Church Fire

L'Eglise de Saint Boniface
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[The Grid]-----> > > > > THE LOST GENERATION < < <


Even in a place like this the war has left its marks, the once great windows of the church depicting the lord saviour have been blown to pieces. Some of the rafters from the roof are broken, and here and there holes from shells and rounds score the walls of the church. Where there once were benches for people to sit during sermons are now temporary tables upon where wounded soldiers and civilians can be seen. The moans and cries of the wounded never cease to stop, as they just keep coming in with every day that passes, a numberless throng. Nuns from the local abbey along with nurses runs along with blood stained rags trying their best to aid the doctors and field medics that works in here.
At first glance it might be hard to think that faith in god can still linger in a place so torn apart by the war as this, but the sheer compassion by those who work here makes up for the tarnished facade of the church.
It is currently night time but the light of a flare provides illumination.

From Grand Place, a male voice shouts, "GAS!!!".

Josephine shouts, "FIRE! HELP US!".

Josephine is coughing and sputtering, some of the roof having almost fallen on top of her head. Several wounded are now instead very dead, so she concentrates on getting those who can outside, trying to almost push them out. She shouts for help, the panic in here obvious.

Laurent does his best to help with getting people out as well, grimacing a bit as he keeps on working, trying as good as he can to keep calm. "Everybody out now…"

Brissac was asleep, but woke up as the fires started to burn, grimacing quite a bit. "What the…?" he mutters, as he moves to help putting out the fire.

Fitzgerald runs into the burning church to answer the call for help, masked up in his gas gear. He moves toward the flames, letting out a call of alarm when they singe him.

"Get people out!" Laurent calls out, as he moves to try putting some of the fire out.

Fitzgerald is fighting the fire. Or attempting to. Mostly, he's just getting scorched by it as he waves his arms at it. "Nurse Beaumont?" he calls over the flames to Josephine.

Elizabeth comes running in, and is no sooner in than burnt. Bloody fire. She lifts her hand to try and shield her face, explaining why her arm is fried. It's hot!

Brissac falls down, unconscious from the heat of the fire.

Josephine is badly injured, but she's still shoving people outside while trying to stop the fire. She's got a blanket she's hitting it with, rather ineffectually. At least she has the gasmask on.

Laurent works on putting out the fire, having gotten to some of the water being kept here. Looking rather intent on getting the fire under control, now.

Antonia rushes through the church, trying to beat down the fire when it threatens her but she knows there's little she can do about it. Like JOsephine most of her attention is on trying to get people the heck out of here.

Fitzgerald has gotten a nasty burn on his left arm, but he's still beating at the fire with a thick army blanket. For every flame he douses, though, more seem to spring up. He blinks when he sees Elizabeth through the smoke, shaking his head to make sure he's seeing correctly, but all he shouts at her is, "Is there any water about?"

Elizabeth has gotten her share of burns as well, to both her left arm and right hand, but she isn't backing down. They need this building, damn it!

Laurent is burned quite much as well, grimacing as he works. When he sees the fire going out, he leans his back to whatever there is to lean the back to, breathing heavily.

Fitzgerald finally manages to smother some of the fire, letting out a quick, groaning scream as he falls back from it. He was rather roasted. He clutches his singed arm, looking to the others in the church. The wounded, particularly. "Did you get all the men out, Nurse Beaumont?" he calls to Josephine.

Josephine is beating on that fire with all the strength she has, the small woman refusing to give it up. In the end, the combined effort gets the fire in check and it's dying out. Most of the wounded has made it out, but those who were unlucky enough to be right under the shells didn't have a chance. The church is even more damaged than it was before, now. To Fitzgerald, she shakes her head… then she collapses.
Set.

Antonia scatters the unburnt nurses, grabbing what emergency supplies they have for burn victims that didn't get burnt up, themselves. She looks around the smoke-filled church, ordering medics with working legs outside to help those who've made it. She sees Josephine fall through the smoke and makes it over there in record time. "Nurse Beaumont!" She shouts.

At least those right under the shells didn't have to feel the pain of the fire. Thank God for small mercies. As the fire is finally exstinguised, Elizabeth takes a stumbled step back before looking to where the Father has fallen. Gritting her teeth, she moves in his direction on slightly unsteady feet.

Fitzgerald struggles back to his feet. It's more pain that made him stumble than anything else. It's the upper part of his body that got the worst of the flames. He gasps when he sees Josephine fall, trying to get to her side. "Doctor?" he asks Antonia. Stricken.

"I've got her, Father," Antonia says quickly. "Keep your head down, out of the smoke." From a half-burnt medical kit she grabs supplies, leaning over Josephine's body as she pulls clothing from the woman's burns.

It's more from exhaustion and pain that Josephine collapses, rather than her falling unconscious. She's going to live, with a few scars here and there to show for it. As Antonia shows up at her side, she lifts her head and smiles weakly at the doctor, then blinks and focuses, looking around to see how the others are doing. Even in her own state, she is concerned about others injured. "Doctor… how are the others? Father? Are you alright?"

Laurent is still taking a few deep breaths where he's leaning to something, grimacing a bit. Remaining silent for now, as he slowly looks around the room.

Elizabeth follows after Fitzgerald, looking none too happy herself as she sees Josaphine fall. Letting Antonia deal with the other nurse, she turns towards Fitzgerald. "Father? You alright?"

Fitzgerald looks down at his singed arms with a wince, nodding tightly to Elizabeth. "Better off than some, Miss Quinn," he says, giving her a look-over. But she's in better shape than he, to his obvious relief. He then looks to the torn up bit of church where the shell fell, letting out a strained sigh. "Better than some."

"They're taking care of the others," Antonia replies to Josephine. Her fingers rip part of of Josie's sleeve away with a tearing sound, hell with the buttons. "Don't you worry. You've been burnt." She supplies the obvious information in a very collected tone, working quickly on the wounds. "Let's get these taken of…"

Zale crawls in from the grand place, blood dripping from his chest and completely mangled right hand

Zale still clutches a Lee Enfield SMLE in his left hand though

Josephine still has her mask on and does not dare removing it. In a situation like this, most girls her age would panic, but Josephine carefully sits up and begins looking herself over with coldly logical eyes."Nothing too bad," she murmurs to Antonia, then critically looks the doctor over. "You were not burnt?" She looks at Elizabeth, and nods politely at her, the mask on her face bobbing as she does.

Zale stands, cringing, and walks over to sit down by the wall

From Grand Place, a male voice shouts, "My ambulance!! Leave yer alone!!".

"Stop moving about, nurse," Antonia says, not so much in a tone that mothers as one that's trying to get the burns dressed. She shakes her head to Josie's question. "Wasn't touched. Fine, myself." She glances over towards the door, seeing Zale there, then looks back at Josephine. It's good she's so damn fast at this stuff. Nearly done with what she can do right now.

Fitzgerald tries to see if he can make out anyone…under the wreckage. But Zale's stumbling entrance takes his attention off that horrid sight. He turns, approaching the man. He winces with pain from the burns as he moves his upper body. "What happened out there, lad?" he asks Zale.

Josephine manages a smile at Antonia, rather composed. She sits still now though and lets the expert handle the wounds; here's a patient who will be easy to treat… although, she's also a stubborn nurse. "I need to rest a few days," she says fatalistically. "But, those wounded who can move, send them to my bedside and I can change their bandages there. Also, we need to organize some repairs here." She looks over at the wounded soldier who entered, and then sighs. "Not one single soldier helped us take the fire out, except Fitzgerald."

Zale is sitting against the wall by the door, holding a rifle in his left hand. His chest and right hand look fairly bad though..

Fitzgerald grins roughly at Zale. A distinctly pained grin. "You'll find no trenches here, lad. Or much comfort right now. The shelling bathed this place in brimstone for a time." He's not far from Zale, his upper body rather burned from the fire that scorched the church during the shelling. Both it and he are out now, though. Some still hangs in the air, and the place is goodly wrecked from the artillery.

"You aren't the only nurse in existence," Antonia reminds Josephine with a slight smile. "I shall assign according to what needs to be done. Should we need you I certain will not hesitate to call upon you." At the news about the soldiers, she sighs quietly. "Well, it's done now. Take care of the present, leave the past to be dealt with in the future. That's what they say isn't it." She done now, Josie bandaged up as well as she's going to be until Antonia has better light, better equipment, and not so much damn smoke around.

Zale looks over to the new arrival and says, "Not long.. only a few minutes"

As everything seems to be under control in here, for now, Elizabeth goes to try and find her brother, praying he didn't pick up a gun this time.

Josephine shakes her head at Antonia, tiredly amused. "Someone should remind you at times that you are not the only doctor."

Deidre is on her knees now, still trembling a bit as she takes tjhe man's hand in hers, looking over his arm. She says nothing now, working.

Antonia's small smile shows her teeth. "Keep that secret and I shall keep yours." She looks over her shoulder as chaos still reigns in this smoky place. "Keep your head down," she says to Josie. "I've got to check on things." After a moment she touches the woman's arm where it's not burnt. "We'll get you right, fast as I possibly can."

Josephine makes a shooing motion to Antonia. "Go. I will be fine," she reassures the doctor, giving her another smile.

Brissac is in the same place where he fell, and is barely beginning to wake up again now, wincing a little bit as he makes a bit of a quiet sound, looking around slightly.

Fitzgerald leaves Zale in Deidre's able care. He's not doing the man much good now. His eyes go back to the more wrecked spots. And, while searching those, he sights Brissac. He hurries, as much as a burnt priest can hurry, to where the man is lying. "Easy, lad," he says softly, kneeling by him.

Zale allows Deidre to work on his hand, watching Fitzgerald walk over to Brissac

Deidre begins to try to clean the man's hand, but she takes the time to look over at Josephine. "Josephine!" She calls to the girl. "Are you alright?" She souuds worried.

As as nurse has gotten to Zale, Antonia turns attention on Laurent's slumped form. She falls to her knees beside the downed French doctor, barely even able to tell where all the blood is coming from. It slicks over her hands as she tugs clothing aside, particularly from his carved-out gut.

Laurent must have slipped out of consciousness or something, since he's only now barely aware that someone is near him. "Who…?" he mutters, before his eyes seems to focus a bit more. "How bad?" he asks, quietly.

"Critical, doctor," Antonia isn't going to lie to a man of medicine. She grabs thick wads of gauze, getting pressure down to stop the blood from gouting at the very least. She couldn't even see the source of it from the flood. "Trying to get this bleeding stop so I can see what's going on. Is this from the fire? Just say yes or no." Her voice is kept hushed, just meant for him.

Laurent grimaces a bit as he hears that, before he nods, "From the fire, yes," he replies.

Zale looks up at the sky as a flare goes up, trying to ignore the pain from his hand..

Deidre pauses long enough to see the flare, but then goes back to work on the man's hand. "Be still." She tells him, as she cleans it out. "This may hurt a bit…" Though already the young woman is losing her tenderness in the name of these men getting well…

Josephine gets some help from volunteer helpers to move to an undamaged part of the church, where she is given a bed to rest in for now. But the young nurse is sitting up to keep an eye on things going on and is giving Deidre a little wave, and a reassuring smile.

"Okay," Antonia says, thanking him quietly in her voice for the clarification. She tosses aside bloodsoaked gauze with an unpleasant sound as it hits the church floor. His burned abdomen has nearly all her attention as she cuts away pieces of skin that are completely lifeless and charred, new blood welling up quickly from the fragile skin underneath. She soaks a cloth and keeps it in her hand, pressed lightly against the edges of the wound to draw away fluid.

Brissac has finally managed to get back some of his strength, and has gotten back to his feet now, looking around for a few moments.

Fitzgerald gets back to his feet when Brissac is able to stand, still sticking close to the man. "You'd best let the doctor have a look at you."

Laurent clenches his teeth together at this point. But not until he's managed to get out a few more words, "Had to try putting out the fire…" he mutters.

Deidre nods, giving the man a gentle smile. "Youu did. And we're very thankful. And." She dabs his hand. "We're going to get you well agian."

"I know, doctor. And it's out," Antonia reassures him. "I thank everybody from the bottom of my heart for their courage." She continues to work, tossing away the cloth when it gets too bloody and dousing a new one.

Brissac shrugs a little, "Why did they do something like this?" he mutters quietly. Looking around and seemingly not believeing what he's seeing.

Laurent relaxes a bit as he hears that, going quiet for now, not interrupting the work any more.


Next day…

Stanley enters the scorched church that serves as a hospital, his face and most of his exposed skin blistered and glistening.

Stanley mutters as he enters. "Mustard gas. Blisters everywhere. All the men in the trench got hit too." His first aid kit is held in one hand, opened, apparently he's already applied what salve he can.

Josephine suffers no gas damage but she was exposed to fire yesterday and is now in bed. Most of the wounds are seemingly healing well though, because of the effort of the medical staff in here. The church itself has gotten back to some kind of order, but a large part of it is now closed off due to being completely ruined from the shelling.

Stanley halts his walking, lifting his eyes to gaze around the structure, silently frowning with terrible awe at the damanged section. A small light gasp before he finally exhales and swallows, turning to where Josephine's being tended to. "Miss." addressing her. "Did most of the nurses and doctors escape the fire?"

Josephine looks at Stanley, trying to focus. She's been given morphine and is in fact in quite a lazy and splendid mood. "Hello," she says pleasantly, smiling cattily at him. Not quite like her usual self today, she is. "I think so…" she says a bit dreamily. "Laurent is in bad shape. But the rest got out…"

Stanley slowly nods his head as he moves forward, stepping to be standing near your cot. "You're being looked after, Nurse?" A moment's grimace as if forgetting her name. "I'm Corporal Stanley. A number of the boys got hit by gas. I'd heard the hospital caught fire in the shelling, but this is the first I've seen of it since."

Josephine is very, very fascinated by Stanley's uniform buttons and she reaches a hand out to poke at one of them, as if making sure they are real and not some imagination. "I don't feel a thing," she assures the corporal, speaking rather slurred English at the moment. "I've seen you before." She smiles broadly at him at that, as if that statement is of utmost joy to her. "You have not died yet." Well, that seems to be the reason for her happiness.

Stanley smiles politely, but it does carry a hint of warmth as if genuinely pleased. "I remember your face, from when I first arrived on the front. You're French, yes?" He steps a little closer, not seeming to mind her attention to his buttons. "The gas attack last night was pretty bad. They must be angry, the Hun, at not having taken the city."

"Yes, I am French," Josephine responds quietly. She works hard to focus again, eyes heavy from the drug. "Josephine. I am Josephine." His comment about the germans make her roll her head to the side and stare over at the destruction, her pupils small. But she's not suffering much from the side effects of morphine, she's mostly just drowsy and a bit incoherent.

Stanley nods gently, leaning over as his blistered face peers down to see where Josephine herself is wrapped and bandaged from burns. "I'm glad to see you're alive, too." and tries to offer a tender smile. "There are angels on the battlefield. Young women who take up the healer's call to bind the wounds of boys and men." A gentle nod. "You'll be up again, and bring smiles once more."

Josephine got her head bandaged up, the side of it burnt slightly. Her hair has been cut into a short hairstyle, as some of it has been burnt away. It'll take awhile before it grows back out, but she will heal up nicely. There's bandages on other various parts of her body too, but none of the wounds are truly serious. "We are not angels, Corporal," she tells him softly. "We only do what we must do."

Stanley smiles gently, trying to focus on what aspects of beauty are still to be found in the young woman's features. "If I were before an angel, I'm sure she'd put it in no other way." He turns, then, his reddened hand reaching for a pitcher of water, "I'll pour you a drink, if you'd like. I'll need to find a nurse to look after my blister burns."

Tears suddenly well up in Josephine's eyes. The drug makes her more emotional and less prone to tuck it away into a corner of her mind. "Thank you," she whispers, but she doesn't reach a hand out for the drink. Instead, her eyes close and she turns her face away from him and falls into a sort of sleep.

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