New Orders Digging Of Course

Doktor Schmidt walks up the railway tracks, examining the piles of crates being unloaded with a look of deep dissatisfaction on his thin, aquiline face - it looks perfectly suited for that expression. He shakes his head, muttering, "Incompetent louts…"

von Schlesinger emerges from the latest train, having had an earful from the generals a few miles to the east. They're right behind us - fifteen miles behind us, as they say. The stahlhelm is in his luggage, being dragged out of the train by his adjutant, and as he's planning on making an impression, a monocle is screwed into his eye. He looks around with the scowl a monocle requires to stay in place, and hears a word he doesn't like - 'incompetent' - so he strides over to Herr Doktor. "Who is incompetent now?" he says, hoping this isnt another defeatist in need of some of that discipline Ludendorff talks about.

Doktor Schmidt wheels around in righteous indignation, getting ready to unleash his usual battery of bitter sarcasm at the hapless private who's disturbed his monologue - but his scowl freezes when he sees the hauptmann. The tall doktor makes an effort to assume something like a smile (fairly unsuccesfully), "Ah, Hauptmann. Perhaps you can help me. Some fool of a quartermaster has mislayed my medical gear. I have no laudanum, no sterile bandages, no quinine and only rudimentary instruments." Seeing as this is an officer that he's talking to, he's trying to keep the condescension out of his sharp voice.

"I will check with the supply people as soon as I get an office arranged here. They've been getting lax lately, as we work on the new defensive line." von Schlesinger replies. The obvious thought - that there probably isnt any for the quartermasters to send - is kept deeply buried. He glances around the piles of weapons, that at least is here on time. Then the blue gaze returns to Schmidt. "And you are?".

Doktor Schmidt blinks, adjusting his small, round spectacles. The idea that someone doesn't know who he is, and actually has the temerity to point this out seems to startle him. After a moment, he collects himself sufficiently to say, "Doktor Schmidt. I am the chief surgeon here." He adds self-consciously, after a moment, "The only surgeon, in fact." For once, he doesn't look at all displeased - however short on medical staff they might be, that only means that his star shines brighter! He carefully extends one gloved, long-fingered hand, looking at you expectantly to hear your name. You are wearing a monocle. Thus, you must be one of the Better People.

von Schlesinger is indeed one of the better people. He clicks his heels in respect for the surgeon who is no doubt competent, and then shakes the offered hand. "Hauptmann von Schlesinger. And I must take your leave to inspect the front, such as it is.". Meaning, the field.

Doktor Schmidt shakes Von Schlesinger's hand briefly, before releasing it, and offering a rigid nod to the other man, "Of course. Allow me to accompany you to the front, Herr Hauptmann. I need to find my orderly." He looks a bit disgruntled at that; chasing after AWOL orderlies seems to be, in his own opinion, considerably below his considerable dignity.

A young gent wearing a buffed picklehaube comes striding confidently up towards the Hauptmann. Under his arm is a stahlhelm, it too brushed clean and sooth, even ifin Dachser's opinionit would look positively capital given a proper shine. He clears his throat, rising up to attention and clicking his heels both as a formality and so as not to blindside the Captain from behind. "I have it, Hauptmann," he says in a calm, practiced tone—the words no longer carry much meaning themselves, they're just what you say. "Is there…" his eyes shift to the doctor, then the baggage. With the wrinkled-nose expression that stems from disgust or freshly-trod manure, he finishes the thought: "… something the matter?"

von Schlesinger makes no move to take the stahlhelm, he's not at the front yet. "Ah, Dachser. Nothing is the matter.". He indicates the doctor. "Doktor Schmidt here is apparently our surgeon. We have orders to find a suitable spot west of Mons to dig in, and turn back the enemy advance. I understand that there have been no preparations made at all here as yet, but I want to see the ground for myself before giving any orders.".

A long and muscular looking German is walks in from the doors. He seems to have a Scoped Kar98k, a weapon for snipers is hang in his sholder. The german notices the other group and starts walking towards them, "Greetings." he says, "I am Hermann Schultz. I am a Sniper. I am coming from the front, it seems there is no enemy movement… for now." he says.

"Dachser. Right." Dr. Schmidt offers Dachser a faint nod and a condescending grimace - aka smile - before glancing at Hermann. At the man's words, he raises a black eyebrow, a cold, sardonic smile stretching out his thin lips. "Really? Singular." He waits there for the Hauptmann to get a move on, standing with his back ramrod straight and his head held high. Slouching or relaxing are not things he indulges in.

"Very good, sir." Deftly, Dachser withdraws a map from the messenger's satchel at his side. It is unfolded some, the Hauptman's stahlhelm used as something of an impromptu table. "We are here, sir, and unless I've missed my bearings we'll need to head…" The young man squints, peering down the tracks, then pointing off to the side. "That way, down the trail there. It should provide us a covered approach, so as to catch the troops in… whatever… whatever natural state the last officer left them." It is /not/ said with even passing respect for the former leader.

Hermann shakes his head and notices the Hauptmann, "Herr Hauptmann." he says politely, "I am sorry sir, I didnt notice your rank." he says, he doesnt salute the captain, that is the stupidest thing to do in battlefield. "I will be your scout and your sniper Sir."

von Schlesinger is vaguely irritated by Hermann, because he can surely salute in a train station with bustling Germans all around. "I won't stand for ill discipline, Schutz!" he thunders at him. "You will salute your superiors when not at the front - and this is not the front. I've heard many disturbing reports of ill discipline and its attendant Bolshevism catching on with some of the soldiers, and it won't be allowed to happen in this unit, I can assure you.".

Doktor Schmidt looks at Hermann with mild disinterest, his steel grey eyes flicking from the officer to the Schutz. He doesn't really care one way or the other what the men call each other, and the discipline-enforcing certainly doesn't seem to bother him. He seems a little irritated still to be standing here waiting, but doesn't voice the displeasure that is clearly printed on his thin, aquiline face.

Hermann jumps a bit, as he lands, he salutes the Captain, "I am sorry sir. Wont happen again Sir." he says, "I dont have ill discipline. I was only cautious Sir." he says politely and a bit terrified.

von Schlesinger returns the salute with parade ground perfection. "Fall in, men." he says, addressing Hermann and Dachser. The doctor isnt ordered about, he can follow if he wants, if not, he can stay here. "West, Dachser, I am aware.". And with that, he heads off.

Doktor Schmidt takes a quick, undignified double step to avoid letting Von Schlesinger get before him, taking pains to walk a little to the side, but not behind the other man. From the sharp sideways glance and the surgeon's pursed lips, he's clearly not trying to ingratiate himself with the the hauptmann - rather, he's protecting his ever keen, sensitive ego in not being seen trailing after the monocled man.

Dachser narrows his eyes, peering at the scout in silent support of the Hauptman. As they fall in and follow behind vonSchlesinger, Dachser addresses Hermann. "How long have you been here, soldier?" He is professional enough, though at least he's stopped squinting at the sniper. "Three months? Four?"

Hermann nods his head and drops his salute, he starts walking behind Von Schlesinger, he notices Dachser asks him a question, "I have been in service for about 2.5 months at Southern Front. But I was sent here only recently. It hasnt been more than a week." he answers politely.

At the Front

von Schlesinger leads the small entourage out to the fields west of Mons. WHich are, at the moment, just fields. There isn't much sign of the war here, yet. No trenches, no shell holes. Further west though the rumble of guns can be heard, a few miles away. von Schlesinger squints at the field to the west, which is a particularly big, exposed field, and pauses. "I think here will do.". He then turns his gaze north and south, where other units can be seen hurriedly digging in. "Dachser?".

"Mein Hauptmann!" Dachser replies, dutifully hurrying to vonSchlesinger's side. The map is unfurled again, the surrounding area displayed in monochrome. "We are here, Sir. The artillery is ranged in on these hills to the west, here and here, approximately two kilometres. Those hills, they would be…" Dachser raises a hand to shield his eyes and peers off west, leaning forward a bit as if the extra two inches would make a difference. Sadly, the hills on the map are only hills to a trained topographist.

Hermann hmms and rises his rifle from his sholder and watches the surrounding with his scope, "Would you like me to unattach my Scope and give it to you Herr Hauptmann?" he asks.

Doktor Schmidt stands there on the desolate plain, looking in vain for his orderly - drat it. Finally, he gives up, glancing around himself. With a sardonic smile on his angular, sharp features, he murmurs, "It looks like I will be treating shrapnel injuries soon. Very inconvenient, the ragged ruptures. It's also rather tedious to fish out every little piece lodged inside."

Being out there with the other men, and staying quiet for the moment, Andreas looks around rather carefully. Listening a bit quietly for the moment.

von Schlesinger shakes his head. "No, thats fine, Schutz." he says in reply to Hermann. And to Dascher, he merely nods, looking at the gentle undulations of the Flanders countryside. "I want a trench line constructed along this line as quickly as possible, linking up with our fellows to the north and south. And we have no time to dig hotels and deep dugouts at the moment. As soon as the bare minimum trenches have been dug, start working on a second line behind this one. See to it that the men know, Dascher - and you can start work on it yourself when dismissed, as well.".

"Ah?" Dachser makes a curious little noise as the Hauptman starts describing the defenses. "Ah." Less curious, now that it's been detailed. "Very good, sir. Ideal, in fact. The men will be detailed as they become available. About your personal articles, Hauptmann." He straightens, rolls his shoulders. "I hadn't the time to properly select and detail porters to deliver them to your quarters. If it pleases, I could spare the time to properly move them myself…" Instead of digging, is the unsaid portion.

Doktor Schmidt snorts at Dachser's words from his perch to the side. Hah! Even though the likelihood of him personally being anywhere near a shovel, now or ever, is close to zero. Still, doesn

Hermann hmms, "Shall we start digging now?" he asks as he reaches for his shovel which is at his backpack…

Andreas shakes his head a little as he listens. More digging is the thing to do, it seems. He shrugs a bit, looking between the others for a few moments.

Doktor Schmidt snorts at Dachser's words from his perch to the side. Hah! Even though the likelihood of him personally being anywhere near a shovel, now or ever, is close to zero. Still, doesn't stop him from mocking other people. He glances without much interest to the West where the enemy lines ostensibly are, peeling off his black leather gloves to absently dry-wash his hangs, long fingers rubbing against each other.

"That won't be necessary, Dascher. I'm sure some of the Belgians in Mons have been detailed to help unload the trains at the station. And the front is going to need all the work it can get.". Von Schlesinger looks at the green unbesmirched field rather pointedly. "A more productive use of your time might be to return to the train station and bring the required tools to this point.". He nods at Hermann, but keeps talking to Dascher. "The Schutz over there is a fine example of eagerness and drive. With soldiers like him the Kaiser will eventually prevail!".

"I will return to see if everything is in order at the field hospital. Your soldiers seem to be determined to break my instruments, herr Hauptman." Perhaps that was meant to be humour, but it comes out in the same disapproving, cold voice that seems a part of the Doktor's general act. Schmidt offers a sharp nod to the captain, walking briskly towards the city.

Hermann nods his head proudly, "Thank you sir." he says, "I will get the neccecery tools and get back here to work." he says and starts jogging east…

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