Wow, so many great stories from everyone! Suddenly the campaign is very active again. Apologies for Lazlo's absence, He suddenly realized last week that his hard drive was getting perilously close to being full. Had a bit of a delay while he waited for a new drive to arrive, then had a few challenges getting a mirrored copy of the old drive to work properly, but he managed eventually. No, wait, that was me. Lazlo's had some hardware changes too, though....
Feldwebel Lazlo Halász,
Jasta 1, Bertincourt, France August 25th 1916
The dilema of the restricted cockpit was solved simply enough by the arrival of new machines. This coincided with the official renaming on the unit to Jasta 1, The great Oswald Boelke himself had visited them to celebrate the occasion and had shaken hands warmly with Lazlo, admiring the sheer size of the man and wishing him every success with the unit. His new machine was an improved version of the Eindecker, the EIV model. The cockpit was considerably wider and the fuselage allowed Lazlo more room to stretch out. This was also aided by a modification performed by the mechanics team, who were able to move the rudder pedal assembly further forward toward the nose of the plane, providing a crucial difference in leg room. Now the problem of ingress and egress was significantly diminished. Lazlo still needed the stepladder, but he had almost mastered it, being much less prone to wobbling about at the top.
The past few days provided weather that had been perfect for flying. Their morning sorties were often departing before dawn, when the dew still blanketed the field and the stars were still visible in the dark blue sky. The sunrises were magnificent. Lazlo found the new EIV easier to control than his old machine and he was able to fully enjoy the delights of these early morning missions. The enemy had been quiet for the past week, which gave all the men a chance to relax and unwind a little, even the tense ones. One evening in the mess, Lazlo had surprised his fellow pilots by bursting into song. His deep, sonorous bass voice had boomed through the room, rattling the ornaments on the mantelpiece and causing dust to fall from the rafters. "Big Red" was a firm favorite in the Jasta, and friendly with the mechanics, too. He was always grinning and was ready to offer one of his all enveloping bear hugs at any time, except most of the men tried to avoid those for fear of being inadvertently crushed. Lazlo didn't mind, he was just happy to be there. He hadn't thought too much about the actual business of war until one evening in his hut, Breuer turned to him and asked if he'd ever killed a man. Lazlo scratched his head to think.
"No I can't recall having done that", he said, scratching his chin.
"I fear it will come to us all, the moment where we must take another's life, or die ourselves". Breuer looked very distant and troubled. Lazlo himself began to feel uneasy. He hadn't given this subject any thought at all since his arrival, and they hadn't seen any foes. Now, Breuer had him pondering it.