Digging In At Quinn S Post

"Digging in at Quinn's Post"

Who: Cross, Patrick, Tanner, Pete
When: April 1915

What: The boys work on the trenches at the frontlines, under the ever-watchful company of Turkish sharpshooters across the way in No Man's Land. They talk of the Turks, life back home, and the (no-doubt near!) end date of the war.

Logger: Tanner

Quinn's Post

The Grid-----> > > > > THE LOST GENERATION < < <


Coordinates : 4 4

At the head of Monash Gully, at the eastern end of the treacherous road through Shrapnel Valley, lies the salient of the ANZAC line. There is little natural cover here, though defensive points can be carved into the earth or in the scraggly rocks of the Turkish desert hills.

It is currently dusk.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Front Line Trench
2. Foxhole

Contents
Tanner
Patrick - 1. Front Line Trench
Cross - 1. Front Line Trench

(Item 1) Wire Equipment / 1. Front Line Trench
(Item 2) Wire Equipment / 1. Front Line Trench
(Item 3) Vickers Gun Ranged Weapon / 1. Front Line Trench
(Item 4) Satchel Charge Equipment / 1. Front Line Trench
(Item 5) .303 British x 239 Ammo / 1. Front Line Trench

West <W> East <E>
South <S> North <N>

Tanner arrives from the West.

Cross is working inside the front line trench. A small pile of wood lays next to the man with scattered saw dust all around his feet. With a saw he cutts away at the boards to be used to brace the walls of one of the recently dug out trench lines and help prevent it from collapsing from the Turkish artillery.

«Game» Tanner moves into Front Line Trench.

Patrick blinks a bit as he trudges up with a small barrel of water. "Well I'll be…" he mutters, seeing the deep, nicely dug trench. "Lookin a lot better!" he laughs, setting the barrel down, taking a moment to marvel.

Even the stretcher bearers can't avoid trench digging duty. Tanner's been rounded up to join the grunts working on the trenches. "Hullo," he offers, chipperly enough to Cross and Patrick as he approaches, though some of the chipperness sounds forced now.

Cross finishes sawing a few more sections of wood for braces before taking a break. When two other soldiers arrive he gives each a short nod, "Good evening." The soldiers dusts his hands off of any saw dust and residue that might have collected on them before reaching for his canteen. "How are things back on the beach?" He asks as he unscrews the cap to the canteen and takes a swig.

Patrick shrugs a bit. "Been carrying up water all day… bout time to turn in I think." he chuckles, "Doc said a few more days an i'll be well enough to get on the line again.." he shrugs, "Guess my old body don't heal as fast as the younger ones.." he muses.

Tanner shrugs in reply to Cross. "Lots to do at the aid station." Lots of wounded. "But there's lots to do all over. One of the sergeants said they needed able-bodied men up here, so here I is." He looks over at Patrick. "Arm's coming along well, then?"

Cross fastens the lid to his canteen and tucks it away back to its propper place. "I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing mate." Cross says in reference to Patrick returning to the line. It had been pretty nasty up here from what he had seen in his few days on the line. "Make sure you boys keep your heads down. The Turks have some talented shooters over that trench wall."

Patrick nods, "I'll do my best." he says to Cross before heading off to the west again.

Tanner's eyes angles toward the east, where Turk shooters lie. He nods gravely to Cross, unconsciously ducking down a notch lower. "Aye. I'll keep a look-out…" he mutters. Clearing his throat, he manages a more robust tone as he asks, "So, where you lot want me? I ain't no engineer. Don't know much about fortifications or nothing."

Patrick has disconnected.

Cross looks towards Tanner nodding, "We all have to start some where right?" The soldier grabs his Lee Enfield and slings it over his shoulder. With his free hands he picks up a shovel and pickaxe, "Lets head down to the south, a lot of work still needs to be done down there and I dont think the boys have gotten around to it yet."

Tanner nods readily enough to Cross, following as the engineer bids. He gathers up some entrenching gear before he goes, lugging the stuff along awkwardly.

Cross leads Tanner down the zig-zag trench towards the south till a gap in the trench appears. The area looks as if it had been blown away by a recent artillery round and had collaposed in on itself. The three to four meter gap had presented a problem and a bit of danger, he looks over his shoulder towards Tanner, "I'm not sure I want to walk the twenty-five minutes around to get to the other side."

Tanner can't help but grimace at the idea of strolling 'round to the other side, with Turkish sharpshooters over their shoulder. He nods firmly to that. "Aye. Can't terribly say that's a walk I'd like to take." He puts down his equipment, with some clattering, then sorts through it and picks up his shovel. "You an engineer by trade, then?"

Cross nods, "Well kind of…" he trails off a moment. He continues to watch the large hole in the trench line trying to work up the courage to cross it, "Well I worked in salt mines back home. I was pretty glad to get away from that life, but once the enlistment office knew my background they made me a combat engineer."

Tanner eyes Cross, and the hole, then Cross again. The man's hesitance isn't making him anymore confident. He hangs back for the moment. "You were a miner, then?" This seems to give him some confidence. "Well, that'll help with the digging in, at least. I dunno a thing about this sort of work. Never did much like it on the farm, apart from digging small holes down and then."

"The digging part is easy." Cross says as he kicks a splintered piece of wood that had lead to the collapse of the trench wall. He then continues, "Making sure this doesn't happen is the hard part." Reaching into his pocket he pulls out a coin, "This is the easiest way to choose who goes first or last. Call it in the air." The soldier flips the coin into the air.

Tanner stares at the collapsed trench wall with wide eyes. That's a lot of earth and rock right there. "Aye…don't look like something you'd desire…" He flinches at the coin toss. Probably having expected to get away with tip-toeing behind engineer. He calls a hopeful, "Err…tails?"

Cross lifts his hand off the back end of the coin and reveals heads. Unlucky for Tanner and time to see how much attention the enemy machine gunners were paying to the hole in the trench. "Heads. You go first…on the bright side, they might notice you first and be ready for me… then again they might be ready the first time too." There was no simple way of looking at it. The Aussie takes the coin and shoves it back into his pocket. "When you're ready." He says as he gets himself ready to sprint accross the exposed gap.

"Bright side…aye…" Tanner mutters, gulping. And then, he goes! At a run. Not a particularly fast run, given navigating the trench and the gear he's hauling. And the fact that's he's half-ducking. But it's a fast sort of stumbling half-duck.

Cross has left.
Cross heads off South.

Badlands/Rocks

The Grid-----> > > > > THE LOST GENERATION < < <


Coordinates : 4 3

The scrub and jagged, low hills are more pronounced in this area of the peninsula, making even the rough sand seem pleasant by comparison. The ground is hard, rocky earth, and there is less of the scrub vegetation here. It has a more barren look than even the surrounding desert.

It is currently dusk.

Sub-Rooms :

Contents
Tanner
Cross

West <W> East <E>
South <S> North <N>

Tanner arrives from the North.

Cross is only a second or two behind Tanner when crossing the exposed hole in the trench line. A shot rings out as he dives for cover and crawls the last foot behind the heafty trench wall. "Wow!" he shouts as his adrenalin begins pumping. There was no telling how close the shot was to a hit, but it was enough to make him think twice about taking short cuts again.

Tanner skids to a stop, stumbling against the dirt walls, panting as if he'd just run miles instead of peer yards. He sets his back against the wall, lowering down into a sitting position, breathing in deep breaths. Half-terrified, half-relieved. "Bloody hell!" he exclaims in response to Cross' 'Wow!' "You alright?"

Cross pushes himself up off the ground and stands up, "I banged me knee up pretty good, but I think besides that a new pair of underwear I'm right as rain." The soldier rubs his injured knee as if that would make it feel better. "I'll be alright." he says again as he collects himself a bit. His hand reaches into his pocket and tosses the coin that was flipped earlier to Tanner, "Appears you're the lucky one after all. Maybe it might bring you a bit more in the future."

Tanner laughs. It starts off as a weak chuckle, but it turns into an almost uncontrollable burst of laughter. As if it's releasing some tension for him. He catches the coin, shaking his head. "I don't put much stock in lucky charms and stuff." Though he tucks it quietly firmly in his breast pocket. "Thanks, though." He takes a another deep breath, trying to regain his composure. "Bloody hell…every step out here feels like a risk…"

Cross begins laughing with Tanner and only after a short while does he collect himself. Pointing towards the lucky coing he goes on, "If you believe in it or not, who wants to take the risk right?" He grins a bit and pushs further to the south towards the end of the trench line that leads to the badlands. "Well there are enough rocks out here and with the cover of darkness we should be as safe as one can be….under the circimustances." The soldier drops his shovel and pickaxes behind a large boulder that provides only a little cover. "I guess this might be the best place to start, dig straight down and start going north. We'll evently connect this to the larger trench up there."

«Entrenchment» Cross digs a foxhole!

«Entrenchment» Tanner works on improving fortifications, but does a poor job of it.

«Entrenchment» Cross works on improving Foxhole!
Fortification has improved to Slit Trench

Tanner pushes himself to his feet and gets to work with his shovel. Though it amounts to more stabbing at the ground with a shovel than proper entrenching. That might've worked for digging holes for fence posts back on the farm, but it won't add much to the trenches. "Aye. Safe as we can be…" Another deep breath is taken. The excitement still has him half-winded. "Glad you know this sort of work. Looks harder than I figured it'd be a first."

«Game» Cross moves into Slit Trench.

Pete has arrived.
Pete arrives from the North.

«Game» Pete moves into Slit Trench.

Cross uses the pickaxe to loosen up the dirt making it easier for shovelling, "Just make sure you shovel the dirt to the east towards the Turks. That way if they shoot at us, we have something to dive behind for cover." The pickaxes continues to stab the ground and more often then not it strikes a stubern rock hidden below the soil. "This is crapy ground to be digging in."

Tanner is assisting Cross with his work on the trenches, though Cross is clearly more able at the job than the medic. "Shovel east. Aye. I can remember that," Tanner says, packing some dirt in on the eastern side of the slit trench. He hunches down into as if he works. As if the reminder that the Turks were over there made him want to duck again. "It's crappy ground for just about anything. It's rough work getting clean, fresh water down to the beach, and the sand and dirt seem everywhere in the tents. It's nothing like how I imagined it'd be. Nothing at all…"

Cross continues to stir up the dirt. Each time that he strikes a rock he winces at the sound that resignates in the air. "I hope the Turks are smoking and joking in their trench line. I would hate to think that this clinking sound might draw some attention our way." Cross unearths a large boulder and with a hefty heave and tosses the rocks onto the western side of the trench. "Make sure you toss the rocks to the backside of the trench. We dont need those things turning into shrapneal if bullets break them appart."

"Shrapnel…aye…" Tanner mutters. Eyeing the rocks around him with a new understanding of their capability to kill him. He begins, quite enthusiastically, tossing them toward the back end of the trench. "So, you were a miner, then? Before you were a soldier, I mean. You from up around Perth? I hear they got lots of mines in that bit of the country."

Pete moves in from the west, cursing under his breath. He slides down into the trench. He instantly crouches down against the wall of the trench. He holds his rifle, in the ready position. "So you boys get much trouble?" He seems to have fully recovered from his wounds; the only evidence is that his head is wrapped in bandages.

Cross isn't to troubled by the sound of someone approaching from the west, but he puts down his pickaxe and grabs his Lee Enfield just incase. When Pete arrives he sets the weapon back down. He turns to Tanner with a grin, "Well we had a little trouble earlier." While being shot at was scarry, it was an adrenalin rush at the same time. Though the experience was probably nothing like having to go up and over the trench wall…that would be something completely different. "I'm about 1000 kilometers north of Perth along the cost, a small little mining town called Carnarvon. I really needed to get out of there. There isn't much of a life outside the mine in that town…well maybe a dock worker, but that isn't much better and you pretty much have to know the right people for that job." A short pause, "Obvousely I didn't." he says showing a bit disgust at his old proffesion.

The sound of cursing makes Tanner look up. Good thing, as he was about to toss a rock in the direction Pete moves in from. He stays his hand until Pete's out of the way, then chucks it. "Trouble? A bit. There's a Turk shooter watching our line, looks like, so keep your head low." He listens with interest to Cross. "The coast?" That sounds appealing to him, whatever the reality. "I always figured it'd be real interesting to live on the coast. You must've seen all sorts of people coming in and off the boats. I'm up from Queensland. My folks've got a farm out in the Darling Downs. It's a day's walk to the nearest town. And the other farms aren't much closer. Sometimes we'd go weeks without seeing anybody but our family and the hands my dad hired."

"The coast isn't bad." Cross replies to Tanner. "We had a lot of boats coming and going. I wasn't all that fond of the out of sailors that came and went. They tended to stir up a bit of trouble from time to time. It wasn't like it was their home town to deail with any consquences that came about." The man shrugs and starts striking away at the ground some more, "Though, it sounds like you were a bit lonely out there on the farm. I wouldn't minded trading you places however. I enjoy reading and I bet I could have gotten a lot solutide in my books out there."

Pete raises his head up a tiny bit, looking for anything living. He squints for a second, peering around the enemy lines. He gets back down and hugs the trench. "Man they're closer then I thought…" He ponders for a minute. "I wonder…" He peeks his head up again, scanning the enemy trench. He pulls his rifle up and puts it on top of the trench and peers down range. Suddenly, *POW*. Pete drops to the floor of the Trench, keeping low. He grabs his rifle from the top of the trench. "I think I saw him!" Pete gasps.

Tanner nods to that. "Aye. My mum came from the city, in Toowoomba." Not exactly a great metropolis, that. "She brought along lots of books she had to the farm, when she married my dad. She used to read stuff like Kipling, or the Arabian Nights, to us in the evening." That makes him chuckle slightly. "I was talking with Doctor Young about that the other day. It's funny to think of reading stories about sultans and genies and stuff, with the Ottomans pointing guns at us…" The *POW* makes him look up, and flinch down a beat later. "Aye. Careful. Turk's got good eyes, that one."

Cross drops to a knee under the cover of the trench line as the shot rings out. The man shakes his head, "I knew the sound of these tools on the rocks would wake 'em up." The soldier places the pickaxe down and grabs his rifle, "Lets hope they don't gey froggy and decide run down here with our pants around our anckles." The soldier racks a round in the chamber of the rifle and slowly pokes his head outside the trench into the darkness to the east. Not seeing a horde of Turks, he ducks back down as quickly as he had poked his head up. "I didn't see anything."

Tanner reaches down to touch the pistol at his hip. Just reminding himself it's there. For a moment he just huddles against the wall of the trenches. Then, taking a deep breath, he forces himself to edge up ever-so-slightly to peek over the edge. He squints out into the dim light, but shakes his head. "I don't see nothing, either. I hear them don't come out until it's all dark. Like bloody phantoms, waiting over there…"

Pete nods over to Tanner. "That's when they usally come it is. Scare the dickens out of you." He glances up, looking around. He shakes his head. "Ok, you lads get back to work. I'll provide overwatch. Just keep low." He moves some dirt out of the way and places his rifle in, aiming toward the enemy trenches. "Maybe they'll get tired of fighting the war and will give up by chirstmas."

"I don't blame them." Cross says as he points over his shoulder to the north. "We have a machine gun up there. I would think twice before facing off with that thing too." The man sets the pickaxe to the side and trades it out for a shovel. He begins digging away at the rocky ground feeling better there is a rifle providing overwatch for him and Tanner. "Christmas? You think we'll be here that long?"

"The officer who helped me sign my enlistment papers figured this'd be over by summer," Tanner says. "I'm just glad I got the chance to do my bit in it while it was still going on. Don't think I'd feel a proper man if I'd have missed this." Despite his words, some of that enthusiasm is starting to sound rather forced. He works some more with his shovel, hunching over as he works to make himself as small as possible.

Pete nods his head. He doesn't take his eyes off of No-Man's Land, but continues to chat, "I assume it'll take that long. The Turks will eventually give up, forcing the Huns to re-evaluate their situation and eventually they'll surrender." He chuckles. at Tanner. "I hope it won't be over by that early. What, it's April right now? Summer would mean June…No, that won't work for me. I need to go home a hero." He scans the trench, and sees a head pop up. "Down!" He hisses to the other two. He pushes himself against the trench wall again.

«Game» It is now night time.

Cross drops to a knee once again ensuring he stays under the cover of the trench wall. Another shovel full of loose rocks is thrown out on the western side of the trench line. "I'll tell you what, not that I'm looking forward to getting home any quicker, but there has to be more to this that this beach. The Russians need to step it up to the north if I can toss in my two cents." The soldier decides to take a five minute break. He slumps back agains the trench wall and kicks his legs out infront of him. Reaching into his shirt pocket he produces a cigarette. "I figure once we finish up here, we'll be put out there in France. Not that I'm a fan of fighting for the English, at least its nice country with lovely women to flirt with when you rotate to the rear."

Tanner ducks down hastily against the trench wall, huddling close against it. His hands are shaking. He clenches his knuckles tighter around his shovel to try and stop it. "A hero. Aye…" he mutters. He nods, somewhat wistfully, to Cross. "France. That's where I figured I'd be going when I signed up. We're fighting the Huns, after all, and that's where the Huns are. I never figured on being shipped to some desert to fight with Turks."

Pete heh's. "I would have thought that the Russians would take care of the Turks, and the rest of us would take care of the Huns and Austrians." He shrugs his shoulders. "Dunno if we'll ever see France." He picks himself up and peeks over the the trench. "Clear." He peers around. "I hate the night time, it's so erie and scary….almost like an ambush waiting to happen…"

"I don't really know what the Russians are doing lolly-gagging around up north, but they need to get in action. Not saying that the ANZAC can't do it themselves, but if Russia stepped up they would be forced to pull back some of their troops off this front." The man shrugs, "Oh well, thats all up to generals that work at echelons beyond reality." He takes a drag off his cigarette and exhales the smoke up into the air. (Cross)

"Out in the dark, like phantoms…" Tanner mutters. More to himself than the others. He doesn't even seem to realize he's spoken aloud. He listens to all this talk of the Russians, expression thoughtful. "It's funny, isn't it? Russians, Turks, Pommys…seems like just about every sort of bloke is fighting in this thing. I never knew the world was so big until I started reading about the war in the papers."

Pete ponders, still watching the Front. "You know, those Turks over there are probably just like us: young, cold and Afraid. It's just weird how politicians use us as pawns in their quest for the ultimate goal: To win the war. They could hear a causualty report and just brush it off and say 'Oh, bad luck.' If they really wanted to end the war, our leaders should get to know the soldier's they are sending into battle to probably die. That way, they'll be more careful and look for a peaceful solution quicker." He shakes his head. "It's just queer."

Cross chirps in at Pete, "Not sure about that one. Those Turks are pretty bad guys from what I've heard. They've launched several attacks against the Russians and the Russians are our allies….not much of one, but still. Just like a scuffle at the bar, you don't let some random bloke pick a fight with your mates…you still step in even if they are the mates you dont like."%rThe man shrugs as he pulls another drag from his cigarette, "I hear you though, I really think those polticians could have handled this better, but I dont think they are as heartless as you think." Having finished his cigarete, Cross flicks out into the bottom of the trench and smuthers it out with his boot.%r

Tanner gives Pete a funny look. "You really think so? I don't know. Can't imagine the Turks're so much like us. They're mates with the Huns, after all, and it was the Huns who started this whole mess." He doesn't get into /how/ they started it. He just sounds quite sure they /did/. "Now we've got to fight them, or the Kaiser'll run over the whole world."

Pete nods his head. "Aye, I see what you're saying. But if you're a Hun, Turk, Russian, American English, wahtever. You're still a servant of god. You're still made up of the samething as everybody else. We all bleed red." He shrugs. "It just depends on how you look at it." He pulls a cigarette from his pocket and lights it up. He takes a drag.

"But these heathens dont even believe in god." Cross replies as he gets back up onto his feet to continue working. "Make sure you smoke that down here in the trench. One of the sergeants will tear you a new ass hole if he sees you smoking up there on the brim. Not sure about you, but one is all I need." Cross then drops the shovel and picks up his rifle, "I'll pull overwatch for you so you can take five."

"Doctor Young told me the Turks look for the light from cigarettes, for sniper targets," Tanner says softly. "Aye. Best keep it low." He doesn't comment on the godliness, or otherwise, of the Turks. The words of both men seem to weigh on his mind. He looks over at Cross. "You need any more help with the diggings? I should be getting back to the aid station soon."

Pete nods his head and sits down on the floor of the trench. He sighs contentedly as he takes another drag of the cigarette. He pulls his canteen from his belt and takes a drink of water. "Thanks Lad." He offers to Cross as he starts to cover No-mans land.

Cross leans up against the edge of the trench with his rifle pointed eastward toward the enemy line. The soldier tries to keep as small of a silloute as possible. "I think we're good here Doc. We just need to start boarding up the walls and we should be good. Best to handle that in during day when you have light and can see what you're doing. Easy way to lose a finger messing with tools in no light."

Tanner can't hold back a sigh of relief when Cross gives him leave to go. He offers a nod to both men, then slips back to the north, winding his way up the line and eventually back to the medical station at the beach.

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