21 July, 1916 11:05 noon mission Proville, Flanders Sector Kasta 17 Feldwebel Otto B von Kenobi
Otto was reading this morning’s paper while finishing his second cup of coffee. Right there on the front page in the bottom left corner there was a black bordered section. It read, “Lieutenant Henri Dagonet has died in the German hospital last night. He was the pilot who collided midair with Capitaine Voscadeaux. Dagonet survived the accident but succumbed to his injuries.” They should make him a national hero. He saved a lot of trouble for many German pilots. How long has it been since Voscadeaux’s funeral? A few days? Otto also read about that one in the papers. The man was a freak of nature. 54 confirmed aerial victories, who knows how many unconfirmed? “- Well, better them than me. I certainly wouldn’t want to end up dead by colliding with Thiede.“ Otto thought to himself. “- Speaking of Thiede, better get a move on. The briefing is about to start soon and the man despises tardiness.” He stood up, finished the last of his coffee, already cold, and headed for the briefing room. They’ve been sent to observe artillery fire near Arras again. Otto was starting to recognize nearby landmarks already. It was an uneventful affair except for the interesting part on the way back from the Front. They saw some Flak explosions on the port side. Gunther’s familiar tap on the shoulder commanded Otto’s attention. The observer was pointing with his Parabellum at a lonely mark in the sky. His eyes were full of greed and he hungrily rubbed his hands together like someone about to eat a large meal. It was a Blériot Experimental, easy meat for the well armed Roland. Obi took his machine up to meet the intruder. He figured Gunther’s earlier talk about avoiding trouble didn’t include two-seaters. They came closer, but the Britisher spotted them and immediately begun evasive maneuvers. It took some time to get the Walfisch into position and they approached the enemy as carefully as possible. The Quirk continued to turn and attempt to place his gunner in a firing position, but Otto was always one step ahead. His training and his experience from his time in Dardanelles came back fresh to him. He would attempt a few shots from behind but quickly overshot the Englander and let Gunther have a go while in front of the enemy. Otto’s observer was well versed in machine gun operation, although lacking in the reflex department, fired series after series at the toothless observation machine. Soon it began to emit smoke and the propeller came to a stop. He was now gliding towards the safety of the English lines, but Otto had him pinned and together with Gunther’s relentless fire the damaged machine was forced to land in No-Man’s Land. Obi turned for home. Once landed, he saw the Schwarmfürher near his machine, waiting for them. “- So, here’re our troublemakers!” Otto couldn’t tell if Leutnant Fritz Thiede was angry with them or just jealous. “- Lay off, Fritz!” Gunther wouldn’t have any of it. “Have you completed your mission? Well, we have too AND prevented the Englander from completing his. That’s a pretty good job, wouldn’t you say?” Gunther and von Kenobi went to see Artur Dietrich about their claim, leaving Thiede standing, looking dumb. “- What is wrong with Thiede?” Obi asked as they kept on walking. Gunter just waved him off with his hand. “- He’s a Scheißkerl!”
"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."