Carrick, some days you win. Other days you get bupkis.

15 May, 1916
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Capitaine Gaston A. Voscadeaux
27 confirmed kills

Gaston sat on the wooden bench in front of one of the hangars rubbing his swollen foot. He found it odd that his calf was shot through with a bullet, yet it was his foot that was giving him most grief. The sun was out and bathing everything in its warm light. Voscadeaux enjoyed sitting outside without the need to turn his head in all directions or squint his eyes to look directly at the sun in search of enemy. Just a quiet day at the aerodrome. Then he heard it. A distant rumble of aero engines. At first low then becoming closer, louder, much higher in pitch. Un unmistakable sound of Nieuports coming back after a mission. This was Gaston’s favourite part. Like a little boy his heart rate increased as the machines came lower and lower over the airfield. It was another line patrol and his wingman, Lieutenant Denys Thuillier, was leading the ‘B’ flight in his absence. He counted 3 scouts, but there should be 4. One of them probably had an engine trouble and had to land at another airfield. As they landed one by one, Gaston recognized them by their markings. There is Boillot with his large B, then D for Dagonet and finally de Geuser with a G. Thuillier was missing. That man just loves playing hooky. The pilots disembarked from their Nieuports and were walking slowly towards the office to make their reports.
“- What have you done to my wingman?” Gaston accosted Dagonet as they were walking by. Dagonet stopped and slumped onto the bench beside Gaston. He exhaled heavily. “- I’m sorry Gaston, Denys is dead...” he choked and said nothing more. Gaston instinctively thought Dagonet was joking. He didn’t believe it.
“- Oh Henri, stop pulling my leg. Can’t you see she is injured?” But he soon realized it wasn’t a joke when Dagonet didn’t smile back.
“- It was a new type of Boche machine. It is a two-seater biplane, but flies and fights like a Nieuport. It came at us from behind, out of the sun and went straight for the leader. Poor Thuillier didn’t even see it coming.” Dagonet explained. “If their bombers fly like our scouts then I think we’re done for. We better get new planes soon if they roll out their new scouts and they’re as good as this new bomber.” Dagonet was looking defeated. “I’d better go. I have to make the report. I hate this part.” He stood up and squeezed Gaston’s shoulder, leaving him alone to deal with the loss.

"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."