From Darkness

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Chapter 24: Peace

“It is my personal belief that you are all ready to call yourselves pilots. You will be graduating very soon.” Those had been the unexpected words of Sergeant Eichel. Uli and the other cadets that had been training for over a year graduated six months ahead of time. They had all been ecstatic to hear such news, but when Uli told Peter, a look of concern darkened his face.

“I’m afraid the time has come, you need to know now, but don’t tell Ivy, she must not know yet. Civilians mustn’t know yet. I shouldn’t be telling you this, but soon you will be risking your life for us; thus, you deserve to know.

We are going to attack Poland, Ulrich. I am convinced now that the reason they rushed your graduation is because you will be part of the attack,” Peter told him one night after dinner.

“Why Poland? What do we gain from attacking them?” Uli asked.

“Territory. Land that will be ours. Lebensraum, and we want Danzig back, remember? We must fight for Danzig,” Peter replied.

“Well, good! I can’t wait for some action! Shooting at old crates in the fields is getting boring, and the Germans of Danzig deserve to be part of our Reich,” Uli said.

“Son, you don’t understand. This attack on Poland... This attack will bring on a war. Poland will be left weak, devastated, we all believe that Britain and France will not simply stand by this time. They will fight us.

Did you know, our country has been on a war economy for half a decade now? We’ve been building weapons, vehicles, and aircraft and submarines, it’s the reason our country has thrived so much. We think it’s what the Führer wants,” Peter lit up a cigarette. He had taken up on smoking. He offered Uli one and he took it.

“When you say ‘we’, who do you mean?”

“Nearly all the high-ranking officers in the military and the SS,”

“Do you believe it too? Do you think there’s going to be a war?”

“The Führer is drunken with power, he doesn’t see it. He thinks we’re ready, but we’re far from ready. We need at least three more years. He... he lied to Mussolini, you know, Italy’s Führer, and that’s how Italy is on our side. If you get the order to attack Poland, yes. I believe we are going to be entering another war. Another war to lose,” Peter said.

“We’re not going to lose this one, Herr Köhler. You should see our hangars, our pilots. My squadron alone could take down a small country. We may be young and inexperienced, we may have graduated early, but we are more than capable. I will fight for my country and my Führer. War economy or not, he has brought our country to our former glory and beyond. I am ready!” Uli said proudly.

Peter chuckled, “What I’d give to be so young and innocent again... Do you love my daughter?”

The question took Uli by surprise. “Uh... yes sir. I do love her,” he said.

“Then you have my blessing to marry her, whenever the time should come,” Peter told him.

Those words came as a relief to Uli. He had been wanting to ask Peter for such a blessing, but could never find the right words or the right moment.

He wondered if perhaps Peter was correct about an impending war. He wondered if they were ready like he believed, or if it was true that another three years were necessary before they could fight.

~

Ivy came out of the twins room, she had just finished singing them all the lullabies she knew. “They’re asleep now, Heidi fell like a rock,” Ivy smiled.

Uli was sitting on an armchair by the small fireplace. Ivy walked over to him and caressed his hair. “I should go now, you can stay. I have money for a taxi,” she told him.

Uli took her hand in his and kissed it. “No, stay.”

He pulled forth and she fell on his lap. She thought he would kiss her, but instead he just hugged her. “What’s the matter?” she asked.

“Something your father said. Politics, uh, nothing to worry about.”

“Really? Because you seem worried.”

He tucked a strand of loose hair behind her ear. Her long braid was slightly undone, just the way he loved it.

“Do you want to know why I avoid being with you physically?” he asked her.

Her heart skipped a beat. “Y-yes,” she replied.

“It’s because I already love you so much, I don’t know if I should love you more. I’m scared, Ivy. I’m scared to love you more because if I lose you, after losing my mother... I would rather die than lose you. If you were gone from my life... I...” he closed his eyes.

He looked as though he was silently praying or silently suffering. The difference is often bleak. Her eyes watered and she held back her tears. “I’m right here, Uli. I’m not going anywhere.”

It was as though her words were a spark. The spark it took to ignite his fire.

He grabbed her face in both hands and kissed her. It wasn’t a shy kiss, he didn’t hold back.

His passionate kiss took her by surprise. She straddled him and kissed him back with the same fire.

Ivy had no idea how much time had passed. It might have been minutes or might have been hours. Kissing him felt natural, it was meant to happen. She was out of breath. Soon enough she felt more than a desire to kiss him. A tingling rang down her spine. And she knew he must have felt it too, because she could feel the change in his body. Not that anyone had taught her about such matters. She just knew it.

He knew it too, and that’s when he stopped.

“Uli, please...” her voice came out in a moan.

“No, love. Let’s get you home.” He put her on her feet and stood up. She didn’t say another word, and felt quite embarrassed by her promiscuous behaviour.

Their short walk to his motorcycle was painfully quiet, and then once they were on it, the engine’s noise drowned any hope for conversation. When he left Ivy at her doorstep, he kissed her forehead and told her he loved her. Ivy was still too embarrassed to talk, she nodded and went inside her house.

~

Uli and Ben sat in the command room alongside the other recently-graduated pilots.

“Welcome, Privates, to our first strategy meeting. My name is Lieutenant General Schulz of the Luftwaffe and I will be your commanding officer. I believe we have three squadrons present here, yes?”

They replied “Yes, sir” in unison.

“Yes, squadrons E, F, and G. You’ll have to give your squads new names. You’re more than a team now, you are family...

You may be wondering why I have gathered you here. Well, boys, we have a mission. Your first real mission. For decades now, our people, the Germans living within Poland, have been trapped by the monster that is the Polish people. More specifically, Polish Jews, which is a great majority of their population. The minority is the people we are interested in rescuing. We are going to liberate our fellow men and women.

A month from now, on Friday, September 1st, we are going to launch an attack on Poland. An attack like the world has never seen.”

Peter was right. But he was wrong about us not being ready. Uli thought. Schulz rolled down a large, hanging map of Germany and Poland, with arrows and markings already drawn on it. He used a wooden pointer to indicate the strategy on the map.

“Blitzkrieg. A lightning-fast attack. We will demolish them before they even get a chance to strike back. That is not to say we will not encounter Polish aircraft.

For this mission you will be flying Junkers Ju 87,” Schulz said and the room exploded in cheers and sounds of approval.

“They are dive bombers, not fighter planes, although they do have fighter capabilities. Still, they’re different from the planes you’ve been flying with thus far, so use this month wisely to learn your way around them. You will begin dive-bombing training tomorrow. We will have our mission strategy meeting the day before the attack, for now what you need to know is that we will go in first, bomb the major cities, and when we are done, the ground troops will go in and finish the job. We expect Warsaw to be the toughest city to break. It may take more than one trip for us to complete our part of the attack, be prepared for spending several hours in the sky, boys. You are strictly forbidden from discussing the mission with anyone outside this hangar. You are all dismissed,” Schulz said.

~

“I’ve made up my mind. I’m not returning to school in the fall,” Ivy told Liesel. They were in the patio at Liesel’s house, soaking up the hot summer sun.

“What will you do?” Liesel asked her.

“I don’t know yet, I wish I could be a pilot, like Uli, or something useful to the Reich. I guess I can learn my mother’s skills, she is a good seamstress. I never liked sewing much, but it’s useful. I want to do more than that though, you know?”

“Yes, I know. I’ve been meaning to tell you... I’ve been thinking of... joining...” Liesel didn’t know how to explain it to Ivy.

“What’s the matter? Just tell me, you can tell me anything,” Ivy said.

“Look, I hadn’t told you because I didn’t know what to make of it. Herr Himmler, he approached me at the gala and gave me an address. Said I should go there and consider joining them,” she paused. Ivy nodded, encouraging her. “Yes well, the address was to this large mansion. It is an association called Lebensborn, it belongs to the SS. They were founded four years ago, in 1935, and they currently have 8,000 members,” Liesel paused once more.

“Right. But what do they do? Why did Herr Himmler want you to go there?” Ivy asked.

“He said that if it weren’t for Uli, he called him your boyfriend, he said he would have asked you to join as well. Lebensborn, well, I think it’s a wonderful idea. What I’ll be doing is marrying an Aryan man through them, most likely an SS officer, and then I will bear his children,” Liesel said.

“And then?”

“And then what?”

“And then what happens? That’s it? Will you even love this man?” Ivy asked her.

“Ivy, this isn’t about love. This isn’t about me, it’s so much more than that. It’s about our Reich, and a better future for it. A future of a Germany with a pure race, a pure race of people like you and me. I don’t need to love him, I just need to pass on my traits, as will the father. The goal of Lebensborn is to repopulate our country with the ancient race that used to own it before all these filthy immigrants and Jews took over,” Liesel told her.

“Are you sure you want this? It sounds... I don’t know... cold, loveless.”

“Loveless? It’s out of love for our Reich that I want to do it! And also... I know I will never be with Kristian. I was born to do this. It’s for the greater good, Ivy. But I need to know that you support me.”

“If it’s what you want, what you think you should do, then I support you, darling,” Ivy smiled.

“Thank you, that makes me feel so much better. I won’t be joining yet, I have to submit to several physical tests first, they’ll take measurements of my facial structure and such, to prove I’m an Aryan type.” After a long pause, Liesel asked her, “Do you think they’re true? The war rumours?”

“I don’t think so. We are living in peace, why would there be a war? Our Führer said so himself,” Ivy replied.

“I know, but there are rumours of European countries taking sides, like boys hurrying to join the best team for a football match. It’s all so odd.”

“That doesn’t add up with what the news inform us of, it’s probably all British propaganda. They would love nothing more than to brainwash us,” Ivy said.

“I hope so. I’ve heard the stories of war, so awful...” Liesel was lost in thought.

“Don’t worry, there won’t be a war. They’re just rumours,” Ivy comforted her.

Author’s Note: My lovely readers, thank you so much for your continued reads and support on this book. I’d like to announce that this is the second last chapter in ‘From Darkness.’ The next chapter will be the final chapter.The story continues in the next book, titled ′Through Blood.′

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