Wulfe, loved the whole Paris trip, wonderful story telling. And congrats to Fullard on number 11.
Raine, the Collins saga continues to be outstanding. Looks like he managed to navigate through some tricky political waters - well done.
MFair, Drogo is certainly not the first pilot to get the wind up and he won't be the last. But he saw things through - good man.
Fullofit, looks like Swany has some company in feeling like nothing more than a hired gun. One of the many costs of war I fear. Here's hoping Toby can fully shake the self-loathing and disgust, he is only doing what is expected of him after all.
Carrick, for a scout squadron Kieth and his mates seem to make a lot of attacks on ground targets. Methinks the Brass Hats are not always allocating their resources wisely.
11 September 1916 Fienvillers, France
"What do I think? I think it's bloody frightening! Has the Old Man seen this yet?" It was Lieutenant K-C-Patrick responding to the question that had been put forth by his friend and fellow squadron mate, Captain Swanson.
"Good! I want it to be gottdam't bloody frightening. I want those Huns to piss themselves when they see this ting bearing down on them.", Swany proclaimed with a hellish smile that rivaled that of the legendary visage now emblazoned on the sides of his mount. "As for the Old Man, well, he said I had some latitude with the livery, so I took it."
"And I imagine the red tail is to purposely draw attention to yourself? Let me guess, again to stimulate fear in your opponents."
"Yup, I want them to see us coming from as far away as possible. And don't call them 'opponents' Patty, dat's too kind", Swanson sneered. "They're all targets as far as I'm concerned, and I want the last ting those basttards to see when I or my gunner send them to their deaths is Odin grinning at them."
"I'm concerned for you mate", Patrick began cautiously. "I know you and Chirs had been together as a team for a long time and losing him was a blow, of course, but..."
"But what?" Swany interrupted.
"But this vendetta you've set yourself on is not healthy. Sure, you've claimed five Huns in the last two days but my God man, you're going to get yourself killed if you don't take some caution. Think of Chatwick, he's still wet behind the ears. You're going to get him killed as well."
"Like hell I vill Patty, and I am being cautious. And dey only gave me two of dose claims, da cheats!", Swanson snapped. "I know how to stalk my prey, dammit. And my vendetta as you call it? Dat vill end once I've sent every last vun of dose gottdam't Hun basttards to hell!" Swany's accent and language grew stronger as his anger and voice rose.
"Sorry mate, not trying to get your ire up, just stating my concern", Patrick replied. "I know you're a top-notch pilot and a smart one as well, just keep on being one is all I'm asking. Don't want you going west too." His friend gave a concerned smile.
The Captain reined back his temper, taking a deep breath before responding. "I know Patty, I know. Sorry for taking aim at you, I'll redirect dat at the enemy. C'mon, let's go grab some tea and toast before the morning sortie, OK?"
"Sounds like a fine plan my friend, and a dam'd fine morning to execute it in as well. So, you think we'll run across any of those beastly Rolands today?"
Captain Swanson's new mount, ready for its first sortie.