I have so much of catching up! Wulfe, you should be banned from writing about tobacco. I was reading along and smelling the aroma of those exquisite cigars. It almost made me take up smoking. You Sir, are a threat to the health of anybody’s lungs. I salute you. Oh, and an excellent choice on the Webley. Looks like Graham is not resting well. Perhaps he needs a distraction to occupy his mind? How much money has he got left? Carrick, looks like you’re being left alone for now. Keep a sharp lookout for the Boche. Raine, I agree with Lou. One funny episode and now I have a greater respect for geese. That bird nearly cooked their goose. And poor Wilson, he’ll probably never look at foie gras. Maeran, worry not. This is not a race. Write when you can and good luck with the move. Make sure you don’t end up in Kent. Lovely stuff everyone.
Gaston’s Aviatik from yesterday was confirmed. It would not bring Roland back. The mission for today was a rail yard attack at Jametz junction. Gaston still remembers how the last mission to this place played out. He will have to look out for those blasted machine gun nests. S. Ltn. Medeville lead him and Adj. Barnay to the target without too much trouble. Two Nieuport 12’s in the “A” flight were on hand to assess the damage and circled high over the target. Gaston attacked the red brick house. After his third pass the building appeared to be sufficiently damaged so Voscadeaux decided to switch to the other masonry structure. Once he made his initial attack the ground defences begun to respond and he saw tracers fly near his plane. He started to weave and searched for the rest of the marauding party to divide ground gunners’ attention. He spotted a biplane and decided to join him. It was Adjutant Barnay, who for some reason was flying strangely. It looked like he was trying to shake off an invisible enemy. Gaston looked up as an Eindecker flashed above his head. The invisible enemy revealed himself in the most shocking way. Voscadeaux didn’t expect it at all and was kicking his mental self for not paying more attention. Apparently the Fokkers pounced on the two Nieuports above in the “A” flight, which were now in full retreat with one of the Huns in pursuit. The other monoplane was locked in a fight with Barnay. This allowed Gaston to climb on his tail and bring the Eindecker down. He watched the crater the Fokker left in the ground after crashing and made the decision to make one more pass on the rail yard before retiring. He focused on the other brick structure across the yard and pressed his attack. The Flak exploded around him like the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. One of them went off very close with a piece of shrapnel nicking Gaston’s cheek. He put his gauntlet to his frozen face to examine the damage. It was nothing. This won’t even leave a scar. Gaston laughed - he accidentally cut himself deeper with his own razor than this. He finished his attack on the building which was now engulfed in dust and smoke and turned his Nieuport south. Who knows what other damage this nearby blast may have done to his machine? He was now climbing as high as he could before crossing the lines. Gaston looked around for the rest of his flight to rejoin, but none of his members were anywhere in sight. He would have to go it alone for the rest of the way. Voscadeaux was still climbing when his engine sputtered and lost power. It was still operating but not doing any useful work. Gaston begun to lose altitude, still deep behind enemy lines. He looked around for a good place to put down and decided to land near the east bank of the Meuse River. If it all goes well he can lose the search party’s dogs in the water. Gaston was gliding onto a field covered in snow. He didn’t expect a smooth landing. His Nieuport was now at tree height level and coming down fast. Gaston braced for the inevitable impact and his scout hit the frozen ground. The landing gear buckled and the Nieuport skidded to a stop.
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."