Paris By Spring

"Paris by Spring"

Who: Falk and Friedrich
When: November, 1918
Where: The German Front Line, Belgium

What: Falk and Friedrich share and drink and smoke in the trenches. They talk of the bad liquor, worse food and generally terrible conditions. With all that going for them, both are convinced the German army cannot fail to win the war.

German Front Line North
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The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION < < <


Coordinates : 2 1

A flat plain of short grass stretches out around you, broken by the occasional bush or tree. It is rather exposed out here, the grass being too short to hide in, and cover too sparse to hide behind.

It is currently night time but the light of a flare provides illumination.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Reserve Trench
2. Slit Trench

Contents
Falk - 1. Reserve Trench
Friedrich - 1. Reserve Trench

Obstacles :
East <E> Wire-6
West <W> East <E>
South <S>

Falk is crouched in the trench, an Imperial Army-issue blanket wrapped tightly around his shoulders, to keep as much of the chill out as he can. He's not on duty at the moment, but it can't be said he's really at rest. He's just staring up at the flare-lit sky, and what little he can see of the war-scorched land illuminated beneath it.

"Shoo!"
A slight sneeze comes from the man in a medic's livery as he hops down into the trench, propping his back up against the side not far from Falk. He offers him a tip of the cap he wears on his head and a friendly smile, "Cold enough for you?"

«Illumination» A Very light burns out.

Falk looks up sharply at the sound of the sneeze. He doesn't twitch. He's not a raw recruit. But his reaction speaks of the raw nerves one gets in the trenches after awhile. "Cold. Yes," he replies with a frown and shrug, to tighten the blanket around him. "I swear it to God, November was not near so bad back home."

"Well," says Friedrich as he settles down in the trench and produces a cigarette from inside his coat, "Back home I doubt you spent much time outside with people shooting at you. But then again, I haven't been everywhere."
Another grin is offered before he fetches a match and carefully, down and away from the sight of any snipers, he lights the cigarette. He holds it down low at his hip as he blows the smoke out into the frigid night air, apparently very used to the cold weather.
"Just be thankful you aren't back on the East line. Then you'd know the meaning of cold."

"True enough, on both counts," Falk says, following Friedrich's hands as he lights that cigarette. "I do not suppose you could spare one? A cigarette, I mean. It does something for warmth. Or at least occupies the hands."

"Oh I don't know," says Friedrich incredulously before laughing quietly and offering the lit cigarette to Falk, fetching a fresh one from his coat and proceeding to light it.
"Who'd you piss off to get this nice seat?"

Falk chuckles softly, talking the cigarette and putting it promptly between his lips. "I volunteered, in truth," he says dryly. "I have been promoted, you see. I am Gefreiter now." He does sound somewhat proud as he says it. "I thought, perhaps, I was needed on the line." He shrugs, smoking. "My father always said I could be a great fool." He and Friedrich are both hunkered down in the trench, smoking.

«Illumination» A Very light goes off over the battlefield!

"Looks pretty quiet and that's always a good thing. Less work for me."
Friedrich blows out a plume of smoke and watches it curl up into the air, shrugging his shoulders and staring lazily forward.
"Do you have any food up here? I could eat a horse."

Falk shakes his head, rather mournfully. "There is little to go around, and none of it has come my way tonight. But do not joke of eating horses." He shudders. "I would believe the sergeants would think it a fine idea, if things continue on like this." He falls quiet for a moment, blowing smoke into the night air, though he's careful to keep the light of his cigarette behind his hand. In case a sharp-eyed Allied sniper is looking out for things like that.

"I wouldn't look too closely in the stew at the mess then; I think part of it used to pull a wagon for a living."
As good-natured as ever, Friedrich reclines back in the trench and continues to smoke - his own cigarette expertly hidden by years of experience. After a long, drawn out puff he turns and extends a hand to Falk.
"Friedrich."

«Illumination» A Very light burns out.

Falk frowns, looking half sick at the idea. "My father drove a cab in Hamburg. I did not think I would see the day when eating horse would be something I'd have to consider. There is much I did not think of before I came to this place." He reaches out to take the extended hand, shaking it firmly. "Gerhardt. Gerhardt Falk. Lately of Hamburg, though it has been many years since I have seen my city."

"Hamburg, hmm? Well, my papa was a fisherman but I don't think I've had fish in six years. Not that I miss it all that much."
The young medic finishes off his cigarette and snuffs it out in the earth beside him, "Oh well, I'm sure we'll get our break soon enough. Then its roast pork in Paris for everybody."

"I never cared much for fish," Falk says with a wry smirk. "I suppose I do not have to worry about eating such things here." He does some more smoking, savoring the cigarette as much as he can. "Paris. Yes." He nods firmly, and truly sounds as if there was no doubt in his mind of seeing it soon. "The enemy cannot hold out much longer. Not through this." As if the German trenches aren't facing exactly the same thing.

"Of course not," says Friedrich plainly, shrugging his shoulders, "Nor should they expect to. After all, who do they think they are?"
Friedrich reaches into his jacket and pulls out a flask that was probably once shiny silver but has been smeared in black paint - probably to keep it from catching the light. He opens it and takes a swig before offering it to Falk.
"Well, if they're not going to do anything tonight lets have a little drink."

Falk hesitates but only for a second. He grins, actually looking his young age, and takes the flask. He swigs from it deeply before handing it back. "It is funny. Before coming to the front I did not smoke or drink. Now…" he shrugs. "…but that seems very long ago. Before."

"You think you've changed. I was a medical student. I wouldn't even think of drinking in excess. But then again, you need it. Especially after the Russians."
The jovial medic suddenly appears very sullen, staring off into space and shaking his head before taking another sip and snapping out of it.
"Not quite the finest brew but the best you can get from old potato peels fermented through socks."

Falk laughs. "It is fine enough for the trenches. At least it warms the bones some." He reaches for the flask again. "A medical student?" He sounds moderately impressed. "That is something I could never do. So much schooling. And the blood." Another short laugh. "It is strange. After all this time, I still do not care for the sight of blood."

"Yes," says Friedrich, nodding, "In Konigsberg. But then this started and I thought well somebody has to teach the Russians a lesson and then when that was over they shipped me out here. Not by way of a beer hall, of course."
"But yes, a medical student. I think I might take it up again when I get home and they've finally given up trying to fight us."

«Illumination» A Very light goes off over the battlefield!

"I don't know what I will do back home," Falk says. "If I ever see home again. I am not so certain that shall happen." He takes a deep swig of the flask, then passes it back.

"Oh of course it will. They can't hold out forever. Maybe find some little lady? Eh?"

A conspiratorial wink is given before Friedrich goes back to looking out over No Man's Land, "You'd think they'd be smarter than the communists and give up."

Falk flushes, nodding. "I have a girl," he admits. "Though I have not seen her in much time. Diana. She still writes, though. I do hope to marry her, if I get out of all this alive. What of you? Do you have a girl?"

«Illumination» A Very light burns out.

"No, not me. Well, there is one but I wouldn't say I'm looking to marry her just yet. She's in Berlin now but she used to live in Konigsberg. She writes too but I don't get much time to write back."

Friedrich grins broadly, "You should be happy I'm here. You've got a much better chance of getting out of things alive, now."

Falk nods at that. "It is the truth of it. I have seen medics bring back men from No Man's Land I thought surely dead. It is not something I could do myself."

"You get used to it."
Friedrich finishes off the last dregs of the flask and returns it to his coast, producing after it a small and battered paper case containing six hand-rolled cigarettes.
"I'll tell you what. Take these and maybe next time I'm catching up on some unauthorized sleep you look the other way?"

Falk takes the cigarettes with a nod, and a less-than-regulation salute. "You have my word on it. And my thanks. If I find some food by chance that did not ever pull a cart, I shall seek you out to share it. Men must stick together in this cursed place."

"Indeed," says Friedrich simply, leaning back against the trench and tugging the brim of his cap down over his eyes while wrapping his arms around himself.
"Don't worry, it'll be over soon enough."

"Soon enough," Falk agrees. "Whatever becomes of us, the Fatherland cannot fail. We are Germans, after all." And that, it seems, is all that needs to be said about that for him.

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