Read Fiends of the Rising Sun Online

Authors: David Bishop

Tags: #Science Fiction

Fiends of the Rising Sun




The sinister involvement of Japanese vampyr in the Pacific war is finally revealed! From the dramatic build-up to the devastating attack upon Pearl Harbour, to the American troops landing at Guadalcanal eight months later, follow the story of the US Marines as they battle against an enemy that would rather die than admit defeat. But in this war, death is where the hell truly begins...















FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT created by Gerry Finley-Day and Carlos Ezquerra









Gordon Rennie



David Bishop



Simon Jowett & Peter J Evans



James Swallow



David Bishop



Matthew Smith



Andrew Cartmel



James Swallow



Dave Stone



#1: FEAR THE DARKNESS - Mitchel Scanlon


#2: RED SHADOWS - Mitchel Scanlon


#3: SINS OF THE FATHER - Mitchel Scanlon



#1: THE MEDUSA WAR - Pat Mills & Alan Mitchell





#1: SLÁINE THE EXILE - Steven Savile


#2: SLÁINE THE DEFILER - Steven Savile



#1: THE UNQUIET GRAVE - Peter J Evans



#1: CRUCIBLE - Gordon Rennie



#1: BAD TIMING - Rebecca Levene


To Alison, for all her love and support.



Historical note:

This novel is a work of fiction set during the Second World War. As far as possible the historical details are accurate, but the story takes liberties with reality for narrative effect.


A 2000 AD Publication


1098 7 65 4321

Copyright © 2007 Rebellion A/S. All rights reserved.

All 2000 AD characters and logos © and TM Rebellion A/S. "Fiends of the Eastern Front" is a trademark in the United States and other jurisdictions. "2000 AD" is a registered trademark in certain jurisdictions. All rights reserved. Used under licence.


ISBN(.epub): 978-1-84997-048-8

ISBN(.mobi): 978-1-84997-089-1


A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

This is a work of fiction. Excepting notable historical names, all the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.









PROLOGUE: September, 1940


"When he gets to Heaven,

To Saint Peter he'll tell,

Another marine reporting, sir,

I've served my time in Hell."



Adolf Hitler smiled. In little more than a year his Wehrmacht forces had stormed across Europe, using their lightning war tactics to sweep aside all who dared oppose the might of Germany. True, his plans to invade Britain had been postponed temporarily, but the Luftwaffe would soon pound Churchill and his stubborn nation of shopkeepers into submission. Stalin and the Bolsheviks remained yoked by a non-aggression pact, keeping Russian forces away from the battlefield. All of mainland Europe was under the Führer's control, just as it should be. Yes, he had good reason to smile, as all those around him knew well, and today's gathering only reinforced that.

Hitler sat at a long polished table inside the Chancellery, in the heart of Berlin. To his right sat two men he considered his inferiors. The closest of the pair was Benito Mussolini, Italy's fascist dictator. Mussolini was dressed in his typically elaborate and self-aggrandising military garb, his barrel chest dripping with large, gaudy medals. Intelligence reports suggested the man known as Il Duce had to wear a whalebone corset beneath his uniform to conceal his increasing corpulence. Hitler considered Mussolini to be a vainglorious and troublesome ally. Il Duce's bulging waistline was a symptom of his burgeoning decadence, but the Italian forces still had their uses, however limited they might soon become.

Beyond Mussolini sat Saburo Kurusu, the Japanese ambassador to Berlin. As with so many Japanese diplomats, he dressed like an undertaker in a black tailcoat and grey trousers. His dark hair was slicked back close to the scalp, while a small moustache perched above a weak mouth. Kurusu wore glasses in public, a sign of weakness as far as Hitler was concerned. Never advertise your flaws, never let anyone see them; it gave others a reason to believe they were better than you. Kurusu was weak and timid, a willing puppet of the Japanese government. But a more powerful representative of that nation was elsewhere in the room; General Tojo was Japan's war minister for the moment, but the Führer had little doubt that he would soon be second only to the emperor in Japan's power structure. For now, official protocol required that Kurusu sign the agreement that would bind Germany, Italy and Japan together in a new axis of power.

Hitler put pen to paper, scribbling his name across the Tripartite Pact. The three signatories exchanged their copies of the document and continued the signing ritual, finalising an agreement forged through long and tense negotiations. The wording of the accord carried little importance for the Führer. For example, by signing the pact Japan accepted the hegemony of Germany and Italy in Europe, something few would dispute. In return the two European nations recognised Japan's right to organise what it called the Greater East-Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. In reality, the sphere was a metaphor for Japan's efforts to steal natural resources from neighbouring countries. Fine, let the Orientals do what they wanted in their own lands, Hitler decided. Japan had already been fighting a war in China for three years, so the land of the rising sun posed no threat to his grasp on Europe. More important was the fact that all three nations promised to maintain the status quo in their relations with the Soviet Union; that kept Stalin and his comrades in check, outside the fighting.

One statement in the pact was of interest to the Führer. Japan, Germany and Italy pledged to aide one another with all political, military and economic means available should any of them be attacked by a power not involved in the European war. Put simply, the statement was a warning shot at the United States of America. Eleven days ago, the US Senate had passed a bill introducing conscription for all citizens aged between 21 and 35. For a neutral country, it was a provocative act. The Tripartite Pact's message to President Roosevelt was clear: stay out of Europe and the United States of America would stay out of trouble.

While the final signatures were drying on the documents, Ambassador Kurusu was giving a long, hesitant speech about the historic significance of this unprecedented alliance. Hitler's thoughts were elsewhere, his eyes focused on one of the foreign dignitaries present at the signing ceremony. A lone figure with a haughty face and piercing eyes stood at the back of the chamber, making sure his likeness wasn't captured by any of the official photographers. Curious, the Führer thought. Most of the inconsequential delegates were only too eager to thrust themselves into the spotlight, but the man at the back did no such thing.

Hitler beckoned one of his men close enough to whisper a question in his ear. "That dignitary at the rear, in the blue uniform, who is he?"

"Lord Constanta, from the Rumanian province of Transylvania."

The Führer smiled. "Ah! I have heard of this individual, but doubted I would have the chance to meet him. Make sure he remains behind when the other observers depart."

"Of course, Führer."

Hitler watched as his messenger moved unnoticed through the throng to Constanta. The pair exchanged a few words before the Rumanian nodded his acceptance of the Führer's continued hospitality. The hint of a smile played about Constanta's lips, as if he had been expecting the invitation. No matter, Hitler decided. The Führer had listened to endless litanies from his deputy, Heinrich Himmler, about the rare power wielded by this Rumanian aristocrat. Now Hitler would have the chance to meet Constanta and judge for himself whether the man from Transylvania was as important as his reputation suggested. Himmler believed having Constanta and his people fighting alongside the Wehrmacht against their mutual enemies could shorten the war by months, even years. Let's see if my deputy is correct, Hitler decided.


Champagne was served at a reception after the signing ceremony, but Hitler permitted himself only a glass of fruit juice. Let others indulge their vices and frailties; he preferred to keep his thoughts clear of all such impediments. When Constanta was brought forward to meet him, the Führer noted that his guest had also foregone offers of alcohol. Good. Hitler found it hard to trust any man whose will might be held in thrall by drink. "Lord Constanta, I presume?"

The Rumanian bowed low, his eyes humbly cast downwards. Better and better, thought the Führer. This man knows his place, unlike that drunken, belligerent buffoon Mussolini. Il Duce had the manners of a pig and the tastes of a philistine.

"Thank you for inviting me to remain behind," Constanta said in impeccable German, no trace of an accent audible in his words. "You do me a great honour."

"Not at all," Hitler replied, allowing himself a brief smile. "My Reichsführer has frequently made mention of you, and the rare abilities you possess. Himmler tells me you and your people would make valuable allies for my Wehrmacht."

"Again, your words honour me," Constanta said, nodding his thanks for the compliment. "Alas, Rumania is not yet part of your Axis forces."

"That day may not be so far away."

Constanta smiled, flashing his pronounced canine teeth at the Führer. "I'm glad to hear it. I cannot speak for all of Rumania, but the people of Transylvania are eager to spread their wings and become part of a larger empire, one that spans all parts of Europe, and lands even beyond this continent, perhaps."

"Of course," Hitler agreed. "My deputy indicated you had particular talents that would be a considerable asset to the Reich, but he remained rather vague about what those talents might be. Would you offer me a demonstration?"

The Rumanian's eyes narrowed. "Willingly, but it would be better if it took place under the gaze of a more discreet audience." His eyes glanced sideways to the boorish Mussolini, who was laughing loudly at one of his own jokes and slapping the back of an uncomfortable Ambassador Kurusu.

"Naturally," the Führer said. "What will you require for this demonstration?"

Constanta grinned. "A victim."


Guido Fioravanti was a minor functionary within Il Duce's travelling entourage. He had few illusions about his importance in the world, nor any belief that his status and rank within Mussolini's party would change soon. Guido helped the leader of all Italy dress each morning, but doubted Il Duce could recall his name. It did not matter, for Guido was devoted to his master. He loved the dictator, the flamboyant and outrageous politician. Il Duce was a true leader of men, capable of swaying people with the strength of his oratory, and able to put fire in the bellies of the most craven cowards. Guido had wept tears of joy upon first hearing Mussolini speak to the people of Italy, so swept up had he been in the power of those words.

It was Guido's job to travel everywhere with the great dictator and make sure Il Duce always looked his best. Others might write the words Mussolini spoke, some might negotiate on the great man's behalf, but it fell to little Guido Fioravanti to have the last word before Mussolini stepped out into the public gaze. He was the one who adjusted the shape of Mussolini's jacket, who ensured the dictator looked his best, who pulled the stays of Mussolini's corset tight to keep Il Duce's gut in check. Like his people, the Italian dictator loved his food, a fact that made Guido's tasks increasingly difficult. While others slept, Guido stayed up until dawn, secretly letting out the seams of jackets and trousers, making sure Il Duce kept his dignity, even if he couldn't keep to his diet.

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