What Monsters In The Dark

Where: Mediana
Who: Crocetti, Duncan, Elizabeth, Marchand, Vaclav, William
When: August 30, 1937

The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION < < <

Coordinates : 5 5

The more prominent buildings are constructed of a pale brown, ruddy stone, while the poorer structures are wrought of plain wood, plaster and shingle. Civilians have long since fled the town, leaving soliders, and rats as the only occupants.

It is currently night time.

Sub-Rooms :
1. House

It was still dark, and the floor smelled of bile and dust.

One of the many facts warring for attention in Elizabeth's regained consciousness, was the knowledge that she's not alone. A man (by the voice), was crouched beside her, asking in french accented english, "Madame? Can you hear me?" before looking out the open doorway and shouting, "Comrades! Over here!"

And given the last thing that Elizabeth remembered before the glorious pain-free blackness claimed her was unfamiliar men's voices, who can really blame the woman for whimpering softly and trying to shift away in such a manner as to protect herself from further pain. She remembers the pain. Then again, the whimper turns into a choked cry of agony when she tries to move…apparently, that's a bad idea. Her mind fuzzy, she seems unable to remember quite why she's in pain, or quite why she's afraid of the unknown voice…

More bootsteps approach, and the fright of the unfamiliar man builds intot he fright of three or four unfamiliar men. At the pained cry from Elizabeth, further words are exchanged among the strangers. "Back.. found her… stretcher quickly.." A moment later the first voice returns to Liz, with a steady hand on her shoulder, "Just lie still madame. We take you back, soon."

Elizbeth remains on her side, slightly curled into the fetal position, her body naturally finding the position which hurts the least. But as the voices multiply, it dawns on Lizzie that they don't hold the same icy viciousness the ones she remembers did.

It's likely unclear what's wrong with her, given the lack of blood and obvious wounds, and the fact that the woman is fully dressed, so not even -that- could be assumed to be the problem. Probably some fainting spell, right? But as the French accented voice tries to assure her, she swallows and in perfect, albeit breathy, jilted French, "Aidez moi…s'il vous plait, a…aidez moi. Ne laissez pas eux me blesse…" Help me…please, help me. Don't let them hurt me…

In low, calming tone, she is answered in french, "Hush, hush.. No one will hurt you, Madame.." Slipping into english he looks aside and voices, "Quickly!" Back to Elizabeth, in french, "We're going to put you on a stretcher, madame. Just a moment.." The soliders may have no idea whats wrong with her, but really; better safe than sorry. One man couches at her head, a grip taken below Liz's bottom shoulder, another at her feet, gripping beneath the knees..

Well, at least no one will hurt her on purpose.

On purpose or not, being moved hurts. A lot. And the pitiful cry from the photographer as she's lifted onto the stretcher indicates that, yes, it hurts. Even if they don't try to turn her over onto her back, a small blessing though it may be. The scream from Elizabeth fades almost before it's done, replaced by half-choked sobs. The woman seems to be having difficulty breathing, which would explain the breathy screams and half-sobs.

There are sympathy winces from the men moving her, at Elizabeth's scream, and no sooner is she lifted from the ground, than the stretcher is slipped beneath her, and the Aussie is let lie on her side as short, fast words are given to coordinate, and the stretcher is lifted from the ground. The young frenchman holds the door open for the stretcherbearers to pass, a summer breeze whipping down the streets lit only by moon and stars. They move back toward the K Company camp, to the south of Mediana.

The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION < < <

Coordinates : 5 5

The more prominent buildings are constructed of a pale brown, ruddy stone, while the poorer structures are wrought of plain wood, plaster and shingle. Civilians have long since fled the town, leaving soliders, and rats as the only occupants.

It is currently night time.

Sub-Rooms :
1. House

About two hours after sundown, four of the K Company soliders who had been sent out looking come back with a stretcher carried between two of them. They move directly toward the aid station, with thier burden: Elizabeth lying on the stretcher, curled up on one side.

Not that Elizabeth looks like she needs to be carried. There's no blood, no wounds visable, nothing to indicate that there is a reason for the photographer to be brought in on the stretcher. But brought in she is. She makes no noise as she's brought in, no screams or sobs. That's a good thing, right?

Vaclav is standing again, one hand braced on the nearby wall, glowering at the quartet of soliders who march in with thier stretcher. Narrow blue eyes fixing on the woman being carried, before flicking back up to address the foremost of the four men: "Report."

Crocetti is seated a little distance away carefully cleaning his rifle. He looks up, and over at the soldiers with the stretcher, and at the stretcher, and then at the corporal. Hearing the man's words, he looks back to the soldiers, quietly.

The solider who answers is a clean shaven young brigadier, whose english carries a distinct french accent. He salutes before answering, "Comrade Corporal, we found her in a house near the river. She screamed whenever she moved, so I thought-" The solider glances back at Elizabeth, without finishing his words.

Marchand comes in from the west, quietly, his rifle now slung over his shoulder after spending all day on sentry duty in the westernmost section of Mediana.

Duncan is working on some of the wounded soldiers, a bit off in the background somewhere. He hasn't noticed the one brought in yet, it would seem.

Oh, voices she knows. Even if they aren't, perhaps, the voices she wants to hear. But Elizabeth stirs slightly as she hears Vaclav's words. As she's brought into the aide station, it's clear to see that the normally clean woman is covered in dust and dirt, and the acrid smell of vomit likely wafts from her. But there's no blood, so it must be alright. Right?

Vaclav raises his fist to return the salute (other hand keeping himself braced against the wall), frowning deeper and nodding once slowly. "Set her down. Where is doctor?" the czech raises his voice to bark that last, narrow blue eyes going about to find someone vaguely medical in nature standing around. "What is wrong?" right hand curtly indicating Elizabeth.

While one brigadier is concluding his report to Vaclav, another pair who carry Liz on a stretcher between them move to obey the command, finding a vacant cot or bench to set the stretcher down upon.

Marchand starts to speak to the corporal, to give his report on his duty to the west most likely. But spotting what seems to be a female in this now-captured town looking out of place captures his attention to gawk for a moment, his angle unable to make out her face. "A local?"

Crocetti frowns a little as he gets to his feet, moving further over towards the others after a moment, staying quiet for now.

The Doctor? Duncan hears those words far back in his mind, as he keeps on examining the patient, muttering something to himself. It seems that he believes some other doctor will walk over to the others, or something.

"No," Vaclav rumbles flatly in answer to Marchand, looking sidelong back at the american as he mutters, "Is Elizabeth." A thought occurs to him, "Comrade Marchand. You medic. What wrong?"

Elizabeth simply remains where she is, a soft whimper sounding from the photographer as her stretcher is set down, even that slight bump apparently causing her pain. And then the whimper grows in volume as the Aussie's already half-fetal position tightens up, and she cries out in pain.

Marchand squints, "Elizabeth?" and quickly after, drawing in a breath, "Rothschild the photographer's wife and partner?" He starts moving in the direction of the curled woman, "I'm not really a medic, just some first aid training. She needs a real doctor, probably, if she's hurting inside."

Crocetti listens quietly at the moment, frowning a little. He looks between Vaclav and Marchand for a few moments, and then over to Elizabeth again. "Sounds like something's quite wrong," he offers, quietly

Vaclav growls, a bit sharply to Marchand, "Just find out what fucking wrong." Looking aside he barks again, "Where is doctor?"

That poor soldier that Duncan is examining grimaces, as the doctor's started telling one of those many stories from back in his past, now. Looks like someone should 'save' that poor guy by distracting the doctor?

While the cry of pain is easily identifiable as such, it's…odd. It lacks volume and strength, as if Elizabeth doesn't have the breath in her body to support t he expression of agony.

Marchand kneels down beside the female's buckled body, his eyes looking her over quickly for an initial glance. The helmet's off now, his own features recognizeable. "Elizabeth, can you hear me?" in a steady controlled voice. His hand lifts and reaches over to snap fingers at each side of her head, as if watching for reactions. "She's bruised pretty badly, corporal, but I don't see any wounds to bandage yet. I'd have to check under her clothes to be sure."

Crocetti frowns as he listens, moving a few steps back again, and looking around for a few seconds.

"Then check!" Vaclav barks to Marchand, before looking back angrily at the still distracted doctor. Getting so angry is likely bad for his head wound, but at the moment the big czech cares little. Keeping the one hand braced on the wall for a moment, he steps away and stalks toward Duncan, taking firm hold of the physician's arm with tight fingers and pulling the venerable fellow around. "New. patient." he mutters through closed teeth.

Duncan is in the middle of telling the patient he was dealing with something, before he looks at Vaclav. "Really? Looks quite the opposite to me," he replies quietly, before his brain registers one of those words, "Ah, so that's what you said… Who, and where?" he asks, starting to move in the direction the young Czech indicates.

The snapping fingers are a bit unnecessary, as Elizabeth opens her eyes at the first one. They're clear, focused, but filled with pain as she looks up at Marchand's familiar face. "W..what did th..they do," she stammers breathlessly. Her shirt has worked itself part way up her abdomen with her movements, revealing what look to be numerous red welts, several of which already appear to be bruising…

Marchand glances down, to study the welts with just his eyes for a second. He's kneeling over Elizabeth, doesn't even have his small standard-issue first aid kit out yet. The American nods to her question. "That's what I need you to tell me, Elizabeth." He squints a bit as his eyes return lower. "You were whipped? Those looks like welts." Despite the corporal's words, he does not pull clothing away further. "Please, tell me what happened. Tell me what you remember happened, and where it hurts."

Rothschild legs it up to the aid station in the company of a pair of K Company soldiers. The reporter looks strained. To put it mildly. His clothes are even more rumpled, not to mention dusty, and he's missed several days of shaving. It's more than that, though. There's a wild-eyed look of mixed panic and anger about him. "I don't care what your damn corporal wants!" he tells one of his escorts shortly. "If he's done a thing to my wife, so help me I will take his head off with my own two hands." The merry little party is still a ways away from where Elizabeth is being treated.

"I don't know," Elizabeth responds softly to the American, tears glittering brightly in her eye. Someone needs to tell the photographer to suck it up. She wasn't even shot this time! And the soldiers around her aren't crying. Bah! "He t..told me to tell Ben…he'd have t..to take the courier…and then…god it hurt…" Hardly the detail that Marchand was likely looking for…

"There," Vaclav rumbles, pointing toward where Liz has been set. Vaclav does'nt cross the floor along with Duncan, instead just keeping his feet and his balance for a moment. Expression dark, he looks out the still open door at Rothschild's exclaimation. "Hrm," the czech mutters flatly.

Crocetti frowns a little as he hears Rothschild's words. "You don't look like a seven foot tall monster to me, signore," he offers a bit quietly to the man, shaking his head a bit.

Duncan nods, and makes his way over towards the new patient, and Marchand, frowning a little bit. "What do we have here?" he asks, quietly.

Phillip wanders back into the house from, oh hell does it really matter where he's been anyway?

Marchand scratches the close-cropped hair at the side of his head. "He?…courier?" and stops after a moment of that. "Let me see if there's any bleeding. I need to check if you're bleeding." and tries to gently turn her on her side, checking both front and back's view of the clothing she wears for any indication of bloodstains on the blouse or lower garments. "Doctor?" he stops, quickly looking up as he sees the man near. "She's been attacked, hurt by what looks like a whip or maybe more. I don't know any details. She needs to be checked more fully." The American begins to lift back, making way for the doctor. "She might appreciate a blanket." muttered on the side to Crocetti. "She's a man's wife, and deserves decent treatment."

Elizabeth remains on her side, unable (or unwilling) to lay on her back, making Marchand's visual inspection easier. There is no blood on her blouse but, if he looks really closely, he may see the faint sheen of moisture, possibly blood, on her slacks, in the groin and upper thigh area and dotting the bed she lays on. As Marchand stands, a shudder seems to run down Elizabeth's spine and she tenses up, another cry of pain lifting from the woman to flavour the air.

Phillip blinks some, looking down and then opts to move out of the way. If he, or any of his supplies are needed, he'll be here.

As he hears that, and sees the state of the patient, Duncan's frown turns into something in between a scowl and a glare for a few moments. "Who did this?" he asks, as he nods a little bit at Marchand's words, and turns to glance around for a few moments. "You!" This said while gesturing at Phillip. "Get us a blanket, at once."

Rothschild pays little heed to Crocetti as he storms his way into the aid station proper, though the comment certainly doesn't improve his mood. The K Company men deliver him to Vaclav but, aside from tensing briefly as if about to hit the Czech, he doesn't pay the man much notice. Elizabeth's screaming rather distracts. "Oh my God…" he says, elbowing his way toward her bed. "Lizzie?" His stubbled face has gone chalk white.

Phillip blinks some and then ahs and nods. Reaching back, he slips his pack off and pulls his own red blanket he keeps rolled up there off. Holding it out to Duncan, he just waits for the doctor to take it.

Vaclav glares flatly back at Rothschild, but takes no steps toward the man, nor does he interefere in the orders of the (finally!) doctor at work. Simply observing from a slight distance, the grim corporal watches in silence.

Marchand hears the voice, and turns to be sure of the face that he expects. "Jersey" spoken out firmly. The American starts moving towards the man to attempt to moderate any sudden physical reaction that make take place when Elizabeth's seen. "She's been hurt, but the doctor's looking at her now. Let's let the doctor do his best. She's not really able to talk very clearly right now."

Rothschild shakes off Marchand, all but ignoring the man. He's not in a moderating mood right now. As Elizabeth is busy with the doctor, he descends on Vaclav instead. "What did you do to her?" he asks starkly. He's clearly made up his mind Vaclav was somehow involved in whatever happened to his wife.

Phillip hmms some, walking over. There's not much he can do, but what little he has may help. Never saying a word, he nods some at no one in particular; and then sets about digging sulfa packs out of his pockets. Sulfa, gods, does he ever run out of that stuff? Even so, he gives what he can see a good dusting before looking around at the crowd. Clearing his throat finally, he looks at the woman over whom his red blanket was draped and then says simply as a doctor comes in. "I think, perhaps we all should leave them alone for a bit. You too sir…" he says, though more directly to Roths. Oh yes, he's so asking to get smacked.

Vaclav keeps Rothschild's eye as the american storms over toward him. A moment's pause, punctuated by a slowly drawn breath, "Thirty minutes ago, she ask me tell you: Servicio de Investigacion Militar take her from here." such is the first answer he gives the reporter.

Marchand makes no attempt to hang on to Rothschild after the point he's shaken off. A look over to the corporal for a moment, as if to leave imprint the impression of 'he's yours to deal with now', and then Marchand returns to assisting the doctor who is examining her. Never formally trained as a medic, never given any rank or position or status of one, the American rifleman still does seem able to assist in field dressings and helping clean her skin off gently with a rag wet from canteen water to make examination easier.

Despite the pained cries to be raised by the movement, the medical staff seek to roll Liz onto her back, and stretch her legs out to gain a better look at the injuries. Concerns over modesty are not the concerns of doctors, and Elizabeth's dirties blouse is unfastened. The first sight revealed in not a pretty one: the skin is already blackening, and bruising from a series of vicious welts across her abdomen, and wrapping around from the back. Specks of blood seep up through the pores in places, but nowhere is the skin broken. The flesh of her abdomen is misshapen by the raised welts and lumps of abused tissue.

"The SIM…?" Ben had to suspect it. He had to be pretty assured of it, given the state of things in Spain right now. But to hear it said, to have it be true, and to see and hear the affects of it…he wasn't prepared for that. He shudders, catching one palm against a wall to keep himself steady. "Oh my God…"

The forced movement onto her back has another strangled cry coming from Elizabeth, and when the welts are revealed, it's rather obvious -why- it hurts her to lay on her back.

"Yes," Vaclav confirms with a flat, deep tone. "The SIM. She has said nothing since coming here, not know what they want, or say." His clear blue stare slips from the american at the fresh round of pained cries, jaw tightening (and frown deepening) at the sight of the Aussie's injuries.

Marchand lifts the red blanket, holding it out to sheild Elizabeth's modesty with one hand as he uses the other to assist the medical corpsman in examining her skin. He's unable to hear the corporal's talk of the S.I.M. from his position. "Calm, Elizabeth. Stay calm, Lizzie. I know it hurts, but there's a doctor here now. He'll know what to do."

Phillip slowly turns, walking silently out past the corporal. He gives the man a look, one that rather says that if he could catch one of the SIM here and now; well it wouldn't be pretty and there sure wouldn't be a body to send home.

The recitation of the medical staff behind the cover of the blanket *might* be construed as posative: "The ribs don't look broken. No lascerations or abrasions. Deep tissue bruising. From the degree of damage, internal injuries are possable." A pause, "What is that- is that blood? Get that off, now.."

Rothschild shudders again, swallowing hard, forcing himself not to look away from Elizabeth. "Those fucking bastards…" He doesn't shout it. He just rasps it, his voice thick. "What was damn the point? What kind of person does that to a woman? What kind of monster is capable…?" He takes a deep breath, visibly pulling himself together. "Lizzie? Sweetheart? You're going to be all right. It's…it's over now." He doesn't sound quite like he believes that last part.

Marchand keeps the blanket lifted, even from the view of Rothschild and any other not of the medical corps. At the doctor's insistance, he lowers his free hand to the snap of her slacks, hesitating there as he builds the nerve to finally unsnap them and draw them lower. "Gotta let the doctor see. I'm sorry." to her.

Elizabeth doesn't fight the medical staff, though now that the doctor mentions it, it -does- look like there's blood. And when Marchand helps the staff, and her slacks are removed, it's clear there's blood, and a fair amount of it. And it's coming from a spot where a woman should only bleed one time a month. This can't be good.

Vaclav makes no answer to Rothschild's rasping words, remaining at a distance as the reporter turns his thick words toward Elizabeth. A slowly drawn breath, and he turns his blue regard away from the patient and into the spanish night outside.

Confusion etches the features of the doctor, as he instructs, "Nurse, clean that up. I-" A pause, as a combat physician fresh out of the university is faced with something he's not treated before. "Internal hemorrhage.. Ah- The.. kidneys maybe?"

Marchand lifts his eyes to see to whom the physician might've spoken to. If a nurse, part of the medical corps team, is present, Marchand does his part by keeping the blanket lifted and making sure it's moved and adjusted to not be in the medical team's way. "She'd married, doctor. Already has one child." A simple statement of facts, perhaps, but possibly a hint at more. He sadly looks up to Rothschild's worried presence after releasing he'd likely been heard.

Rothschild can't do much for his wife now. He just leans heavily against the wall, his eyes on the blanket. Whatever he can picture going on behind it probably isnt' as bad as the reality.

Vaclav moves slowly toward the open door, one used for steadiness on a table here, or the wall there, until the corporal nears the door out, stoic frown unsoftened.

"Not the kidneys, the blood is'nt diluted any.. Oh-" The doctor's audible thought process pauses briefly, as he leans closer to the injured woman to ask quietly..

The doctor inquires, "Ma'am, when was your last cycle?"'.

Elizabeth looks up at the doctor with teary eyes, cheeks wet from the tears, "T…two or three months…" she answers.

Marchand glances back down to the doctor, nodding quietly with a worried frown on his face. He then averts his eyes from Elizabeth's more personal area and undergarments, looking back to Rothschild as he keeps the blanket held steady now. "Do you have any idea who might've wanted to do this, Ben?"

The doctor nods once, and whispers, "I'm sorry," to Liz before leaving instructions for the nurse, and rising to his feet. "Sir, you're her husband?" he addresses Rothschild.

And that seems to be enough for Liz. She may be in pain, but the photographer isn't stupid, and she doesn't have a brain injury. "No…no!" And the horror in her voice is even greater than the pain. "BEN!" A desperate cry for support from so meone she needs rather desperately right now.

"Who do you think did this, Frank?" Rothschild retorts tersely, anger coming back into his voice now that the shock of all this has worn off some. He's not privy to a lot of what's going on behind the curtain, after all. "Your boss' friends at the SIM. Dammit, I…" He clenches his jaw shut, to speak with the doctor, but he can't get too deep into that before Elizabeth shouts for him. "Lizzie." He moves to go to his wife's side. "I'm here. It's okay. It's over now." He means that to be comforting.

Marchand doesn't block Rothschild's move to be close to Elizabeth, moving the blanket just enough for it to be lifted to shield once more right after his passage. "My boss has no friends at the SIM." spoken in a dark voice, lowered. "She's not in the brigades, not army. What could the special police want with her?" His eyes then glance to Rothschild's face, and more quietly, "Unless someone she was close to…was being sought instead." in not much more than a whisper.

The doctor looks after Rothschild, as the reporter rushes to his wife's cotside. Stepping slowly after Ben, the physician sets a hand on the american's shoulder and leans close to whisper, in his ear.

Elizabeth wants nothing more than to reach up and be pulled into Rothschild's arms, but that's not something that' about to happen is it? "I'm sorry," she chokes, fresh tears overflowing down her cheeks as she does lift her hands towards the reporter. As if it were her fault. Call it a mother's instincts…

The doctor whispers, "I'm sorry sir, but she's suffered a miscarriage."

Vaclav stands near the door of the aid station, staring with a black expression out of the building and into the darkness outside. One hand is braced on the doorjamb, and the corporal's only motion is the rising and falling of his shoulders in slow, even breaths.

William is walking patrol yet again as always, with the two same Comrades as yesterday. He stops as he sees the Corporal near the doorway and curiously peeks through the open door. The Comrades besides him do the same.

Vaclav shakes his head once. "Photographer. The men found her on the riverfront, in bad shape." Narrow blue eyes fix on William, frowning. "Stay outside unless hurt, Comrade," he rumbles flatly.

But Rothschild's hand doesn't seem to be enough for Elizabeth. Despite the pain it causes, Lizzie tries to roll onto her side, eyes closing as she reaches for him, blindly seeking the comfort she seems to expect to find in his arms.

William nods at the Corporal, but he isn't in the aid station at all, having stood next to the hulking Czech. "Well, at least she's still alive…" he murmurs to the rest, trying to not be negative. But it is already bad as it is that sugarcoating it was futile. "What did they do to her?" he presses, curiously. He doesn't see the woman's body, since the intimates were shielding the view from those standing outside.

Sadly, there is little beyond simply cleaning that can be done for Elizabeth's condition, and so at this point, the medical staff withdraw to a respectful distance to allow Ben and Liz as much privacy as can be had in a battlefield hospital, returning to thier previous tasks for the moment.

Rothschild barely seems to notice the exit of the medical staff. He still has that numb look about him. He's seen a lot of bad things, even evil things, since he came to Spain. And before Spain. But this…this is probably the worst of it. He says nothing. He has to glib comment or rant for this occasion. He just takes his wife in his arms. Because, what else can he do?

Marchand draws up a breath, opening his eyes and then drawing out the blanket to fully cover Elizabeth's reaching form from where her blouse is rolled up to the ribs, down to where her knees are exposed. He tries to balance lifting himself up to stand, his knees growing stiff at the joints from the perch he'd had kneeling. "Let me know if you need anything." No names are addressed, so likely it was spoken to both Elizabeth and Rothschild. After a moment's wait, the American steps back and away, moving to where he can grab a fresh towel to set it aside in the direction of where Elizabeth is.

And that's the picture that comes into view when Marchand gently lays the blanket over Elizabeth's body, preserving her modesty as best he can. Elizabeth wrapped in Rothschild's gentle arms. Soft tears dampen the reporter's shoulder, and it's the crying holds a haunting note that indicates it's more than merely physical pain the photographer is in at this particular moment.

"You need know that to finish patrol?" Vaclav retorts shortly to William. "Move along, comrade." Stern and grave, as ever, the corporal's ill temper thinly veiled by harsh stoicism.

William shrugs, unbothered by the Corporal's response since he was already used to it. "Fine." He turns back and nods to the others and they move along.

William has left.

Marchand steps further away after setting the towel aside. He looks to the corporal quietly, lips moving to part slightly as if about to say something, but in the end no words at all are allowed released. His chest lifts with a deep breath drawn in, and finally utters, "Orders, comrade corporal?"

Vaclav draws a slow breath, beginning with the simplest and least immediately relevant, "Patrol of west town is clear, comrade?" Vaclav prompts to the long forgotten report of Marchand's sentry duty. "Resume standard duties." Without looking back at Liz he adds, "She stays here until doctors release. Dismiss, Comrade Marchand."

Marchand salutes quickly, his arm snapping forward with his fist at the end, lifted. "Yes, comrade. No enemy sightings during the day, today. Watch was clear during the time I was on sentry duty." A curt nod of his head as well. He seems only to be waiting for the acknowledgement of the salute before departing.

Vaclav returns the crisp salute, a short dip of his head, and the czech looks away from Marchand, lapsing again into silence, as the business of the camp is kicked back into motion.

Marchand turns, making his way out to the street, turning from there with a dark frown on his face mirroring thoughts of what he'd witnessed in his own now-distracted mind. Disappearing, rifle drawing ready, he returns to his western sentry position.

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