Tirpitz (Story)

As the Tanking League goes on a beach trip, they have a 'divine' encounter.  


  “Hey Sky!”   The addressed tank stopped talking to Eohelm and turned around. Her gaze fell on three tanks and a Stuka. Arty, Noob, Awol, and Goggles looked at her expectantly. Before she could ask, Noob spoke up, his voice excited.   “Can we go to the beach??” he asked with shining optics.   “To the beach?”   The others nodded enthusiastically.   “Just the four of you?” Sky asked. She didn’t quite like that idea.   “Jack is coming with us too,” Arty said.   “And Alex!” Noob added.   Before Sky could tell them that she didn’t think that it was safe like that, Awol added, “Rex and Fox said they’ll come with us too!”   Sky hummed pensively, and nodded.   “Okay.”   “Don’t you want to come too?” Arty asked.   Sky tilted her cannon, but then shook it.   “We’re kinda in the middle of something here,” she said and motioned at the maps between her and Eohelm.   “We could continue later?” the Centurion suggested.   “I’d rather get it done now,” Sky said.   “Welp,” Goggles said, “Let’s go, guys!” She wiggled her ailerons and was already turning around. The low tier tanks shrugged and followed suit, and they went to meet up with the others who had wanted to join them.  
***
  The merry group drove to the shore. Their base was not far from it, so it was a short drive. Talking, joking, and chasing each other through the shallow water, they made their way along the beach. Goggles had taken off and was circling above, suddenly diving down every so often to startle one of the tanks. She had just done exactly that and was still laughing about Arty’s scream and the way the little SPG had jumped when the plane had turned on her sirens as she had swooped down and flown over the Sturmpanzer so closely that they had almost touched. She flew ahead a little, also not forgetting her duty to check for any strangers or enemies in their path. But the coast was clear. No one was anywhere to be seen.   But then something else caught her sights. A huge – and by huge she meant really huge – shape was floating in the water near the beach. She recognized the metal giant, and, not sure if it meant danger, immediately contacted the others.  
***
  Arty was lowering her cannon with defiant embarrassment as she had become the target of general amusement at her reaction to the Stuka almost crashing into her. She was about to say something in her defence, when there was an incoming radio transmission from said plane.   «Guys, watch out! There’s-»   Goggles couldn’t finish her sentence, as the others too spotted what she had seen. It would have been hard not to, considering the sheer size of it.   “Look!” Alex shouted. Even those who hadn’t seen it yet, looked into the direction he was pointing now and everyone braked.   “What’s that?” Noob asked.   Arty and Awol shared a clueless look and both of them shrugged. The Sturmpanzer felt uneasy and looked to the two high tier heavies behind her. Fox and Rex stared at the strange behemoth ahead of them too.   “It’s a house,” Rex said without hesitation. Fox gave him a speechless look.   “That’s-“ the King Tiger started to say, but Arty interrupted him.   “Is that a tank??” she asked fearfully and backed up a little. That made the other low tiers nervous too. How would they fight such a huge tank?   “Maybe a mountain ….?” Jack asked cautiously.  
***
  Goggles was circling above and listened to the conversation through her radio. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. That was neither a house, nor a tank, and especially not a mountain …! It was just a ship!   She watched as Alex, the only high tier light tank of the group, cautiously drove closer to the unknown object. He stood in front of it for a moment, and as nothing happened, the other tanks followed him hesitantly. Goggles could only sigh as they did the most tank-like thing next and one of them shot the ship.   Suddenly a deafening noise could be heard, and everyone flinched. It took a moment until they realized that the noise was actually an extremely loud voice speaking to them.   “Do that again and you’ll regret it,” the voice said. Something moved, and a set of giant guns was suddenly pointed at the tanks. They ducked, but didn’t dare to back up. A single shot from those would pulverize even the heavies, so much was for sure.   “Who are you?” Fox asked, being the first one to find the courage to speak up.   The ship kept its guns pointed at the tanks, then raised them in what looked like pride in a strange way.   “I’m Tirpitz,” it said.   No one could do anything with this information, even though it was presented in a way as if this Tirpitz expected immediate recognition.   “Are you a tank?” Noob asked.   Tirpitz made a spluttering noise, but before it could speak again, there was another question, which came from a wide-eyed Sturmpanzer.   “Are you … god?  There was a moment of silence, and Goggles almost fell out of the sky when Tirpitz finally replied.   “Yes,” it said confidently.   The tanks stared at the ship in awe. Except for Fox, who looked up to Goggles.   «Uhhh, guys, that’s not-» Goggles tried to say. Tirpitz was louder.   “I am god,” it repeated. “Bow down, mortals!”   The tanks quickly lowered their cannons, and even though Fox visibly hesitated, he seemed to change his mind and followed suit eventually.   Goggles wanted to yell at them, but then she realized that this could be really interesting. It was always baffling that tanks were so … gullible. Actually, quite hilarious. And the fact that the ship was totally playing along made it so much better. She flew another big circle above the scene and decided to remain silent for now to see what would happen next.  
***
  “They are doing what.  Sky dropped the map and gave Eohelm a look that spoke of pure disbelief.   «They’re … worshipping … the ship …»   “What the actual fuck??”   Eohelm wanted to say something and raised his cannon slightly, but dropped it again as words failed him. Sky’s engine howled as she raced off to go and see it with her own optics.  
***
  Eject nodded at the little crowd of crestfallen tanks that stood next to a pile of fuel cans. In the background, Tirpitz towered. Goggles had landed and was present as well, but looked like she had nothing at all to do with anything.   “They said ‘god’ requires a tribute,” Eject rumbled.   Sky threw stern glances at everyone present.   “You come across a random ship. You declare it your god. And you agree to give our fuel to it?! I can’t fucking believe this.”   “It was her idea!!” Rex cried and gestured at Arty. The addressed Sturmpanzer’s expression spoke of deep betrayal.   “Arty? Didn’t you say you were an atheist??” Sky asked.   “I said,” Arty defended herself solemnly, “that I’ll believe in god when he comes down from heaven and personally tells me he exists. And now look what happened …!” She averted her optics with a pout. The resounding snicker from the ship made Sky glare at it next.   “You would have just taken all that fuel?” she asked accusingly.   “I’m sorry,” Tirpitz said with a mischievous grin in its voice. “But if a bunch of fools came your way and offered you free fuel, wouldn’t you take it too?”   “Are you low on fuel?” Eohelm asked.   Tirpitz shook its cannons.   “I’m just taking a break here.” It hummed thoughtfully for a moment. “Actually,” it said, “I think I should travel on.”   The ship’s engines started noisily and it waved its cannons at the Tanking League.   “Tüdelü!” it whistled and made big waves as it slowly turned towards the sea.   The tanks and the plane were left behind, watching it leave. As the roar of the engines ebbed away, Sky turned towards her teammates.   “Alright,” she said, clasping her claws. “I can understand that someone like Noob or Arty would have never seen a ship, but you, Fox? What about you, Alex??”   Alex shrugged defensively.   “I’ve only heard about them …” he mumbled.   Fox shifted on his tracks and cleared his vents.   “They didn’t listen to me … Also, I would have stopped them when they would have really given the fuel to it,” he said reluctantly.   Sky gaped at him for a moment. Then she shook her turret.   “Well, I guess at least everyone knows what a ship is now so this won’t happen again,” she griped.   “And they didn’t try to sacrifice Noob this time, which is an improvement, I’d say,” Eohelm threw in.   Sky just sighed.   “Let’s go back to the base. The trip to the beach is cancelled,” she decided. “Everyone who brought fuel here will carry it back. Goggles will guard the base.”   The tanks grumbled unhappily, but did as they were told.   Only Goggles was grinning inwardly, as she was exempt from the grounding.

Published Feb 4th, 2016 Status Complete

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