Our Fates Are Black

"Our Fates Are Black"

Who: Dietrich & Falk
When: November, 1918
Where: The German Front Line, the Western Front

What: While on watch, Falk and Dietrich see the body of an unknown solider out in No Man's Land. They reflect on death, hell, the status of their own souls and other such pleasant subjects.

«Game» It is now night time.

German Front Line North
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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.

Sub-Rooms :
2. Front Line Trench
3. Front Line Trench

Contents
Falk - 3. Front Line Trench

Obstacles :
East <E> Wire-6

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

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

Dietrich arrives from the South.

«Game» Dietrich moves into Front Line Trench.

Dietrich slid into the trench tiredly, still bearing his flammenwerfer. "Evening, mein Herr," he muttered, rubbing his eyes as he stared out across the moon-like No-Man's-Land.

*Dietrich's Description*
Dietrich is slightly taller than perhaps the average citizen of the time, standing a 5 foot, 10 inches. He has light, brown hair and, (as his mother always said) soulless[D[D gray eyes. Oddly, Dietrich bares light burns over most of his fingers and a few toes due to his penchant for just about anything that burns, explodes, or eats away. Barring this, he considers himself somewhat handsome, though nothing that would attract crowds. Dietrich is simply a strange man, in a strange world.

Falk is one watch, his rifle slightly raised, his eyes trained on the ghost-like expanse of No Man'sLand. He glances over his shoulder at Dietrich, but only for a moment. His eyes fix directly back on the shell-scorched landscape between them and the enemy. "Evening," he replies, his voice barely above a whisper.

*Falk's Description*
Outwardly, Gerhardt Falk seems to be the archetypal, even ideal, son of Germany. He's on the tall side, just a few inches above average height, with a taut, muscular build that speaks of much time spent on athletics pursuits. He's a young man, probably not yet past his twentieth birthday. His hair is a pale blonde, the color of wheat, cut short around a clean-shaven face most would consider handsome - even boyish. That face is centered by a pair of cornflower blue eyes. It's only in the eyes one might note something … off about this young man. There is a lost look to them, a haunted sadness even a spurt of laughter or a momentary smile can't erase.

This soldier wears the full standard-issued uniform of the German military, clad in the gray fitting service uniform, with his rank indicated on the shoulder straps. Upon his head rests the new pattern steel Stahlhelm, a helmet more famous in the Second World War, and he wears a large overcoat with standing turnover tan leather collar laid over his shoulders. His legs are covered with tan leather breeches, leggings and a pair of tan shoes is donned over his feet.

Dietrich still stared outwards, and he said quietly, "Does it disturb you, knowing were the last? Were it? The last bastion of civilization?" eyes now focusing on Falk with some interest.

«Illumination» A Very light burns out.

Falk does not answer right away. His blue eyes move rapidly back and forth, following the shadows outside the trench. Under the light of the flares. Perhaps it's only his eyes playing tricks. There doesn't seem to be anything out there. But that doesn't lessen the intensity of his gaze. "It is not us," he replies in that same soft, fervent whisper. "It is Germany. It is Austria. It is all our great empire, standing against those barbarians. If I fall, a brother shall replace me. It honors me to be here." After that stint of propaganda he adds, more honestly, "But I cannot call it comfortable."

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

Dietrich laughed for several moments, fingering his flammenwerfer nozzle rapidly. "I look forward to burning the heathens, oh yes, to cinders…Until the fires of Hell purge me clean. You're right; our actions mean little aleways a brother is ready to take our place, and god bless the Volk for that willingness. Our fate, our purpose…is black." he finished, taking a deep breath as he unslung the napalm pack and dropped it with a purposeful crunch.

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

"You do not believe you will see the end of this campaign, then?" Falk asks Dietrich. He tries not to show anymore reaction than that to the man's words. But, in spite of himself, they cause a shudder. "I do not know…" When another flare goes off overhead, his eyes lock on something on the field. A man, it looks like. But not a live one. The body of…someone is laying out there. Toward the middle of the field, his helmet blown off by shelling and bullets. From the trenches, it's impossible to tell whether he's an Allied or Central Powers soldier. "Do you see that?" Falk asks Dietrich, his voice dropping to a whisper again. He points his rifle toward the unfortunate.

Dietrich said, "Brother, we are walking dead." His eyes flitted out to the field, staring at the body. "I see it…Poor devil. Who knows who he was lost to…but does it matter if he is Volk, or if he is an Ally? He is a fellow soldier, nothing more, nothing less." Nodding his head slightly, he raised his hand in a sharp salute to the lost soul.

"It matters…" Falk murmurs. "If he was one of us…he should have a proper burial. The chaplain should see to him. One of theirs…" He trails off. "I suppose his own should give him the same. A fellow soldier. Perhaps…" He goes quiet, following Dietrich's lead and saluting the fallen corpse.

Dietrich says "Shall I go fetch him then?"

«Illumination» A Very light burns out.

Falk considers it, and seems tempted to move himself, but he finally shakes his head. "Nein. We cannot risk it. Best to wait until morning, then tell the feldwebel. If he is one of ours, the night will not make much difference to him out there. One of theirs…" He trails off, shaking his head. "It would be too big a risk to our own lives. And I suppose it no longer matters much to him."

Dietrich chuckled again. "I honestly think death can't be that bad, because, really, if you've ever seen a skull…They all smile. Maybe it's because they realize life's just one big joke?" he said, laughing harder with a morbid grin on his face.

"Perhaps they smile because they are beyond all this. The pain, the trenches, the fear of death…" His eyes remain locked on the body out in No Man's Land. "Did you believe what you said before? That our fates are black? That only the fires of hell shall purge us clean?"

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

Dietricheyes blinked, and he said slowly, "Our fates…are to kill then be killed. Even if we win…we sack their country, burn their lands, sow salt across their fields…what do we expect at home? Wheelchairs, worried looks, horrific nightmares…Though the part about hell was for me. I'm not sure, but I'm sure you're not past redemption yet. I…am fire, live by fire, and fire will live me. I wear my death on my back," he finished, staring at the iron napalm containers beside him.

«Illumination» A Very light burns out.

Falk shakes his head. He doesn't look at Dietrich when he does it. His thoughts seem as much inward as outward. "None are past redemption. The priests say it is so. We do what we are ordered to do. And we do it to save our country. Our families. Whatever you have done…Whatever I have done…" He swallows, hesitating before speaking again. "…we have only followed orders. That cannot damn a man."

Dietrich eyes seemed to go far away as he spoke now, and said, "What if you were ordered to burn churches, full of howling babushkas? To purgate trenches of God-fearing Frenchman? Is that still following orders? Is there a point when a man that follows orders blindly becomes a God-less wretch?" he asked, hand now fumbling in his pocket for something.

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

"You had no choice," Falk says firmly. An almost desperate firmness. He's clinging to this truth of his. "And it was for the greater good. For Germany. For the glory of our nation and the safety of our people. The French, the Russians, the English…they would do all that and more to us if they had the chance. When there is peace, then we shall find God again. Then…then we shall all ask forgiveness."

Dietrichcackled for a moment, then said it aloud his thoughts; "You just said it! God isn't present to us, not in this hellish Purgatory. If he were here, he might swoon at the sight of his men choking on invisible gas, being ordered to their obvious deaths, losing their feet in muddy, dead-ridden trenches…No-Man's-Land is also a land devoid of God…".

«Illumination» A Very light burns out.

"Purgatory…yes…" Falk says, nodding slightly. "But, if it is purgatory, there is still a chance for redemption. I cannot believe our fates our so certain, my friend. More than death awaits us. There is still a chance to live…a chance to claim some glory…"

Dietrichlooked over at him with a glance that one might wear when talking to a child you thought a bit slow. "Comrade, friend, brother…The only glory you'll find here will be written on a tomb. America, Britain, France, they out-number us to the point where no hope remains…Germany sits like a wounded, gutted Boar. Still snarling, snapping, but effectively dead… The Ottomans have fallen, Austria is routed, and our very Germany stands besieged. If you want to live, stand up slowly, climb from this trench, and walk across with your arms held high and pray they don't fire." he said, laughing bitterly.

"That is a lie!" Falk's voice rises from its previous whisper to a yell. He turns on Dietrich, swirling from No Man's Land to face his comrade in arms. His face is fixed in righteous anger. "That is a defeatist lie," he repeats, dropping his voice again. It doesn't do to yell in the trenches. "And you would be strung up if the officers heard you talk like that."

«Game» It is now dawn.

Dietrich laughed, long and hard. "Look around you, friend. Surely when you were shipped out, you saw the piles of dead, wounded, gassed, and maimed? There is no one left, no vanguard of young German men to replace our fallen comrades! Most of us are far too old, or far too young to fight… And tell me…why do we fight in the very Fatherland if hope remains? Should we not be on the shores of Britain now, crushing the Briton barbarians? Instead, we sit in these rivers of blood they call trenches, as wave after wave of fresh, able-bodied enemies hurl themselves at us, while we rot. String me up, save me the agony of watching the Deutschland's death throes!"

Falk stares at Dietrich, shaking with anger. For a moment, he tenses as if he might strike the other man…but he does not. What he does do is shake his head in disgust. "You are mad," he says firmly. He looks up at the sky, watching the first lights of dawn come. "My watch is over." With that, he starts to walk away. Back to his bunk, to get some sleep.

Dietrich merely nodded, then said simply, "If I am a madman, I hope I never regain my sanity…"

Falk can't resists adding, as he goes, "You are wrong! The Fatherland is not broken, and there is still a chance for us to live. And there is still a chance for glory. I will take it, if you will not." With that, he strides off, down the muck and mud of the trenches.

Dietricheyes lost focus, and he sang softly, "Deutschland…Deutschland…Deutschland ueber alles, am besten…"

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