not their own.”

“Achtung! I hear screws!” Said the sonar man holding his phones to his ears.

“Scheisse, she detected us fast. We have to evade.” Said U-48 as she made the boat dive deeper to get away from what was sure to come.

The sonar man heard more noise, “Splashes!”

First it was dull thuds above and behind them but they steadily got closer. Then the whole sub started shaking from the concussions of near bursting depth charges. The crew hung onto anything to steady themselves. Erich looked at U-48 and noticed several bruises appeared on her arms and neck. One burst so close the lights briefly went out and made everyone’s teeth rattle with some crew flopping to the deck. Herbert saw a spot of crimson form on U-48’s left temple that matted some of her blond hair and trickled down her face. He reached up to check her but she waved him off grimacing at the near hits. This went on for five more minutes though it felt like hours until it seemed Bewilderment lost interest in the chase or ran out of depth charges.

Herbert went to check for injuries among the crew and for any serious damage. Erich checked U-48, “You all right? You got banged up pretty good.”

“It was close but I’ll make it, just need some quick repairs and I can get back to it.” She replied as she put a hand to the gash on her head that stopped bleeding.

“So who exactly are you?” Erich asked her as he offered her a wet rag that wasn't too oily.

She accepted it and began wiping off the blood on her face. “I’m the manifestation of U-48, a Belle. We appear to fight the Morganas like the one you saw and that dropped ashcans on us.”

“You think we need to steam back to Kiel or can we keep patrolling?” said Erich.

“I want to see Bewilderment on the bottom.” U-48 simply said when she handed the now light red rag back.

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As you guys can tell I'm no professional author so don't flame me too much. This will be the first fanfic I've written in years and I don't know if I'll post regularly due to work but if there's interest I might write more.

Author note: I based U-48's appearance off Irisdina Bernhard from Schwarzesmarken.

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This is not bad for not having written in years. It's not perfect, I mean no one's really is because it's down to individual taste, and it has some issues where it seems to be somewhat jumpy/disjointed, but that just comes back to not being a regular writer. I do enjoy though how the Kapitan isn't the actual Kapitan. I'd expect later on when they're not in a hectic moment to ask for a better explanation of things or something like that.

 

Overall, not too shabby.

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@W99

 

Thanks, yeah I notice jumpiness in my writing, I think it's because I'm inpatient when it comes to writing/art(which is why I can't draw).

 

The last thing I wrote was some Strike Witches stuff a really long time ago.

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I like the German girls getting some love, and in itself, the fic is okay for a first attempt in years, but did you get a second look before you posted it? I believe that would have been helpful. The dialogue was a little lackluster, and it had the problem of using too many words for something simple, or too few words for something important. In simpler terms, your prose needs work. I also think there wasn't enough going on. There wasn't enough development for a first chapter. I know all the other belle fics that have been posted so far ended their first chapter at picking the captain, and saved the battle for later, but there was a sense of urgency to them that allowed the main character's being picked as a captain stand alone in a chapter. With yours, I'm just not getting that sense, so it feels like it needs more to make the chapter complete.

 

I know it seems pretty critical, but that's just my opinion after reading. Do with it what you will or ignore it entirely. I'm also available in PMs if you want suggestions.

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I agree with w99 this is very good all things considered. My only issue is that the characters outside the Belle weren't really fleshed out. How does Erich look and what kind of person is he? But I believe this story has a good foundation.

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@Nin

 

I thought of finishing with fighting the Morgana but stopped it beforehand for two reasons: I didn't want to have a wall of text for a first post. The other reason is I just felt it was the appropriate time to end the chapter(whether that's the correct decision is anyone's guess).

 

I tried to make it seem hasty towards the end because I don't expect there to be much time for VN-esque exposition but it seems that I made it come off basically like sentence fragments maybe?

 

Believe I proofread it and it was much messier before I posted, though it was mostly spelling and grammar.

 

I might try writing another chapter tomorrow depending on how tired I'll be(Work nightshifts)

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@Rocky

 

Erich is an OC and I just didn't bother. Herbert however is a real person.

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@Rocky

 

Erich is an OC and I just didn't bother. Herbert however is a real person.

I understand that however he was chosen by a Belle. That's the same as being "the chosen one" so to speak. He's a character chosen to stand above others, so the reader may wish to know this character more. But this is your story, and you know in which way you want this story to go.

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@Rocky

 

Probably after the battle which will either be in Chapter 2 or 3 I'll do more getting to know to the characters and such. I'll be trying to think up a broad outline tonight.

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