"War is organized murder and nothing else." - Harry Patch, Last surviving soldier of WWI
Outskirts of Denderburg, Valdania
2:19 AM EST, February 4, 1917
The trenches stank as British and French troops gripped their rifles. For months, they've been in these trenches. Hearing nothing but guns and death. Now they were preparing for a major offensive. Unlike the last offensives, they held no fear. This time they've had a true warrior with them. A woman marched down the communication line. She was covered with a fur coat, taken from a German command in Italy. Her name was a rumor. A myth. But now they see her.
The Wonder Woman. Young men stared at her in amazement. Officers bowed their heads. Behind her, a squad of soldier followed. They've served with her since 15. They've been through hell. Today will be no different. A Captain with noble blood showed her his pocket watch. 0824. The attack will begin soon. She took the coat off, setting it aside. Her armor was revealing to modern views, but the men didn't dare think of her as anything less than a hero. She grabbed a hold of the ladder, taking steps up.
Wonder Woman took the first steps into No Man's land. She charged forward, blocking bullets with her Bracelets. But soon pulled the shield off her back, in time as the machine gunners opened fire. Unsheathing her sword, the first trench line came under her wrath. Her sword plunged into a gunner's chest, before swiping across another German's neck. The shield blocking bullets until the battalion arrived. The battle turned into an ugly melee. British bayonets traded blows with German maces.
This fight last for a few minutes before the enemy retreated to the Support Trench. British soldiers tossed grenades over the trench. Wonder Woman ran through a communication line, the shield taking the near endless rounds. In the second line, she stabbed young men serving evil. Her squad followed behind, aiding in the capture of this trench. She took the left side while Steve led them to the right. German troopers fled in fear of her. Reinforcements followed, securing the trench.
Grenades were thrown from the Reserve Trench. Wonder Woman did her best to threw them away or cover the blast. The good soldiers behind her did all they could, but some would fall. Despite her best efforts. As the trench was secured, she jumped over the sandbags on top, running into the Reserve. The Germans put themselves towards the communication lines, preparing their defenses. She got behind them. Cutting them down. They weren't ready for the attack, giving her the chance to clear them out. The British troops flooded in, securing the last trench. Making her way through the trench, she found Steve and the squad. She smirked, seeing Steve smile.
"I was starting to worry about you, Angel." Steve said, getting a chuckle from her.
"Ready to march into Denderburg?" she asked.
"We're on a timeframe. This trench needs to be secured."
"And let the German burn the village, over my dead body." she said before climbing out of the trench. Running through the field.
"Let send those sodding bastards to hell!" George Davis, or Saint as he likes to be called, yelled.
The woman charged into the village perimeter, meeting Germans, their backs facing her. She swung the sword into their back, slamming her shield into others, launching them back. The soldiers didn't see it coming. They fell by one. Machine gunners firing from a barricade, killing his own men, trying to get her in vain. She ran forward, plunging the sword into the man's chest. Her shield crushed the gun. The remaining Germans retreated to another and behind a new armored car. Four guns aimed forward.
When they open fire, she blocked the bullets. With the shield. It was an endless ray of fire, pouring at her. She leaped forward, striking the vehicle head on. For a few moments, it rolled back on its wheels, before they twisted apart. It rolled on it's side, the metal shredding itself. Echoing the streets. To the right, a platoon of Germans fired their guns. Before she could charge, the Squad arrived, firing their guns. She ran throughout the village, slicing the Germans apart. Clearing the village. It took over an hour, giving time for the British infantry to arrive, pushing East.
A large barley field separated the village from the new German lines. Soldiers began to dig a new trench for the night. They'll be on the march again in the morning, and Wonder Woman will be there. Until then, they'll need scouts. She wished to do it, but the airplane takes that role now. She walked over to find the squad talking with a Trench Runner. Their faces, solemn.
"Is something wrong?" she asked. The men looked towards Steve. He grabbed her hand, walking into the village.
"Diana, don't yell at me, but tomorrow the entire frontline will make an offensive. They won't stop until we reach Heusbeek. Day and night. Needing to end in a week."
"What?" she said. A task like that will cost millions. It'll be a blood battle in a war that is flood with innocent blood. It just seems an impossible task, even with her help. "Steve, we can't do such a thing. We'll be sending all of those boys to be butchered in a slaughterhouse."
"Diana, Diana, listen to me." he interrupted her. His hands touching her cheeks. Her fear dampened. "I know all of that. More importantly, Pratt knows this. He convinced Plumer to give us a chance to end, make the Fritz surrender Valdania."
She grabbed his hands, holding them tight. She closed her eyes, remembering the promised he made to her back on Themyscira. That he would help guide her in man's world. That it was a beautiful place in an ugly time. She has seen some beauty before returning to this war. He among them.
"When we leave?"
"After we get the boys fresh ammo."
1:22 PM EST, February 4, 1917
The squad was used to riding on horseback. It was Diana's prefer method of travel. That, and they are available across the war. They are among the most reliable modes of transportation in the war. As they passed the ruins of a dead town, the group decided to take a break for the night. The group sat along logs, eating canned Bully Beef. It's tasted was awful, but this is the sacrifice of war. Culinary art is traded for killing. The men did what they could to distract them from the coming battle.
She watched as Cyrus Lord was playing poker with Lee Travis and Joseph Garrick. They used sticks and leaves as currency. It was an amusing thought. Rip Graves was helping adjust George's armor. Charles Dickles, Andre de Sevigne, and Steven Savage were having a drink. Steve ignored them, knowing it might be their last drink. He was reading a book. While she did nothing. Turning to the fields ahead of them, she thought of how this war was going. A bloodbath. She wished that she could have done more. But tens of thousands were dying by the day.
Weapons of devastation created every day. Too much has been lost. Leaning against a tree, her thoughts turned to home. Her mother had taught her that man was cruel, but while that was true, there was also good in them. Man was dark with light shining in the shadows. Before she knew it, a hand gently pressed on her shoulder. Looking back, Steve gave a comforting smile.
"Need a walk?" he asked. She nodded. He turned to the squad. "We'll patrol the perimeter."
The two walked into the woods, with only the moon lighting the way. This land hasn't been ruined by the war yet. It's beauty showing simplicity. When the two stopped at a clearing, they sat down. Listening the owls hoot and the smallest bugs making their calls. Diana leaned onto Steve's shoulder. For a few moments, they were silent. Until Diana started a conversation.
"Think this war will end?" she asked.
"It has to." he answered, grabbing her hand. They held each other tightly.
"But what will happen to us?" At that, Steve turned Diana's head towards him. He kissed her, sliding his hand against her cheek. She didn't stop it. Accepting his touch. What came next was a night of lovely beauty.
Outskirts of Heusbeek, Valdania
5:34 AM EST, February 5, 1917
Cyrus secured the horses as the rest of the squad examined the city. Looking down the binocular's sights, Diana saw a heavy amount of Germans. Too many for a direct assault. If they were to end this war, they'll have to sneak into the city. An attack they've done in the past. But she had a bad feeling. Something was a miss. Putting down the binoculars, she turned to the team. They looked nervous, seeing the overwhelming force.
"Well, this is going to be fun." Lee remarked, loading his rifle.
"How the hell are we going to get through that?" Cyrus asked.
"Relax. We've been through worst." Steve said. Andre snapped his fingers, getting everyone's attention.
"Convoy leaving Heusbeek. Two trucks. Cargo." he reported, still staring at the sniper rifle's scope.
Diana and the men smiled. It's an old plan, but a good plan. They ran along the treeline, keeping an eye on the small convoy. Their plan was simple. Stopping the convoy was their first priority. When they reached the road, the men hid among the trees while she stood on the road. She straightened his coat as the truck engines grew closer. As the truck came into view, she clenched her fists. They stopped mere meters from her.
The driver honked the horn, but she didn't budge. The passenger got out, rifle in hand. He gave orders in German, gun raised. He kept walking closer to her. When his patience was through, he fired. She blocked the bullet with her Bracelets. His eyes widen with fear. She charged, grabbing the gun, snapping it. Her fist slammed into his face, knocking him down. As this was going on, Andre fired two shot, killing the rear passengers.
She jumped into the passenger seat, grabbing the driver. He struggled before getting thrown out. As he unholstered his sidearm, she jumped down punching his face. Steve and Steven grabbed the men she took out, undressing them. While Cyrus and Rip took care of the second truck. Diana helped the rest of the squad empty the crates, then getting them inside. Before she got in a crate, Steve rushed over. Their lips touched before splitting apart.
"What was that for?"
"Just because." he said. Before he get back, she pulled him in for a kiss.
Then she went into the crate, while he drove. The ride was rough. These roads weren't maintained well, but a mild discomfort was worth it for her. If she gets to save lives, then she do whatever it takes. When the truck eventually stopped, she heard mumbling. After a few intense minutes, the truck begin to move. These roads bumped and rocked. While not like the roads in England, these were bricks. Counting the minutes, she waited for what felt like an eternity.
When the truck came to a stop, she waited patiently. Hand gripping the sword. She heard movement and the crate opened. Steve's smiling face greeting her. She got out of the crate to see they had a good vantage point of the city. Walking to the ledge, she saw ten airships. Unlike that many she has seen before, these had fragments covering them. Upon closer exmanination, she saw that these were armed to the tooth. AA guns, artillery, and even planes. To make things worse, they were taking off.
"That is going to be trouble." Charles said.
"Airfield to the Southeast filled with bombers. An a massive factory up West." Steven added.
Diana looked around the city, seeing AA stations scattered around. They have few options. All of these need to be taken out. The airships need to be among the first. As she thought of a plan, part of her knew that some of them weren't going to make it. She turned to the men.
"Steven, take Cyrus to a AA station. Take out those airships."
"You got it." both men said before rushing off.
"Steve take everyone to the airfield. Ground those aircraft. If you can, get into the air."
"You got it Angel." he said. "What about you?"
"The factory is mine." she said. He nodded, knowing the danger. Before he marched away, he kissed her cheek. His warmth forever in her memory.
6:08 AM EST, February 5, 1917
The two men ran down the alleyways, hiding from German patrols. Diana entrusted them with an important mission. Their heart were beating, breathes heavy. It was just two men against a army. When they reached the crossroad to the AA station, they both attached bayonets. Creeping along, they've wanted to be quiet. At the barricade, Cyrus looked over to see a squad of eight men. Easy enough. They jumped over, plunging the blade into German backs. They gasped for air, but the two Brits went for the next target. Two more fell, but this time their comrades noticed.
Guns were fired and the Germans were cut down. Steven went to work manning the Flak gun. Cyrus salvage the dead German weapons, knowing the gunshots would not go unoticed. As he got into a defensive position, the Flak started firing. He dare to take a look, seeing the gun making it's mark. One of the airship burst into flames, falling from the sky. Cheering at the sight as Steven turned the gun. Before the gun had another airship in sight, gunfire caught Cyrus's attention. A patrol had arrived.
Kneeling next to the barricade, he took careful shots. As the German fell one by one, the Flak started up again. A soldier grabbed a grenade, which was soon killed by the Brit. When the Flak ended, he looked up to see a second burning airship. But there would be no cheers. Artillery fire ravage the area. The two men rushed away, but rubble from a shop, struck Steven. He was burning. Cyrus rushed to his friend, trying to put the fire out. As the artillery kept striking, he pulled the wounded man to safety. Heat from the explosions fried his skin. Dust flying around him.
When the artillery ended, Cyrus pulled Steven into a shop. The scared patrons surprised to see them. Putting the wounded man down, he inspected his friend. Realizing the truth, he shed tears for the dead friend. But now he needs to escape. Leaving the dead body.
6:16 AM EST, February 5, 1917
Two airships were destroyed, but that was all they got. Eight more remained for Steve and his team. Praying that Cryus and Steven were fine, they pushed through. At the metal fence, Lee cut the wires, letting them through. Andre hid behind boxes at the first hanger, while the rest of the men opened fire inside. Pilots were attempting to get inon their fighters. George targeted the Fokker's attempting to take off. His Lewis gun raining lead.
The riflemen rushed inside the hanger to secure the fighters for them. As Steve climbed up on the fighter, Charles yelled, then two gunshots. Looking over, he saw the young man limp on the ground with a German. He couldn't do anything. Getting into the fighter, he started it up with Joseph's aid. Taxing it out, he saw George advancing to advancing German defenders. Their bullets deflecting from his armor.
"Take this you sodding pig bastards!" George yelled, draining his magazine.
Burning aircraft littered the runway, making it unusable. He had no options. Putting power into throttle, the plane started to get some speed. George ran, hearing the blades. The Germans fired their guns, pinging the wooden fighter. But as he got closer, they ran, fearing their lives. As he slowly gained attitude, he wondered what will happen to his men. Shaking his head, he couldn't think of that. The airships were his target. He kept going up, putting in as much speed as he can.
When the first airship was in his sight, he prayed this fighter had incendiary ammo. He pulled the trigger, letting off a burst. To his joy, the airship burst into flames. He banked left, getting another airship in his sights. He fired, destroying the fourth ship. The fifth airship was soon in his sight. This time the AA gunners noticed him. The sky was raining bullets. His plane being littered with bullets. As the fifth ship was burning, he felt sharp burning pains around his body. He knew he was shot. Blood dripping down his skin. His plane can't take any more. Closing his eyes, he aimed for the sixth airship.
6:24 AM EST, February 5, 1917
Diana threw the coat away, getting the attention of German guards. They whistled at her. Their speech was in German But she knew what it was. Further reason why these men are pigs. Their smiles turned to fear when she unsheathed the sword. They loaded their rifle too late. She charged slicing them down. Racing to the factoy's wall, breaching it. Workers were startled. Guards frightened. They just stared at her. Until she grabbed the makings of a armored car, tossing it into machinery with ease. Workers ran for their lives. The guard dropped their rifles. But they ran soon after.
Tossing the weapons into important infranstructure, the building began to collapse. She rushed out just in time. Spotting a large metal structure, she raced over. Her sword cutting through the steel. When the creaks of metal echoed, she ran out. She watched with glee as it fell onto the factory's ruins. Looking towards the sky, she smiled. Steve was in the air, fighting. But that smile soon turned to agony. The lone plane crashed into a airship, leaving only four airships.
She fell to her knees. Steve was gone. He gave his life to destroy a weapon. Tears rolled down her cheeks. She couldn't believe he was lost. Rising to her feet, she ran for a nearby AA station. It took a few minutes, but the Germans were caught surprised. Her sword cut them down without mercy. Manning one of the guns, she loaded the box of AA rounds. Taking aim, she fired until it was empty. The seventh airship was destroyed. As their artillery guns fired, she raised her shield. It did little in protection. Heat burned her skin. The dust irritated her eyes. But when it was over, the airships picked up speeds, leaving range of the AA guns. Their only hope now was for the pilots skill being proven.
London, England, United Kingdom
5:48 PM EST, February 5, 1938
A young RAF pilot walked past the tombstones. The weather was nice. Sunlight warming the cold island. In his hand was flowers. Reaching the grave of his father, he kneeled down. Setting the flowers nest to the Union Jack, he sighed. His father was a pilot in the war. It's how his parents met. Before he died and she gave Steve Trevor Junior to his grandparents. He never meet them, but he hopes that he made them proud. Unbeknownst to him, a woman watched. Tears of sadness and joy, rolling down he cheek.