Aces High: World War I Deadworld
Death From Above
Behind enemy lines, four planes flew. All that remained of an allied force sent to assist ground troops. When they left for the front there were ten. That was before Hell was unleashed upon them.
The skies were cloudy and they were flying low, keeping an eye for the ground units they were to assist. Two of the Sopwiths were falling from the sky before they even had time to react. Screaming from above came the enemy. Reginald saw them too late to help those who were hit first. He banked and tried to drop one as an Albatross tore by him. He sprayed bullets and missed the target. Immediately, he dropped in behind the enemy plane. The plane was fast and the pilot was good. He spit more lead at the enemy and missed again. Then it entered a cloudbank. He followed the Albatross into the clouds, too close to break off pursuit. The clouds were dense and Reginald could see nothing. Suddenly, he felt a cold, sick feeling settle in his gut. He began to climb, trying to break away from the clouds. That's when he saw him. The red Albatros D-III screamed from above, upon him in a second. Before Reginald could even begin to go into evasive maneuvers, the machinegun from the plane barked. The plane sped over him and disappeared to his rear.
Reginald saw the pilot as he went by and a chill went up his spine. He saw death there; cold calculating death and he realized that what he saw could not have been human. He broke the cloud cover, not knowing how he survived the encounter with the infamous "Red Devil" the French always spoke of. In time, he met up with the remaining planes returning to base.
There were only four now, four planes heading back to Allied Command. He had to report to his superiors what he saw. He had to tell them about the face he saw below the flight helm, the face of . . . the Red Baron. Suddenly he felt a cold, sick feeling creep into his guts and it was then that he realized they weren't going to make it back.
"Success flourishes only in
perseverance-ceaseless, restless perseverance."
On January 1917, shortly after the death of his superior and mentor Oswald Boelcke in October 1916, Manfred von Richthofen was given the command of the unit. However, he was distraught over Boelcke's death and obsessed about it for some time. Finally, he made a vow that he would serve Germany even in his death.
One night, while out on a patrol mission, his unit encountered enemy planes and a dogfight ensued. During the fight, his plane was hit and his engine gave out. As he fought in vain to control his spiraling Albatros D-III, he thought to himself that in no way was his life to end this way. He would persevere and continue to serve Germany to the very end. He never regained control of the plane and it crashed into a wooded region. Not knowing if Richthofen had survived the descent, the enemy planes were harried away by the remaining forces of Richthofen's unit. The next day, a reconnaissance plane flew over, but could find nothing of the crash. The Allies surmised that he had somehow pulled out of the spin and flew the damaged plane away.
The night Richthofen's plane went down, it did crash and he did die. However, the will of the Red Baron was so strong that his spirit refused to die. A short time later, something arose from the wreckage and stepped free of it. Then, the form assumed that of Richthofen himself and looked at the wrecked Albatros. Immediately, the plane began to shift and reform. The broken wings mended and the destroyed engine suddenly roared to life. The body of the plane was still tattered, and bullet holes and tears could be seen all over the wings and fuselage. Nonetheless, Baron von Richthofen climbed into the cockpit and took off to rejoin the German forces.
Upon returning to the German lines, he reported that he was indeed dead, but that he would continue to do his duties to serve his beloved Germany. Without a word from his shaken superiors, he returned to his plane and streaked back into the sky.
It is June 1917. Richthofen is in command of the Jagdgeschwader, better known as The Flying Circus. Even more frightening is the fact that when one of the fighters under his command goes down, it rises to continue to serve Richthofen and Germany. There are four squadrons in the Circus. Each squadron is comprised of twelve fighters. All are undead. When one is destroyed, a living pilot joins the ranks. When he dies, he rises as an undead follower and the cycle continues. It takes quite a bit to destroy one of the Flying Circus, but it can be done. Indeed, it seems that the only pilot that cannot be brought down is the Red Baron himself. All attempts have thus far failed to get rid of the "Bloody Red Baron".
As if the Red Baron and his crack team of undead pilots were not enough, the Germans have managed to uncover ancient journals that were hidden somewhere near the border between Germany and Switzerland. The journals were from none other than Victor Frankenstein. They have been deciphering them and have begun to attempt the resurrection proces ses set down in those blasphemous pages. They have created several units of Frankenstein's zombies that they have, as yet, not put into the field. It is only a matter of time before they may try a field test of their new soldiers.
Daniel R Davis-An avid gamer and creator of many things unpublished. Hopes to become a full time writer for a game company or designer of his own game system some day. Current projects in the works are: Ristaria the RPG and many more Deadworlds for the AFMBE RPG. Current pipe dreams: An online store for Print on Demand full length and fully detailed adventures and worlds for various game systems.
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