The Unexpected Attack

In 1865, a fleet of airships attacks the United States after a sorcerer is insulted by a slave owner. (This is a little story that uses steampunk elements and weapons.)

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The year was 1865; the Civil War in the United States was winding down. The war began four years earlier when the southern part of the United States broke from the rest of the country. The South claimed that it wanted to keep Africans living in that part of the country as slaves and the North refused to allow that to happen. Many people saw the Civil War as nothing but the Northern part of the United States interfering with a private Southern affair, but it was more than that.

In 1857, Sir David Trichenberg (a wealthy British sorcerer with Atlantean roots) went on a tour of the southern United States; he was currently in Richmond, Virginia. He was angry when a wealthy man tried to present him with some slaves. He demanded that the slaves be set free and returned to their families, but the man refused. In his wrath, Sir David cut short his visit to the United States and returned to his home in London, England. There, he raised an army and built a huge fleet of airships to attack the United States. To make things more interesting, he had named his airships after the 12 signs of the zodiac, with a 13th airship used for secret attacks.

"Sir, is this a good idea?" Aaron Dunwich said as he and his captain stood at the helm of the airship, dubbed "The Sagittarius". The airship was hovering above Virginia; it was poised to attack at any given moment.

"Yes, Aaron, this is a good idea," said Sir David as the Sagittarius edged closer to Richmond. "I haven't forgotten the slight against me when Derrick Carroll dared to gift me those slaves. When last I looked, humans are not to own other humans; but what these people did, stealing others from the continent of Africa and denying their humanity in the name of ignorance, that has boiled my blood to the point where I'm planning to attack them all."

"Well that's all fine and dandy, sir," said Aaron. "But are you planning to punish the Southern part of the United States just for slavery?"

"Not just the south," said Sir David. "I'm also punishing the Northern part of the United States as well. For not only did they overthrow a tyrannical king, they also committed the unforgivable crime of pushing the Native Americans off their lands and refusing to accept their way of life. They forced their way of life upon these indigenous people with no thought about how much it would destroy their culture."

"And I suppose you and your people could do better?" said Aaron.

"We have the power to turn back the clock," said Sir David. "We can take 13 colonies and give them back to Britain. We can call forth a plague that will wipe out the white man and give strength to the Indian so can take back his lands. We can force all slave owners to send their slaves back to Africa. But that's too easy and not a realistic solution."

"So, what's your solution to this crisis?" said Aaron.

Sir David was about to respond when a call came in from the Aquarius. "We're hovering above New York," said Captain Oswald Wickham. "Shall we prepare to attack?"

"Not until the other ships get here," said Sir David. "Remember that this attack is to be simultaneous as well as devastating. The Gemini will evacuate President Abraham Lincoln and his family from the White House. I've received word that the Capricorn, the Leo, and the Virgo have reached the Pacific Northwest. Plus, my son has informed me that he and his troops are standing along the borders of Canada, ready to attack from the north. If we succeed, the world will know and fear the name of Trichenberg."

As he was speaking, another message came from Captain Moira Pensak, the commander of the Pisces. That ship was hovering over Connecticut. She said, "Dennis Michelakos has informed me that The Ophiuchus has reached the northern borders of Maine and is on standby."

"Very good," said Sir David. "Now we must wait for the other ships to take their positions and then we attack."

And when will that be, sir?" said Captain Aiyana Cino, the commander of the Taurus. The ship was hovering over Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"We will attack at dawn on April 9th," said Sir David. "That date will give the rest of our fleet enough time to reach their positions and remain steady and for us to get our weapons ready to attack. I won't say that we won't suffer any losses. I won't tell you of the sadness we will feel when we inflict pain upon the millions of innocent people living in this country. But we do know this: what they've done was wrong and they haven't been punished for it. We stand with those who were oppressed and we will no longer watch as people are oppressed for no reason. Now I command you all to rest and prepare yourselves; the date approaches sooner than we think."

With that, he turned off the switchboard and left the message room. He had to send a message to his son about the impending attacks. Leopold Trichenberg was 20 years old; like most young men and women his age, Leo was reckless and impulsive. Leo was with his father when he made that ill-fated trip to Richmond; when David was given the slaves Laurence, Enoch, Georgiana, Rosalie, Landon, Minerva, Matthew, Reginald, and Amelda, Leo had reacted so violently that his stepmother Selena Turner and two of her brothers had to restrain him. The cruel master was crippled for life from Leo's attack.

David was surprised to learn that Leo had attacked and crippled the cruel man, yet he scolded the boy for his cruelty towards him and for acting without thinking. Although he was unable to get the slaves returned to their families, David treated them as sons and daughters.

Of course, the incident in Richmond drew some considerable ire in the Atlantean community. Many people believed that Derrick Carroll was wrong to give his slaves to David and he deserved the beating that Leo had given him. In fact, a large group of Atlanteans decided to join David in punishing the United States for slavery.

At present, 3-year-old Harriet Williams (the daughter of Landon and Minerva) said to her parents, "Why is Master David trying to blow up America?"

Landon sighed, saying, "Because Master David believes it's wrong for white people to have African slaves. He’s angry because Master Derrick decided to sell your mother and me to him. But there is a God out there; he will use Master David as an instrument to punish his sinful children and bring them back into a rightful relationship with him."

Even as he spoke to his daughter, Landon had no idea of how much destruction would happen because he was handed over to a man instead of being allowed to remain with his parents...

* * * * *

The next day was April 9, 1865. (History tells us that General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House.) It was a normal day, if normal meant a war wasn't being fought over a race of people that never should have enslaved in the first place. Unknown to the people, 12 airships had descended upon the United States. They appeared as tiny grey pebbles in the blue skies.

Sir David frowned as he and Landon looked over the city of Richmond, Virginia. It was hard to believe that he was actually going through with the attack. Everyone from the prime minister to Queen Victoria herself had warned him against attacking the United States; yet most of them recanted when the slaves David brought back with him told their sad stories of abuse inflicted on them. It was at this point that Parliament decided that a temporary takeover of America was necessary.

Without so much as a warning, the country was attacked.

Firebombs fell from the airships and stuck the ground below, destroying trees, buildings, and any person unlucky to be outside where the bombs fell. Many people noticed the airships and fled from the area.

A man named Alex Thomas knew what was good for him; he took his family and they fled from their home as firebombs fell on their plantation in Kentucky. Many other people also fled from the plantations. Yet some other people weren't so lucky; many of them died in the firebombing attacks.

But the firebombing wasn't all, as several kinds of guns were fired and people were killed by swords, whips, and daggers. It didn't matter if the people owned slaves or not; they were killed all the same. The worst part about this was that even though Sir David began his attack to end slavery, many slaves were killed in the attack.

"Sir David, General Grant wants to meet with you at the Appomattox Court House," said Aaron as the sounds of screams of people and the firing of laser guns sounded all around them. They were hovering in the middle of Richmond, where the incident that set off the attacks had taken place eight years earlier.

"Very well," said Sir David. "Get my coat."

Within a few minutes, he stepped off the Sagittarius and approached the courthouse. The place was hit with bombs and littered with the corpses of people who didn't escape in time. For the first time in his life, Sir David saw what his anger had done to the country he despised. He knew that many innocent people would be killed during the attack, but he did not calculate how many of those deaths were unneeded and unnecessary. He would have to meet with Leo and discuss that particular detail later.

"Why have you summoned me here, General Grant?" he said as he stared at the general in question. "What is it that you wished to convey? It is bad enough that they dared to offend me by waving slaves in front of my face, but if you're begging me to show some mercy upon those who have died, you have another thing coming. Were you merciful to the people who were stolen from Africa and forced to work in your cotton fields? Were you merciful to the Indians whose lands you stole? I believe not; this is why your country was attacked. You may have gotten rid of King George III, but in hindsight, you're no better than him. Not where it counts. And I'm sure Queen Victoria might have some words for you when she hears of this attack."

"I only ask that you show mercy to those who had no choice in their situation," said the general. "Right now, there are men, women, and children living here who haven't done anything wrong, and yet they're dying along with the sinners of this nation. President Abraham Lincoln is begging you to call off this attack. He wants to have peace."

"Oh, we will have peace alright," said Sir David. "We will have peace when your country answers for the theft of Indian lands and the people that lie dead of your diseases. We will have peace when you apologize to the Africans who you stole from the land of Africa and forced to become your slaves. When this country is burned to the ground and not even the crows will want to eat your remains, then and only then will we have peace."

With that, Sir David walked away from the courthouse without giving General Grant and his men so much as a second look. Aaron stared at him as he returned to the Sagittarius; he now realized that Sir David was a legitimate man of peace who wanted people to live together in peace, and was angered by the injustice he saw in the United States.

Sir David said, "All I wanted was to help make the world a better place, but all we seem to do is destroy the world and the humans living in the world. What will it take for everyone to realize that we all share the same earth, the same water, the same sky? When will this all end?"

To that, no one had an answer.

* * * * *

To make a long story short, this happened...

The United States Civil War ended, but it was not with the surrender of the Confederate States of America. In fact, the Royal Air Fleet conquered and destroyed the Confederate States. Not even the rest of the country was spared from the wrath of Sir David Trichenberg, as that part of the country took a huge hit from the firebombs and laser rifles.

As for the Pacific coast, the states of California and Texas were returned to Mexico following the Capricorn, the Leo, and the Virgo's attacks on the northwestern part of that country. That’s for another story.

The Ophiuchus, however, was used to launch a secret attack on the Indian reservations and gave the Native Americans enough weapons to use to take back their ancestral lands. How that happened is a different story for a different day.

Well, as the story ends with the conquering of the United States, Sir David found himself at a hotel outside Baltimore, Maryland; he was meeting with the former U.S. President Lincoln. That day was April 19, 1865. Four days earlier, he had taken down John Wilkes Booth, who would have shot Mr. Lincoln and killed him, preventing one of the worst presidential assassinations in American history.

And that part is for the second chapter in this story.

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