Wiring Party Once More Unto The Breach

"Wiring Party - Once More Unto the Breach"

Who: Emerson, Garner, Richmond, Kewell, Raymes and Various NPC Germans.
when: January, 1918
Where: The Allied Front, No Man's Land and Back again

Summary: A wiring party is called forth. Lessons in why you shouldn't volunteer, encounters with near-death and poetry. Just another day in the Great War, really.

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

Here you are at the end of the line, the very cusp of the Allied war effort. The efforts of the free world are focused here, on nudging this line, inch by tortuous inch, towards Berlin.

The front line trenches are the least habitable. Constructed under the fire of the enemy, with little opportunity to adjust or improve them, they are barely trenches at all but cavernous, flooded, collapse prone pits, mostly inhabited only by rats, or the dead.

Fritz is to the east, not all that far away. The wise man keeps his head down, for snipers ply their trade here, at the absolute front.

It is currently night time.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Front Line Trench
2. Shell Holes


(Item 1) Vickers Gun Ranged Weapon / 1. Front Line Trench
(Item 2) .303 British x 300 Ammo / 1. Front Line Trench

East to No Mans Land <E> North <N>
West <W>

Richmond has arrived.

Garner , a member of the next wiring party responsbile for keeping those damned Huns at bay, moves along the front line trench, as low as he can possible get, heading toward Richmond's postion. His hands grip his rifle tightly, so tightly that those close enough to see will notice white knuckles. If they were loosier, they'd shake.%rHe stops next to Richmond, and looks around the trench, overly catious. "Uh, wiring, I think. Don't think we're goin' over the top with five men."

Emerson creeps along to join Richmond and Garner, rifle clenched in a white-knuckle grip. He seems to be attempting to disappear with into the other men in the party. He says nothing for the moment. He just looks very tight-jawed and yet…eager to get on with this.

Richmond nods over at Garner, looking out for the rest of those who are assigned to go over the top of the wall. Once more, he looks out over No Man's Land. "Buggered idea by the brass, mate. Havin' us go out there at night to string up some damned wire. I'll tell ya wha. I don't like those flares. Gonna blow the whole job, they are."

"Buggered," agrees Emerson softly, gulping. He peers out into the direction of No Man's Land, tensing even more. If that's possible. As if trying to spy something in the darkness. "Did you hear something out there?"

Garner nods. "Yeah, bleedin' idiots runnin' this Army. Still, I'd rather have the wire up, in case the Huns get crazy and decided ta cross our lines." He takes a small peek over the line, ducking down quickly. "No, nothing." He looks to the two other men, nervously. "So, who's going out here?"

Richmond sighs. "I hear a lot out there at night. Enough to drive a man mad. But no matter. I'll tell you right now, I'm not the sneakiest bugger around. I might get us killed out there. I might be better coverin you lads."

Emerson is silent for a moment. His tongue won't function properly. "I'll go!" he volunteers in a sudden spurt. He sounds surprised he actually spoke.

Richmond looks at Emerson, and can't help but to laugh a little. A light chuckle. "Well, you're a brave soul. If you're goin out there mate, I'll be here to make sure the Krauts don't stab you in the back. Who's givin' the orders here?"

Garnerswivels his head, looking to Emerson with no small amount of suprise on his face. "Really? You, you /want/ to go out there?" Suprise is replaced by slight confusion. "I mean, I thought we, ya know, would have to draw straws." Realizing what he's doing, he adds, quickly. "But, mate, you want to volenteer, go 'head. Decent of you." Again, suprise. "In charge? I thought you were the Sergeant?"

Kewell heads down the front line trench, keeping his head down, the pistol in his hand marking him as someone important, as scum don't get pistols.

Wallin grips his rifle and closes his eyes, back resting against the packed mud that served as their trench. The foxhole humor was not his cup of tea, so he just continues his little game of keeping to himself.

Richmond clears his throat. "Well… Hm. Looks like we should get that wire out there. How long you reckon it'll take you to set it all up?"

Emerson nods unsteadily to Richmond. Brave. "Yes…quite…" He stares at Garner. This straw-drawing idea suddenly seems quite intelligent. But he can't back out now. "Of course. It's for the cause, after all. And I…I'm up for it." He lacks conviction in that last part.

Garner Garner scratchs his head, or, more accuratly, helment. "Don't know. Ten, maybe fifteen minutes?" He does notice the next man coming up. The man with a pistol. Breathing a sigh both of relief and trepedation, he remarks. "Look sharp, lads. Officer coming up."

Kewell heads over to the gathered soldiers all crouched at the front in the dark. "You are the wiring party?" he whispers, looking them all over as best he can in the darkness. Noting the reluctance, he says the military hex of evil. "Any volunteers?"

Garnerremarks, almost immediatly. "This chap here voluenteered! Right when we got here, the brave lad!" He says, pointing to Emerson.

Richmond nods at Kewell and manages a salute. "Aye cap." He goes back to his rifle and begins to scan No Man's Land again. "We had a mate who wanted to go out. Just wondering what else we should be doing while he's stringing the wire up, sir…"

Emerson keeps very quiet for Kewell. Until Garner and Richmond speak up. Bugger. "Y-yes, sir, Captain," he stutters. "That'd be me, sir."

Kewell grins at Garner. "Real volunteers." he replies, eying the motley crowd. He looks at the muddy side of the trench, as if he can see through it to where the Germans are opposite, and then back to Emerson. "Alright. We got a brave soldier here. Who is going to help him out?"

Wallin pops off a salute, but doesn't stand… doing so is a good way to end up with a bullet in the back. He remains silent as the others discuss what is surely going to be the death of them all.

Garnerpurses his lips slightly, before responding. "I'll go out, too." He says, looking at Emerson, and giving him a shaky smile. "I can crawl well. Probably need me to carry your carcass back after you make a mistake and get yourself shot."

Richmond looks from Emerson to Garner, and finally back to the Captain. "I can go out too sir. As long as I stay down and cover you blokes… I just hope there's a nice crater for me to duck into over there."

Emerson looks down at the ground at Kewell's praise. Perhaps praying it will swallow him. When Garner speaks up, he returns the other soldier's smile gratefully. Prior to mention of his carcass. He laughs weakly, a very forced laugh that conveys more nerves than amusement. He adds nothing to the planning, just listening with desperate attention.

Kewell looks over them all, and nods. "Alright. You…" he points to Wallin. "You stay here, cover them from here.". Then he points at the others, and recognises them finally from his personnel files. So many soldiers come and go here… "Private Emerson, you work on laying the wire. Garner, you help him. Richmond, you find whatever shell hole you can find and stay in it. If Fritz is out wiring as well use your bayonets, don't shoot and bring down machinegun fire on us all unless you absolutely have to. Any questions?"

Richmond gives a nod to Kewell as well as a small salute. He's an Auzzie after all. It's still a little strange taking orders from a Brit. "You got it, cap. Just tell us when to move out." His eyes returns to the front, scanning for movement amid the flares.

Garner almost subconsciously tests the weight of his rifle butt, nodded more than is nessecary to the Captain. "Yessir. No shooting unless we have to." He searches the trench for the wire he'd brought on the way in, finding and grabing the spoil of barbs, posts, and metal.

"Lay the wire," Emerson repeats with several jerky little nods. He mirrors Richmond's salute a beat later, sheepishly. He'd nearly forgotten it. "Right. Yes, sir." He asks no questions, but his eyes do dart hopefully around at the other soldiers. Hoping one of them will make the time in relative safety of the trench last a bit longer.

Wallin looks over the group and shrugs as if unsure if he should ask the question. "You want maybe some fire in the east? Walk the Krauts that way? Or should I wait to hear fire before I start that up?"

Garnernow realizes, with a grimace, that he hasn't yet salute. He refrians from it. He'll get caught up on respects when he makes it back.

Kewell nods. "I'm sure I don't have to say this, but keep it to a whisper, you'll be exposed out there.". He shakes his head at Wallin. "Hopefully Fritz is asleep. Lets not wake him up any sooner than need be. Alright.". He pats Emerson on the shoulder. "Go. Good luck soldier.". %rKewell, being a conscript himself, isnt exactly one for military etiquette, but he does give them a small salute.

Richmond takes a breath, crouching slightly in order to make the small hop up over the trench. "Ready when you are, mates." Eyes have still never left the front, and he's shifted his posture ever to slightly in preparation for the move.

Wallin gives the officer a curt nod and begins to move down the trench and away from the rest of the group.

Emerson grins weakly at Kewell, nodding shakily and gathering a reel of wire. He takes a second to swallow again and then inches, with the speed of a boulder, out of the trench and into No Man's Land. He is good at being very quiet about it, at least.

Garnerbreaths deeply once. Then again. Then again. Finally, he nods the everyone, but mostly to himself, Before turning to look to Emerson. "Alright. Let's get this done." And with that, he hoists himself over the lip of the trench, on his belly in the semi-Hell that might lead to the real thing.

Richmond lifts himself out of the trench and begins to steal off, as best he can, towards No Man's Land.

Richmond sneaks in from the west, keeping his head down. Almost instantly, he begins to crawl into a crater. The more cover the better. He gives a nod to the others and begins to hunker down.

Emerson eases through the darkness. Less like a creeping cat, more a soft-footed rabbit ever-watchful for predators. He mirrors Richmond's duck into a crawling position, holding his reel of wire gingerly.

Garner crawls at a decent clip for a man snaking along on his belly, heading toward the wireing point. He scans the area around him, spotting his two compatriots. He nods to himself, yet again, and continues crawling through this detestable moonscape.

Richmond hunkers down in the hole and peers eastward. His eyes are squinted, searching… Suddenly, he begins to wave his arms at the others, hoping to get their attention. He points at his eyes, then points to the east. Then he raises up a single index finger.

Garnermanages to catch the arm wave, and silently curses to himself. He brings his hand up in a silent 'OK' signal, before continuing to the crawl through, albeit a bit slower than last time.

Emerson is paying more attention to the wiring posts than his compatriots. His eyes are locked on them in a hard squint. Concentrating on that seems to ease his nerves. A very little. Garner's reaction to Richmond at least penetrates his line of sight and he nods shortly, crawling on at his favored, achingly slow pace.

Richmond begins to breathe evenly as he scans the front. A first taste of combat indeed, his rifle in front of him…

Richmond ducks down further in his shell hole. "Fuck, shit! Under fire! Under fire! Goddamn Krauts! Get down! Get down!" The pucker factor has increased.

Emerson is in the process of laying the wire when the gunfire sounds. He's barely had time to process that before the flare lights up the whole field. For a split second, he does not move. He's completely frozen. He does finally regain his head enough, shaken by Richmond's yelling, to try and dive for cover.

Richmond squeezes off a shot from his rifle and hopes he's hit something… Goddamnit. "The Kraut's got a machinegun deployed, mates!!"

Garner Just manages to get to his wire point, and starts laying wire. He gets a far it through it too, before the German MG opens up. He stops, and hugs the ground as close as he possible can. "Fuck, fuck, bloody fuckin' hell…" He gets into a high crawl, and starts making tracks to cover.

Hedrick slowly crawls up to the area of soldiers. He works on finding himself a little bit of cover in a shell hole before getting his bearings to the combat around him, survival was his biggest priority at the moment.

Hits hard cover.

Richmond is trying to line up his target, somehow trying to beat the Kraut's cover. The bullets are coming something fierce. He winces as another burst almost shits. "Holy shit! Holy shit mates! The Kraut's got it in for me!"

Richmond is actually hit this time, holding his chest. He's screaming now, "I'm hit! I'm hit!"

Garnerjust continues crawling. "Fuck!" He exclaims, as Richmond takes shots. He keeps crawling, heading slowly now to the Shell Hole. "Hold on, mate!"

Richmond is still screaming and firing, working the bolt back between shots. "Damnit! Fall back, mates!"

Hedrick reaches torwards Richmond and pulls the perfect stranger farther down into the shell hole, taking his time to peek out of the hole with the machine gunner is aiming in his location.

Emerson scrambles for cover with the speed of a rabbit now that he's found his legs. "Bloody hell," he whispers frantically, unaware Richmond has even been touched. "Bloody, bloody hell…"

Richmond continues to fire. "I'll cover! Move, man! MOVE!"

Garnershakes his head, and moves to grab one of Richmond's arms. "Like fuck!" He looks to Emerson. "Can you cover?"

Richmond screams louder! "Oh… Oh God. Oh God… I'm going to die. I'm going to die!" The rounds have found their mark.

Emerson can't process Garner's words right away. He blinks blurrily at him, as if he were trying to make out shouting while under water. Die? That finally hits home. "Cover. Right." He raises his rifle and nods.

Hedrick pulls himself flat as the submachine gun kicks up the ground in front of him, as soon as the fireing ceases he pulls his rifle and sets sights on the location of the machine gunner's flashes.

Raymes runs in to see Richmond in pain, "Private Raymes reporting! I've some medic training!" he shouts out as he crouches down to head to the shell holes

Raymes has partially disconnected.

Garnerwaves Raymes off, hoisting Richmond. "Not here, blockhead! Get back to the fuckin' lines!"

Emerson hefts his rifle in his shaking hands and fires blindly into No Man's Land in a generally German direction. He's making no attempt to hit anything, and providing any sort of cover fire is only a side-effect. It's either concentrate on shooting or faint.

Richmond continues to move with all possible speeed to the lines… Maybe he'll survive after al…

Hedrick keeps up his covering fire on the machine gunner's position. He tries to assure himself that god is on his side quietly before snapping off another shot.

Emerson is also calling on God right as he tries to cover Richmond and Garner. But not so much religiously. More, "Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!"

Garner, as he sends Richmond on his way to the lines, gets back into a crouch, but not fast enough. He howls in pain as a sudden sting envelops his right hand, and scrams a few times as he brings his sherrded palm to his eyes, still reflexivly crawling.

Hedrick has his bead now, hopefully this shot will put him out of commission, allowing the line to move forward a few inches.

Emerson keeps firing until his rifle is empty. Then some more stunned blinking clues him that Richmond and Garner are go. And so, he runs like hell.

Hedrick thought he was going to be lucky, but no, his left hand gets grazed. He modivates him even more to get back to his trench.

Raymes keeps an eye on the retreating line even as he crouches to stay out of notice of the enemy's machine gun fire

Garner looks up sharply. "Don't fucking say that! We don't know shit right now! He could be still be out there, damn it! We'll come look for him as soone as we rest a bit, okay?"

Raymes heads into the trench and begins to administer to Richmond. The pressure of the warfront over, he manages to give Richmond some proper care and he seems a little better on the left chest

Richmond shakes his head as his wounds continue getting attention. "I'm sorry.. It's dark out, I shouldn't be speculatin'. We'll go back when we can for the bloke."

Garnerseems to know a bit of what he's doing, at least, attempting basic first aid. With only one shaking hand over, he isn't very successful, and, in the end, just move away to let the surgeon work, sitting againsit the trench wall, shaking all over now.

Emerson crawls back and collapses in the safety of the trench. And for the moment he just lies there, breathing deeply.

Kewell starts counting heads. "Emerson, where is he?" he says, voice muffled by a gas mask, as Richmond seems to be well cared for. He cautiously looks up over the parapet… and promptly Emerson falls over it and into the trench.

Raymes continues working on Richmond first.. looking over his left arm next

"I need a Cigarette." Is all that Hedrick says through his mask as he starts to wrap up his hand, planning to bring his wound to the attention of the medical staff after the serious cases are taken care of.

Garnerface breaks out into a wide grin. "Well, speak of the devil!" He looks over to Richmond, and tiredly motions with a bleeding hand. "See? Wellington over here decided he'd take on the whole German army. Don't think people like him die easy!"

Raymes shakes his head as the wound on the left arm seems too big to have the bloodflow stamped. He then looks over at the entering Emerson, "There, he's back."

Richmond is beginning to feel at least a little better, all things being considered. "Thank god for medics, eh mate?" He smiles and grunts with pain as his arm is looked at. "Well, it's nice to have you back, mate. Fancy a nice trip over to visit the Krauts, did you?"

Kewell seems faintly relieved that everybody is back and mostly in one piece. "Richmond. Back to Arras for you tomorrow morning. Check in with one of the nurses there, that arm wound looks quite serious.". He looks over the returning party for signs of wire. "How did you do with the wire?"

Raymes appears to have done all he can and looks a little tired, "I'd come check on everyone again after 3 hours."

Richmond nods at Kewell, gritting his teeth through the pain of his wounds. "Roger, cap."

Garnerlooks proud through the eye-pieces, and despite the shaking. "Was running through the better part of the second half of the spool before the Jerries decided to come to the party. Some fuckin' Hun's gonna get cut up the next time the decide they want to advance!"

Raymes steps back and gives the report to Kewell, "The injured are all stabilized, sir."

Kewell peeks up over the lip of the trench, cautious, even though its night, and eyes the result of the nights efforts. "Not bad." he says, in a grudging voice, though with a grin. "Good job.", that to Raymes as well. "Still… its a weak part of the line here. Aside from Richmond, you all got night watch duty, Fritz might come nosing around after that."

Emerson blinks at Kewell. Wire? "Umm…right. We got some of it laid, sir." It's not exactly a ringing endorsement of their success. He can't drum that up right now. He just nods at the prospect of night watch.

Hedrick looks up from his patch of dried mud and nods to the commanding officer, "aye, aye capt'n."

Raymes salutes the commanding officer, "Yes sir." And he kneels down in the bunker, rifle held ready with his medic pack set down within the front line trench.

Richmond looks a little deflated from having to sit out watch duty, but with an arm as badly fucked up as his, it can't really be helped. Holding a rifle still takes two good arms. He looks back to the others and nods to them. "I'll be back as soon as I can, mates. Save some Krauts for me, yea?"

Garner loses any jovial attitude he had at the mention of Night Watch. He brings up a bleeding hand. "Beg pardon, sir, but could someone either bandage this up? Or I can let it bleed, and scrouge a Webley. I can't handle a rifle with it wounded."

Raymes nods as he sees that he's missed out one man, "I'm on it sir," he bounds up and heads over to the man

Kewell looks Garner over, and then nods. "Raymes knows a thing or two about medicine. And don't push your luck, Garner.". He grins. "No need to be that eager, your mates will be here when you are healed up."

Garner nods to Richmond. "Don't worry, mate. Pleanty of Krauts for ya. Do us a favor and read the a book in the hospital. We can use the stories."

Richmond chuckles, grimmacing as it takes a toll on his body. Somehow, it makes him want to laugh even more. "I'll come back with a few stories for ya. Hopefully I'll have a nice enough nurse to chat with."

Emerson stares at Richmond. He actually /wants/ to go back out there? He runs his fingers through his sweaty hair, shaking his head. "Stories…bugger…" he mutters under his breath. In a somewhat normal tone he asks, "How…how are you feeling, Richmond?"

Raymes draws out his alcohol, gauze and swab again to clean the wound for Garner, "Stay around here. Or in the field hospital." He almost looks envious at Richmond's luck, the medical student certainly knows about pretty nurses. He gives Richmond a kudos as some of the mates are undoubtedly helping Richmond

Richmond nods once to Emerson, shifting his arm slightly. It looks pretty banged up, and that's putting it mildly. "It hurts to be sure, yea, but at least I'm still alive. I couldn't leave you blokes here without me for too long after all." Maybe all Auzzies really are crazy…

Garnerwinces at the stinging. The shot hurt, but it was somewhat amazing at what made him wince. He gives a curious look to Richmond. Men like those… One didn't know if they were good or bad. "Australia, eh? Remind me not to say bad things about Aussies. Glad we have you in the Empire, ehh?"

Emerson looks at Richmond as if the Australian were, indeed, barking mad. He's speechless, just offering the man a weak grin.

Raymes successfully stamps the flow of blood from Garner's wound, "There you go. It'd heal up good shortly."

Richmond is definitely an Auzzie by accent. "Yea, best watch your tongue mate. No tellin' what one of us would do to ya." There's a definite humor about him, especially after being shot.

Raymes leans back against the wall of the trench, rifle held in his hands, "Well, we managed to get our job done. That's the most important thing." The young man's bright blue eyes look over at the others

Emerson stares at Richmond at his description of what happened. The job? He has no verbal response. He just sighs and sinks back against the wall of the trench. Every fiber of him exhausted.

Garner gives a short smile, kneeling low, below the trenches lip. "I could do without any more of those fuckin' jobs, doc." He shakes his head. "I had to enlist, didn't I? Felt I might be missing out on an /adventure of a lifetime/!" He chuckles bitterly. "God, I hope it gets easier."

Richmond sits down in the corner, holding his shot up arm as his rifle is propped up beside him. "Let's hope the Krauts learn to take a lesson and keep their heads down. Bugger almost killed me. I swear I hit him at least once. That crater saved my life, I tell ya."

Raymes smiles and nods at Garner, "I have… friends here. And I deferred my studies to enlist. So here I am."

Garner nods. "What did you do before you get here?" He looks around the trench. "And I don't suppose any one here's a Warrant Officer in disguise. What all of you do?"

Emerson sighs when Raymes mentions studies. "I was at Exeter," he replies to Garner wistfully. "My second year. I was studying English."

Raymes laughs a little at that, stretching out his leg to aid blood flow, "Well, I was a student. Still is, I suppose. Attached to a field hospital might count as experience." He gives a nod to Emerson's words.

Hedrick takes off his mask, but is quick to light himself a cigarette.

Garner chuckles, and reaches over to pull off his own mask, catiously at first, then quickly as the air proves clean. "I can't understand why anyone studies 'English'. I mean, the kids need to know how to speak right, but why the hell do the colleges need to drum that stuff?"

Raymes draws off his own mask too to set it back to its usual place on his belt, "Well, somebody's got to write the stuff we read."

Emerson grins wryly at Garner and recites, tiredly, "When the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger. Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage. Then lend the eye a terrible aspect." He laughs at the quote, as if finding something newly amusing about it. "Doesn't it just? I think it was mostly that sort of thing that made me volunteer. Anyhow, a common language is what joins our Empire. Gives us some sense of civility."

Garner waves his good hand dismissivly. "Don't need to study it in college, though. Hell, I can't understand college, anyway. I was laying bricks for tenements in Portsmouth for a few years, before I enlisted. Woulda join the Royal Navy, but I get seasick. Puked my guts out on the ferry over, even."

Raymes grins back at Emerson, "It's truly the last thing I expected to see at the front, an injured mate sprouting poetry." He laughs helplessly.

A flicker of offense crosses Emerson's face when Raymes laughs. But, after a second, he can't help but join the chuckling. "I'm not injured. Came away without a scratch." There's a stunned, and guilty, note in his voice. He gets off that subject quickly. "And it's not a poem. Not properly. Henry the Fifth. Once more unto the breach, dear friend, or close the walls with our English dead." That one doesn't make him smile.

Raymes draws in a deep breath indeed as he nods to Emerson, "Not a poem. Honestly, I can't tell the difference." he confesses.

Garnercoughs a bit, more from residual tear gas than anything else. "Sounds too bloody noble for these trenches, anyway. Maybe it'll sound better in the next war. If they'll be another one." He smiles grimly a bit. "After all of this hell, no one's gonna want to fight again, ehh?"

"Shakespeare is the best sort of poetry, anyway," Emerson says. "Henry the Fifth is a history play. It's about the Hundred Years War. And it's bloody noble enough." He looks at Garner with boyish earnestness. "When you pulled that man off the field, that was surely noble."

Garner looks suprised. "What? Noble? No, no, I don't think so. I mean, I didn't fire any shots… and that's what you do, isn't it? That's what your supposed to do? Make sure the man next to you doesn't die?" A slight chuckle doesn't completely replace the confused look on his face. "I mean, he wanted to stay behind and keep fighting. And you! You made it all the way across, and back, without a scratch on you! Ya both probably deserve Victora Crosses."

Emerson flushes, embarrassed. And none too proud of himself. He quickly shakes his head. "Richmond was a hero. No question. I rather think I'm just lucky to be alive." He stands, managing to keep his legs from shaking. "I…I rather think I'm going to go try and find some food." He looks the extreme opposite of hungry but it's a convenient excuse.

Raymes nods to Emerson and waves, "I'd get my rations later." He smiles at Garner, "A pity we didn't manage to take out that machine-gunner."

Garner 's confused look only deepens with Emerson's attitude. "Ahh. Good idea. If you manage to find an open mess, come back and inform your pals, ehh? We can take turns getting some early breakfast." He nods deeply to Raymes. "A real pity. If i could just had gotten close to him, WHAM!" He says, making a downward motion with his rifle butt. "Make him pay for my hand."

Raymes nods in agreement to Garner, "Seems like those who're skilled with machine guns are quite rare, taking him down might have deprived the enemy of the advantage."

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