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Thunderous Awakening


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I got a bit excited and came up with a short bit about a Belle awakening on September 1 1939. Flex a bit of my writing chops a bit with it, seeing as I haven't written in a long while



It started with a gasp. Lungs hungry for air instead were rewarded by the shock of ice cold seawater flooding in. My whole body convulsed as I gagged and choked on the putrid water. I felt my entire being rising to the surface, desperate for air, desperate to escape the inky blackness. It took several agonizing minutes, to me feeling like hours upon end, but I eventually breached the water’s surface in such a state it was as if Atlantis had surged forth from the depths. As all my senses slowly came to, I fell to my hands and knees onto the deck, my deck, and began to hack up salt water. My uniform clung tightly to me as I felt my body shaking like a newborn calf. It was a fitting feeling, as I too had been born yet again. 


With each haggard breath I started to come to, air finally hitting my lungs. I could hear the sounds of battle far off in the distance, the boom of cannon fire, the smell of acrid smoke all around me. Satisfied I had steeled myself enough, I slowly rose to my feet, reaching out and using the eight-spoked ship’s wheel to help prop myself up. I did not fully know where it had come from, only that it was mine and mine alone, identified by the lightning bolt across the brass nave plate. The fog that had surrounded me slowly began to disperse, as did the fog in my mind. Ahead of me, I could see the battle raging. I saw the enemy vessels, engaging smaller minelayers and frigates. Instinctively their names came to me. I did not know from where, but I knew these were their names.






The Morganas.


My grip tightened around the ship’s wheel as a wry smile came across my lips. A swell of emotion began to brew up, not one of fear, not even one of fury, but one of indignation. These were the fighting machines of this day and age? These were the new invaders? They paled in comparison to what I had faced, the ones that I had slain and ones that laid me low, at least twice my beam in height. And these dared to compare to them?


There was a strange otherworldly sensation as I felt the slender snakelike appendage reach around my shoulder. I turned to look at it, the camera-like projector at the end looking back at me as if it had a mind of its own. A part of me was filled with utter disgust that I had this… thing… attached to me. But another part believed it was appropriate. That the slayer of these machines would be rewarded with one of their most terrible weapons.


I could feel my gun batteries loaded and ready, my engine fully stocked and filled with flame, my torpedoes aching for a target. I could feel that I was many decades old, so much older than these ships in front, but I knew I stood a better chance. I called out to any and all.


“To anyone who can make their way towards me, to the mouth of the River Blackwater, come with all haste! I am here yet again to keep these invaders at bay from my country! Help stoke my fires, help load and fire my guns! We shall lay these low like all invaders before!”


The responses came slowly but surely. Many were unsure if this was a trick of the Morganas, but many more knew that they could not stand against the new enemy and could not afford to question the sudden help. Those that could turned towards me, what guns they had firing off in futility but defiantly against the Morganas. As the first of the ships came up to me and disgorged their crew, the captain, a young man just barely out of the academy, asked the question


“Who are you? What ship is this?”


A great well of energy and power brewed deep inside, as if something had finally been unlocked, that my purpose was made clear. I couldn’t help but grin emphatically.


“I, dear captain, am a Belle. And I, and the ship below your feet, are one and the same.


I am the torpedo ram, Thunder Child.”


I had no time to savor the surprise upon their faces, as now pure righteous indignation flowed through my veins and I turned to my bow.


“These Morganas dare to sully these waters with their presence. I shall make them pay for every life lost.”


All at once the energy that had been building up inside, the insult of these poor excuses of invaders, the ferocity to defend my home, to defend the Essex coastline once again, brewed up into a roar as thunderous as the voice of the thunder god Taranis, a roar that I imagined could be heard all the way across the channel, a roar that was distorted with fury and, ironically, Martian rage; disgust that these pretenders dared to mark themselves invaders.


“I shall not permit any more invaders to savage my home! I shall show you what a real fighting machine looks like! ULLA!”


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