Meet The New Boss

"Meet the New Boss"

Who: NPC General Birdwood and a bunch of soldiers
IC Date: July 1918
OOC Date: May 9, 2006
Where: The Western Front, France

What: Out with the old boss, General Gough. No one is sorry to see him go. In with the new boss, General Birdwood.

Allied Front Line South
==============================================================
[The Grid]-----> > > > > THE LOST GENERATION < < <


The lines have been through here at least three times now. The reek of blood and death is thick in the air from the corpses of the men scattered all around that fought for this place.

Trenches old and new scar the bare earth, mostly old an unusable, but recently cut trenches, with redoubts and bunkers, mark the current front line.

Already the poppies can be seen pushing up through the earth, the hardy flowers thriving in a soil made acidic by explosives.

It is currently daytime.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Redoubt
2. Reserve Trench
3. Foxhole

Contents
Byrd
Brissac - 1. Redoubt
Henricks - 1. Redoubt
Sidney - 1. Redoubt

(Item 1) Wire Equipment / 2. Reserve Trench
(Item 2) Wire Equipment / 2. Reserve Trench
(Item 3) Wire Equipment / 2. Reserve Trench
(Item 4) Wire Equipment / 2. Reserve Trench
(Item 5) Vickers Gun Ranged Weapon / 2. Reserve Trench
(Item 6) Lee Enfield SMLE Ranged Weapon / 2. Reserve Trench
(Item 7) 7.92-57 x 68 Ammo / 1. Redoubt
(Item 8) 8mm x 105 Ammo / 1. Redoubt
(Item 9) Lee Enfield SMLE Ranged Weapon
(Item 10) .303 British x 60 Ammo
(Item 11) .303 British x 114 Ammo

Obstacles :
West <W> Wire-1

East <E> North <N>
West <W>

Byrd arrives from New Allied Reserve Line South.

«Game» Byrd moves into Redoubt.

Sidney is having a drink from his canteen, leaning against a sandbag inside the redoubt with a pair of binoculars laid aside.

Thomas arrives from Allied Front Line North.

Byrd is also drinking from his canteen, laying down as low as he can. He winces a little when he moves. The belly wound he sustained in Belleau is still tender.

Henricks is blearily eating from the bucket style british mess kit, lined with lead - one of the bright ideas of the era, sitting on a barrel of rainwater, against the back of the redoubt, while the A-gunner scans the horizon for badguys. All quiet on the western front.

Linefork arrives from New Allied Reserve Line South.

«Game» Linefork moves into Redoubt.

Brissac is out here as well, leaning towards one of the trench walls while eating some piece of food he's got for this moment. Looking over at the others a bit tiredly.

Thomas has tea. Well, it's tea-colored water, at least. And it's warm. Sort of. He carries it reverently as he makes his way along the trench, holding the tin cup close to his body.

The quiet of day in the trenches is broken, not by the shriek of shells or the sound of a snipers shot, but by a small entourage of soldiers heading down the communication trench. An unusual thing in the daylight hours, they are doing their best to be quiet and avoid the attentions of Fritz.

Sidney manages a little smile, the Australia young enough to still carry a bit of the cheerfulness of youth. "We've had a long stretch of quiet here on the front, right enough. They say in Flanders they're pushing the Germans all the way back to the Rhine." As he hears the sound of a group approaching, he takes a final swig from the canteen to lean and look out from the fortification of the redoubt in that direction.

Linefork sits in the corner smoking a lone cigarette. The colonial is more quiet than usual. News from home having not been kind to him in the past few week.

Thomas takes a seat on a tattered sandbag, and seizes the opportunity to have a good stretch. He arches his back until it pops, then sighs to himself and proceeds to chug back his tea. If he sees the approaching entourage, he doesn't seem to react. "Don't say that. You'll jinx it," he mutters a Sidney.

Brissac hmms a little to himself, as he finishes his eating. He then seems to notice that quiet entourage coming down the trench and hmms a little bit. "Who are they?" he asks one of the other people nearby, a bit thoughtfully.

Byrd grunts noncommittally at Sidney's optimistic words. He fishes around his uniform for cigarettes and a lighter. Both are found, and he's soon smoking away. The sound of approaching soldiers is enough to bring him to his feet. He stands, brow furrowed, to see what's coming.

Henricks looks up, and in his thick tasmanian accent, replies, "Oi, Maybe the war's over… 'Hello there men, cheers for all the good work, here's some medals, go home and tend to your families…'"

Sidney breaks out into a chuckle. "I don't know about that. I'm getting a good tucker's pay while being enrolled. More'n I was going to make on the range."

"Bah, this war will last forever," Linefork says sourly. He puts the cigarette butt between his lips and exhales a cloud of smoke through his nose as he walks from the depths of the Redobut to join the rest of the men.

The entourage seems to be heading for your very own trench. A rather gaunt man, with the usual cloud of hangers on and assistants following him around, though compared to most official processions this would be a quiet one. The crossed sword and baton of a full general can be seen upon his arm. A sergeant from this battalion is with him, and calls a quiet 'Attention!' as they arrive in the front line.

«ADMIN» Death says "anybody who ICly was at Gallipoli would remember this guy, as he commanded there too apparently. ;)"
«ADMIN» Death says "and I know a few have Gallipoli in their backgrounds"

Henricks looks up to Sidney, and says, "Bloke, I've made enough money - I can make a little less if it means I won't get shot at anymore. And whenever I get lonely for the old days of being in the trenches, I'll fill a hole with water and sit in it while my brother shoots at me…." He lifts his chin as a full general appears, and scrambles onto his feet and stands at rigid attention, his rifle coming to rest hard at his heel.

Linefork comes to a rigid attention — old instincts kicking in. The cigarette falls into the dirt by his hand. Curiously…he glances toward the new visitor. Someone of some importance perhaps.

Byrd stands to attention. He's not as rigid and proper as he could be, but it'll do. He watches the gaunt man blankly. The most he does is put out his cigarette.

Sidney 's eyes bulge quickly, spotting the uniform, "Blimey! A general!" and hops up to straighten, giving as fast a twist of the canteen cap as he can before shoving it around to his rear on the belt. A quick adjustment of his rabbit fur ANZAC cap follows, relying on his instincts without a refective surface to check his appearance out with.

Thomas fixes Sidney with a baffled, bovine stare, then greedily finishes off his tea before stiffly rising to his feet. He's nowhere near as sharp as Henricks, and so stands to attention as if he's in no particular hurry, general or no general.

Moving slightly slowly, Brissac stands to attention as well. Studying this general for a few moments, in the process.

The general's gaze flickers over the parapet briefly, before turning to the soldiers. "At ease, men." he says softly. "Lets not get Fritz jumpy. Bit of a surprise me being here, none more surprised than myself. I thought it'd be better if I gave you the news myself, especially as I wanted to see the situation at the front here for myself."

Byrd looks a bit surprised at the general's instruction, but he falls at ease readily enough. His eyes take on a wariness, as if he's steeling himself for something horrid. The brass always brings something horrid, and this is big brass.

Linefork takes an at-ease stance and listens to the General. Professionalism paramount on the colonial's stark,lined face.

Henricks lets his feet apart, and rests his rifle outward hand still behind his back. That drill really comes back when you're eye to eye with a general.

Thomas beadily eyes the general. His expression remains detatched and impassive.

Brissac nods a little as he hears the general's words, and eases up quite a bit, in fact almost leaning at the wall again. "We're here, the enemy there, and we shoot at each other," he comments, quite possibly without realizing it himself.

Sidney draws himself only very slightly more at ease, removing his hand down from the salute he'd given to hold the rifle steady. The Western Australian keeps his lips closed, watching the general with full attentiveness and silence regard.

The guy in charge looks over them all, and apparently likes what he sees, as he gives a small smile. Which is quickly replaced by the more usual military rigidity. "General Gough has been… replaced.", that euphemism for 'relieved of his command'. "My name is General William Birdwood - it was my very great pleasure to command the ANZAC Corps until the unfortunate Spring Offensive meant that a replacement to command the newly reformed Fifth Army was needed. I'm sure from your point of view here on the front it seems like the war has been going quite badly this year, but I can assure you, the tide has been turning against Fritz decisively these last few months. The Fifth Army will be playing a part in delivering the death blow to theKaiser over the next few months. I am well aware that we have suffered grievous losses in the last few months, so we will be in a supporting role in the main rather than leading the charge.". The smile reappears briefly at that, as he looks over the privates here to gauge their response.

Henricks is clearly thinking of a retort to that, but remains fixed on the general, not ready to end a glorious career in the military with insubordinate replies.

Linefork listens in silence…Offensive…death blow. He looks at the General, waiting and listening as he was commanded to. He doesn't know who the man is.

Byrd can't help crack a smile. Gough 'replaced'? His smile even grows when the general gives his name. "Blimey. Birdy," he whispers to the men beside him. "My cousin was under him at Gallipolli." This news pleases him, which is a surprise in itself.

Thomas doesn't really respond all that much. He squints slightly, his face betraying a dull sort of skepticism. The private keeps quite quiet.

Sidney seems cheerful enough at the news, not even showing any disdain for the general in charge of the combined forces. Eagerness in the young man, in fact, his body seeming to rise just a bit taller, just a bit sharper, with a moment's crack of a smile on his lips that tucks quickly back into proper serious attentiveness. His hand does have to slip down to dust off a scrap of dead leaves from his sapper's kit where the demolitions satchel is stowed, but his eyes return to the general after that movement's done.

Brissac nods a little as he hears the General's work. He even smiles slightly at the mention of a support role. Maybe there might be a small hope that he'll survive this. Byrd's whisper makes him look in that direction as well, not sure how to take that information.

"I'm not sure if you are aware, but the French and Americans turned the Germans back at the southern end of the front. We've been amassing thousands of tanks in this sector, numbers even greater than used at Cambrai last year. I know you've heard this all before but I really do have high hopes that this is it, the beginning of the end for Fritz.". Birdwood pauses for a moment. "Now, I'm a fairly hands off commander. Experience with the ANZACs has taught me to let my subordinates get on with it, that seems to work best. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that Sir John Monash has taken my old command with the ANZAC Corps, you may well be under him in the coming battles as the ANZACs are very active in this sector. He's probably the finest commander the Allies have, only recently promoted to corps command, unfortunately for our cause."

Henricks smiles slightly, while standing at ease. He certainly knows of Monash by reputation, a fine bloke, if ever he's heard of one. At least, not as likely to get him murdered as quickly as a british commander.

Byrd perks up some more. Tanks? He gives his head a little shake. This is on the verge of sounding like good news. He can't rightly believe it.

Brissac grimaces a little at the mention of the tanks. Evil things, those. But still, if that's what it takes to win this war…

Thomas's squint remains. He crosses his arms and shifts his weight from one foot to the other, still eyeballing the general. He'll believe it when he sees it, apparently.

Linefork listens to the General's speech and nods. His skepticism of the ANZAC officer was dissipating. Armored warfare was the future well enough and Linefork knew it. This could work after all…the Kenyan's face reveals as much.

Sidney blinks, still with a hint of a smile on his smooth face. His blond hair's grown out a little too long for formal standards, but he still seems full of eagerness with his first encounter with an actual crossed-swords and baton general! He draws in a quick breath and his jaw drops as if about to blurt out words, but a quick sideglance to the Sergeant dissuades the young fellow of that.
"Alright, men. You seem to be doing a good job anyway." the general says, not that he's likely to have worked that out from his 5 minutes here. "Carry on. I've got a long front to inspect today unfortunately.". And with a very quick salute, just in case snipers are somehow watching though he's been careful to position himself in the shadow of the parapet, he moves on.

Henricks remains at ease until the Sargeant dismisses the formation, his eyes following the general with a side glance.

Byrd is listening sharp to the general and looking something more than downcast. A rarity for the Kiwi lately. He's watching Birdwood with growing respect. Almost desperate hope. He ducks into the shadows of the trench a notch, in case any snipers are lurking over the horizon, before giving the general a crisp salute.

Once the man is gone, Linefork says, "Well, maybe the old boy isn't full of shite after all." He walks outside of the Redoubt and lights a fresh cigarette. "Tanks and mechanization, thats the future I think. Things sure can't continue like they have…"

Thomas offers a salute in the name of lipservice, then leans back against the wall of the trench. 'Alright men, carry on.' Huh. He fishes around for a cigarette and some matches, eventually finding a rather sad dogend that looks like it's been stomped on at least once. Allowing himself a small smile, he lights up.

Sidney jerks his hand up to respond to the general's quick salute with a proud one of his own, though he too remains standing there till the sergeant's dismissed the men from where they've gathered turned from No Man's Land. He does beam a smile to himself, the ANZAC soldier's head swimming with thoughts.

The NCO present waits fo\The NCO waits for a moment, till the General is out of sight, and then quickly dismisses the squad before hurrying off to show Birdwood where the next squad is based here. He flashes a sour look at Thomas as well, who clearly was not showing the proper degree of respect! He'll find an excuse to put him on latrine duty later.

Henricks sits back down on his barrel, and goes back to malingering away from the front. The A-gunner on the front can watch things a little longer.

Brissac watches the general leave, hmming a little bit as he fishes out his own smoking stuff, which includes a briar pipe. He then looks over at the others, "Interesting," he comments, thoughtfully.

Thomas is, fortunately, blissfully unaware of the NCO's glare as he retakes his seat on the sandbag. He shakes off some cigarette ash, and grunts unhelpfully at Brissac.

Sidney turns to his fellow Aussies in the group, "The general. What's a fellow going to remember if not that!" and lifts both arms to crack his joints before taking himself and his rifle back inside the bunker of the redoubt. "Maybe we'll be pushing Fritz out of the lines here as well."

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