Gents, I meant to post this with my report but forgot. Not that I’m telling anyone something new but the immersion of WOFF is out of the park. Knowing I am flying a machine that is outclassed by those I am flying against, there is a real feeling of dread when I start up the engine. It does not leave until I see Martincourt in the distance and I know I am about to be on the ground and alive. DID pilots just add to the total immersion factor. Thanks Raine!
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4488873 - 09/09/1903:20 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,879RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Fullofit, Chesty certainly is getting his fill of those Fokkers. Eindeckers - no one can beat just one.
Carrick, nice floor show, think I caught that one in Atlantic City once.
MFair, congrats on Drogo's latest victory. Scary stuff this WWI flying business, and as you so rightly note WOFF does an excellent job of capturing it all.
9 September 1916 Fienvillers, France
Captain Swanson had made his return to camp by late in the afternoon of the 8th. With him he had carried Lieutenant Dent's personal belongings and flying kit which he'd collected before leaving the dressing station at Trones Wood. It had been awful, having to go through the pockets of his dead friend's clothing all the while seeing his sallow face, its once lively features now forever frozen into a ghastly death mask - eyes not quite fully shut, lips and teeth slightly parted, color faded from the cheeks. Swany kept trying to look away as he searched Chris's clothing but that face would pull his gaze back, over and over. With the pockets gone through the Captain next removed the flying coat, cap, goggles, gloves, blood-stained silk scarf, and muddied boots, the helpful Sergeant of the 56th Division advising such, otherwise the items may well be gone by the time the body was sent along. Swanson placed the few small personal things he'd gathered into the flying cap: several francs worth of coins; a small compass; a box of matches stuffed inside a pack of Murads with three cigarettes remaining; and a little "touchwood" charm with several inches of red string attached to it. The last item Swany had not seen before and it surprised him, he never took Chris for the superstitious type, but then so many of the men who flew were. Truth be told, while Swany did not carry a charm, he did have his own ritual before climbing up into the cockpit - he would pat the side of the plane three times and under his breath recite, "cry 'havoc' and let slip the dogs of war". Whether you believed in luck or fate or god or the devil, no one wanted to tempt or upset any of them, and if carrying a talisman or invoking a ritual might keep you even a wisp safer - well.
With the small items secured in the cap Swany place it, along with the rest of the kit, inside the long flying coat, folding it around everything and cross-tying it with a length of twine. With the horrid job done Swany stood and watched as his friend's body was placed onto several yards of drab canvas which was then pulled up around and quickly whip-stitched shut. The fellow with the needle and cord then checked with the Captain on the particulars of the body and where it should be sent along to, scribbling the information on a gusseted square of card-stock which he then stitched to the foot end of the "bag". Swany turned and walked away, the leather-wrapped parcel under his left arm, the canvas-wrapped body of his friend left behind. A short while later the Captain boarded the tender that would take him to Doullens. Being the senior officer out of the fifteen men that were crammed into the vehicle it was the assumption of all concerned that he would of course sit up front with the driver. Swany didn't care either way, but climbed up into the cab as it was clearly what was expected. He did not speak to his chauffeur, a young Corporal, during the entire ride despite the boy's repeated efforts to engage him in conversation. Instead Swany stared out at the landscape, awash in the morning's sunlight. He stared, as the little houses and farms and fields and tree lines slid by, oblivious to all of it. His mind was working, trying to recall just how many lads 70 Squadron had lost since the start of the Somme push in July. He ran through the past weeks in his head, straining to recall those no longer with them. He eventually decided on seven, counting Chris; three being killed in combat or dying shortly thereafter from their wounds, and four landing behind enemy lines and being captured. He wondered if that was a high number in terms of other outfits, then he wondered what the hell difference it made. It was seven men lost, and this latest offensive seemed far from over, much less the war itself. How many more would there be? Swany was fast reaching the conclusion that none of them were going to survive this.
By the morning of the 9th Captain Swanson was determined to get back to the task at hand, despite having gotten barely three hours of sleep over the last forty-eight. The headache centered above his right ear was fairly strong, no doubt due to the lack of rest. He had reported to the CO who had offered him the day off which Swany politely, but flatly, refused. Instead he asked for a new mount, seeing as how his Strutter had been shot and mortared into oblivion by the Hun as the battle for the field in which it was parked had continued throughout the night of the 7th.
"You can have 1907 Captain, it's been serviced, rigged, and trimmed, and is ready to go."
"Thank you Sir, I appreciate that", came Swanson's curt reply.
"And you will be taking 2nd Lieutenant Chatwick along", the CO added. "He's green so you'll be showing him the ropes."
"Thank you again Sir, I will do my best", the Captain answered with a forced smile, his response betraying little of how he actually felt about being saddled with a fresh G/O.
Shortly past morning tea Captain Swanson, his new partner planted nervously in the rear office of 1907, took off with two other crews of A Flight following, and headed east directly to Leuze Wood. They loitered there for nearly an hour, Swany leading them back and forth between Guillemont and Lechelle - watching - waiting. He was just about to give the signal to head back when he caught sight of a lone plane about 1,500' below, coming across the mud. It was a Hun biplane making its way home. Swany motioned for the rest of the flight to stay high, then pointed out the target to Chatwick who, not surprisingly, had missed it entirely. Down went the nose of the Strutter. Moments later the Captain was on the tail of the enemy plane, a Halberstadt, whose pilot was either as green as Swany's new G/O, or asleep at the stick. Either way, the Boche did not know he was in trouble until it was far too late. The Vickers barked as Swanson unleashed two long, deadly bursts directly into the back of the Hun pilot who instantly slumped forward, pushing his mount into its death dive. Swany grinned as he admired his handiwork, it was the first time he hadn't felt at least a twinge of remorse about sending another human being to his death. All he felt was hatred - pure, unadulterated hatred. Hatred of the Hun he'd just killed and of all like him. Hatred of this god-dam'd war. Hatred of himself. He'd quite suddenly and quite unexpectedly been made fully aware of the fact that, of his own free will, he'd become nothing more than a paid killer.
#4488893 - 09/09/1904:59 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Great stories, all! Fullard's Paris escapade is going to be a long one, my apologies - there's a lot to write! I'll try to make the 'leave' stuff interesting Crushing news about Chris Dent. He was one of my favourite 'NPC' characters. A toast to him.
Sous. Lieutenant James B. Fullard, Esc. N.124 'Americaine', Paris, France.
September 7th, 1916
“Thank you, sir!” I said, vigorously shaking Thenault’s hand on the morning of the 6th. The Capitane had sent an orderly for me at first light, calling me into his office where he announced my request for a 48-hour pass had been approved. He smiled warmly as he signed off the pass and pushed it into the breast pocket of my tunic. “Don’t thank me, James, thank H.Q! We’ve been given only routine patrols for the next two days. But, don’t think you’re just getting a free holiday, mon ami! I have a few tasks for you while you’re in Paris”. He took out paper and pen, quickly scribbling onto it and handing it to me. “Go to this address and ask for Mr. W. Moore Robinson. He’ll give you a coupon for 50 pounds of coffee”. I looked down at the address and committed it to memory. “Once you’ve done that, I want you to go around to some of the aeroplane factories and have a look at the machines. The men will be keen to find out what you discover!”. “Thank you again, sir” I said with a grin, turning for the door.
Over breakfast the Escadrille’s pilots were so excited that anyone would think they were all coming to Paris with me, and I was barraged with a torrent of recommendations of clubs, bars, cafes, and all sorts of other establishments to visit. The second wave of my comrades’ attack then came in the form of a mass of letters and trinkets, all to be sent back to America. “Yeah, yeah, I’ll deliver em’!” I reassured my pals, before pausing. “Er, how do I deliver them, though?”. The pilots looked at me as if I were a fool. “Why, drop ‘em off with Lawrence and Henrietta, of course!” said Thaw. I looked at him blankly.
“Oh, I suppose you’ve never met them. Well, Henrietta is my dear sister, and Lawrence is her husband. Lawrence Slade. Here, hold on, I’ll give you the address”. Borrowing a pen from Blanchon, he jotted down the address on a napkin and handed it to me. “Right. Okay. I’ll drop the letters off first thing”. Thaw grinned and slapped me on the back. “Well, bon voyage, you lucky dog!”. “Oh, and get a room in the Hotel Chatham!” Prince called after me as I turned for the exit.
A Corporal drove me to the station at Bar-le-Duc, where I boarded the 9 O’Clock train for Paris. With my suitcase of mail hugged against my chest I waded through the French soldiers, all headed no doubt to enjoy a decadent leave in the grand capital. As I scanned the small booths, hoping for an unoccupied one, I suddenly spotted a portly pilot, sleeping with his arms folded and his head pressed against the window. Under his cap was an unmistakable mess of firey-red hair. Sliding the door open, I dropped my suitcase on the opposite seat and then, with a devilish grin, I took careful aim and kicked the pilot squarely in the shin.
“Merde! What the hell, Fils de Pute!” Lemoine roared as he bolted awake, his furious blue gaze flashing up at me. A grin cracked on my face as I saw recognition wash over him. “Fullard?” he asked, and I burst into laughter as he jumped to his feet, throwing his arms around me in a great bear hug. As we fell back into our seats, he passed me a cigarette. “On leave as well?” Lemoine asked, grinning. I nodded. “Yup. Off to go see brother Andrew in Paris. But never mind that! How have you been?”.
“Same old, Fullard. That damned Messier wakes me up each morning and I fly around hoping we don’t meet any Rolands”. “Yeah, Rolands. I hate ‘em. You off to Paris too?” “Yes, visiting Ortoli. He’s over there on leave at the moment”. “Great! How’s he getting on?” “Same as ever. Still a cheeky Connard”.
My smile faded slightly, and I adopted a softer tone. Taking a long drag of my cigarette, I met Lemoine’s gaze. “I, er...I heard that Devienne was killed. Sorry, Lemoine. I know you two were thick as thieves”. To my amazement, Lemoine let out a single, staccato laugh. “Ha! What? No, no, Devienne’s not dead! Who told you that?”. My eyes widened. “He’s not?! Really! Well, that’s just swell! A week or so back we had a Caudron pilot stop by the villa, he told us a Roland had gotten him!”. Lemoine laughed again. “Well, that much is true! The young fool got his ship shot about pretty terribly, and he caught some bullet shrapnel, but he’s still alive and kicking! He’s off in some hospital somewhere having a nice long rest and dreaming about mademoiselles. But, forget him, the villa? Just what kind of Escadrille is the American one, anyway?”.
I felt relief wash over me in euphoric waves. Devienne’s alive! With just that small refrain, that one piece of good news among the bad, the war suddenly didn’t seem so bleak. “Well, the American Escadrille is a fine bunch. And yes, we stay in a villa. Makes a nice change from the old leaky barracks at N.31! We also have the new Nieuport 17s, but-” Lemoine cut me off. “Lá! Lá! Lá! Nieuport 17s! What the hell! They’re treating you Americans like celebrities! No wonder I’ve seen your name in the papers!” I gestured for him to wait. “But, we only have 10 between 12 pilots, so I’m still on the old Nieuport 16”. He let out a long laugh.
Idly we chatted as the train traversed the rolling hills and vast farmlands of France, before eventually pulling into the Gare de l’Est at Paris. Together we stepped down onto the platform into a sea of Khaki and Horizon Blue - an endless tide of soldiers and pilots, all on leave. Together we walked out onto the steps of the station, around which were several Poillus sleeping restlessly on the concrete. Taking care not to tread on the sleeping men, we stepped down onto the street. “Well, Lemoine. I guess I’ll see you later on. Give my best to Ortoli and the rest of the boys, would you?”. He grinned and we shook hands. “See you later, American”. With that, we parted ways.
Wandering down Rue de Chabrol, I stopped a French Artilleryman and asked him if he knew where the Hotel Chatham was. “Oh, easy. You walk the length of Rue La Fayette until you come to Place de l’Opera, and then you get onto Rue de la Plaix. You should see it easy enough after that”. I thanked him and made my way, taking in the grand architecture and European culture as I strolled along at a leisurely pace. As I walked, I took great interest in looking at the many different uniforms on display. The bright red trousers and brilliant blue tunics of the old French Poillus, the khaki-green of the tommies, the red-collared Belgian uniforms. Once or twice I noticed wings embroidered onto the British tunics, the markings of the R.F.C. I finally spotted the Hotel Chatham, a towering six-storey building. Outside each of its many tall rectangular windows was a windowbox overflowing with scarlet poppies. Stepping through the small doorway at street level, I found an ornate desk with a young lady sitting behind it, wearing a bored expression. “Hello, Lieutenant. Room for one?” she asked tiredly. I nodded, and after a quick exchange of money a key was pressed into my hand. From seemingly nowhere a porter arrived and took my bag from me. “This way, sir,” he requested, leading me up an ornate staircase to the second floor. I noticed as we passed the hotel’s guests that the vast majority of them were French pilots. Seeing my wings, many smiled and nodded. I was led to an unassuming oak door, but after turning the key and stepping through I found myself in a grand high-ceilinged room, a large double-bed pushed neatly against the wall. Opposite to it was a beautifully-carved ornate fireplace, and facing out onto the street were three tall windows, partly-covered by heavy embroidered curtains. Placing my suitcase by the bedside, the Porter bowed quickly and exited.
I slumped down onto the bed and pulled out the various scraps of paper in my pocket, deciding what my first order of business should be. Among them was Thaw’s sister’s address, Mr. Robinson’s address and the envelope of Andrew’s letter, with the return address of the Ritz. Mother must have sent Andrew some cash! I thought to myself with a smile. However, I remembered my promise to the Escadrille. I decided to take up my suitcase and head towards the Slade residence.
After an hours’ walk and much searching around the local area, I finally found the right door and knocked. I was greeted by Lawrence Slade, Henrietta’s husband and another American from New York. Spotting my wings, he broke into a smile. “Aha! You must be one auv Bill's friends!” he said happily, inviting me in. “Henrietta's not home right now, but I'll tell ha’ you stopped by. How's Bill doing, by the way?”. “He’s doing well. I don’t mean to be rude, but I can’t stay long. I hope it’s not a bother, but the boys at the Escadrille asked me to leave some letters to be posted home. They told me I should drop them off here”. Lawrence grinned. “Leave it to me. I’ll see that they get Stateside! Do you have time fah a cup auv coaffee before you go?”. I broke into a grin. “Oh, buddy, I always have time for a coffee”. We sat down at Lawrence’s modest dining table as he informed me of some of the happenings back home. “The folks back home are losing their aupinion auv the Germans, you know. At the end auv July there was a huge explosion in the New’Youk docks, courtesy auv their agents. Bahstads even took a chunk outta lady liberty! Needless to say, aur boys back home are coming around to the Frenchies' side. I think it won't be too long before we come into the war”. I was shocked at the news, but relished the thought of the U.S entering into the conflict. After relaying some of the recent Escadrille news to Lawrence and thanking him for the coffee I bid him farewell and headed back out onto the cool early evening of Paris, bound for the Ritz.
Just down the road from my old Hotel I found it - a maginficent curving building, its face covered by tall windows and delicately carved ornamentation. As I entered I was in awe of its decadence, the floors draped in marble patterned with a deep blue floral design and its cream-coloured walls stretching ever-upwards. After making an inquiry at the desk, I found that my brother was staying on the first floor, but that he was currently lounging in the bar. Thanking the attendant behind the counter, I found my way into the bar and into a sea of blue and green. My! They’re all pilots! I thought to myself, as a hundred pairs of wings proudly sat upon the breasts of the men’s tunics. Wading through the crowd, I said a few brief hellos as I scanned for my brother. Then, in the corner of the room, sitting alongside a Frenchman and an Englishmen, I saw him. Andrew. Immediately I was overcome with emotion - I hadn’t seen my brother since the start of 1915.
A strange nervousness gripped me as I walked over to their table, tapping Andrew on the shoulder. As he turned to face me, I was surprised at how gaunt he looked. His broad, childlike grin, however, was unchanged. “My god! James!” he cried, grabbing a crutch by his side and rising to his feet. We embraced for a long while. “How you doing, kid?” I asked him, euphoria catching in my voice as he offered me a seat. “Fellas! This is my Brother, James!” he said to his companions, and I shook the two pilots’ hands. “God, it’s good to see you!” Andrew said to me, that child’s grin plastered on his face. “How the hell have you been?”. I laughed. “I’ll tell you over a drink. Martinis are on me” I replied, taking in the contours of Andrew’s face for a moment before ruffling his hair and heading to the bartop. As I ushered the bartender over, I thought to myself. Today’s a good day.
There was so much to catch up on. I listened in awe at Andrews’ stories of life as a Poillu - it sounded horrific. Quietly as we sipped our drinks and smoked our American cigarettes (delivered to Andrew courtesy of a friend back home) he told me of trenches turned to bogs, thick, merciless mud that dragged men entirely under and buried them alive. The earth swallowing soldiers for their sins. He told me of rats, the infestation, the sound that their sharp needle-teeth made as they devoured the flesh of the dead. A quiet clicking sound, wet, incessant. Matter-of-factly he told me of how nobody had time to clear or even bury the dead, and in the trenches was a smell unlike anything he’d ever experienced. “The closest thing to it was...you remember the Slaughterhouse next to the Jeffersons’ farm? Imagine that on the hottest summer day, but 100 times worse”. The incense of Hell. At the Somme, during the Legion’s first big push, he had faced the terror of the infantry - the ‘Crossfire’, two or more German machine guns sweeping the advancing troops in an ‘X’, with not even an inch of space between the two streams of bullets. Andrew had been fortunate - one German gunner had dropped his gun too low, and the bullet had smashed his kneecap. The doctor had said he’d never walk properly again.
“So, what the hell are you going to do now? You can’t fight if you can’t walk, right?” I asked him, as he grinned and showed off the field dressing around his leg. “Oh, well, I thought I’d do like you and big brother. I’m going to join the air service”. I stiffened. “Andrew...don’t do that. Please. You don’t know how many green pilots I’ve seen kill themselves. Hell, even as I was training we lost a third of the guys to crashes. The air war is...different”. Andrew tensed. “Hell, James, it’s either that or they send me home! Even the damned American Ambulance Corps won’t take me with a busted leg!”. I thought deeply for a moment, slowly smoking my cigarette down to the butt. “You know, Andrew...and don’t get me wrong, kid...but maybe that ain’t such a terrible thing”. He looked at me in shock. “Hear me out. Mom and Pops have already lost one of us, right? I’m in this thing ‘til it ends or the Bosche kill me. But you have a way out! Hell, we ought to have one of us get home, right?”. I saw anger flash over Andrew’s face for a moment, and for a second I expected him to yell at me, but then his features relaxed, turning miserable. “Ah, christ. You’re right. You were always the rational one. But, James, how can I miss the war? I’d be yellow if I went home now! ‘Sides, how could I leave you over here? What if something happ….what if something happened to you, and I was just sittin’ around at home? No, James, I’m going to join the air service”. I clasped a hand on his shoulder. In his eyes I saw the same determination he had when we were young. He wore the face that always said ‘I’ve made up my mind and you can’t change it’. I let out a deep sigh. “Well, it’s up to you, kid. But, think about it, eh?”. He promised me he would.
The clock had just struck eleven-thirty and the bar had mostly cleared out when I finally came to my feet. “Well. I gotta hit the road. My C.O’s given me some tasks to do tomorrow, but I’ll come and see you before I head back to the Escadrille. Keep out of trouble, okay? Love you, kid”. We embraced again and I headed out into the chill night, wearily making my way back to the luxury of my hotel room.
First thing in the morning, I called upon Mr. Robinson. He was a humble man, and very accommodating, asking after each pilot of the American Escadrille by name and inviting me to dinner. He told me he would invite some American reporters, so that I could share our stories back home, but I had to politely decline, informing him I had other business to attend to before I headed back to Bar-le-Duc. Understanding, he happily bid me good day and saw me off with the coffee coupon.
Leaving Mr. Robinson’s house, I flagged down a taxi to take me to the Bleriot factory in Suresnes. I caught sight of an old Nieuport 10 coursing over the vast suburbs of Paris as we drove and smirked to myself. No doubt a trainee from the G.D.E, I thought to myself, recalling how we were all told never to fly over Paris, but we all did so anyway. Eventually we arrived at the factory, and I was quickly awed by the sheer scale of it. It was an operation of incredible scale - over a space of17 square miles masses and masses of factory buildings and warehouses stretched out across the suburbs, with partially and fully built planes dotting their edges in every direction. Paying the taxi driver, I wandered up to the front gates where I was halted by a guard. “Business?” he asked me bluntly, and I pointed to my wings. “I’m a pilot with the American Escadrille. I should like to have a look”. The guard nodded once and escorted me to an office on the complex, where I met with a foreman named Moreau. Happily he agreed to take me around to see some finished new machines, leading me to a small warehouse about a mile from the entrance. We stepped inside, and he showed me various prototype aeroplanes. “This, monsieur, will be the finest Nieuport machine yet” he said, indicating to me an unassuming machine that looked just like our current ones. “What’s so special about it?” I asked. With a grin, he indicated to the top wing. “Well, it’s the machine gun, you see!”. Puzzled, I looked at him. “But, there is no machine gun?”
“Exactement! There is no machine gun above the wing! Look, it is mounted in the nose instead! Lieutenant Fullard, this will be the first Nieuport machine with a Synchronised machine-gun! As I’m sure you know, you can carry 97 rounds in the drum of a Lewis machine gun, and to reload it after you must do so in the air”. I nodded. “With this synchronised Vickers, you will be able to carry 500 rounds, and with this ammunition belt you won’t have to ever reload it in the air!”. I was impressed, to say the least. “Brilliant. When do we get ‘em?” I asked, and Moreau winked. “Ah, M’Sieur, they are already sending the first ones out! I guarantee you shall have them by the end of the month”. Despite myself I broke into a smile. “Fantastic…” I muttered, looking over the synchronised Vickers once more.
Writing down notes to bring back to the Escadrille, I made my way back to the Ritz and had a late lunch with Andrew, where we talked carelessly about home. On hindsight, it was a bad idea, for before too long we were both terribly homesick. Checking my watch, I suddenly realised that I had to be back to Bar-le-Duc by nightfall, and I was out of time. “#%&*$#, I gotta head back to the Escadrille,” I told my brother, and he sighed, smiling weakly. “Duty calls, eh? Well, until next time, James”. We embraced and shook hands. “Take care of yourself, kid. And have a think about what I said, about heading Stateside, eh?”. His face turned serious. “I have thought about it. I’m going to be a pilot”. Hopelessness washed over me as I looked into his face. He really means it.
Reluctantly I left my brother and headed for the Gare de l’Est, boarding the first train back for Bar-le-Duc among a handful of pilots from the Verdun region. The train ride seemed to fly past as I became lost in memories of life in San Francisco before the war, and before I knew it, Paris had dropped away, becoming nought more than a distant daydream again. Disembarking at the station, I hailed a taxi to take me back to the Villa. That night I was bombarded with questions from my fellow pilots. “How did you get on?” “Did you run into any mademoiselles?” “How was my sister? Oh, you never met her? Pity!” “Did you send my letter?”. I tried my best to satisfy my friends’ curiosities.
As I awoke on the morning of the 8th, Paris felt like it had been a dream. It had passed so quickly. As I pulled my uniform on and made my way out of my room, I could hear an almighty commotion from downstairs. Hurrying down the staircase and into the dining room, I saw a gang of pilots crowded around Luf, barraging him with questions, which he was doing his best to answer with a grin on his face. “What’s going on?” I asked Rumsey. Beaming from ear to ear, he cried out “Luf got one of those new Bosche Biplanes!”. I laughed aloud, pushing my way into the crowd. “Tell us again what happened, Luf!” cried Chouteau Johnson, and the pilots fell quiet.
Dramatically clearing his throat and drawing himself up to his full height, Luf started to recount the tale.
“Well, mes amies, it went like this. We were over Verdun, a usual patrol, you know. All of a sudden, we see a swarm of machines, larger than I’ve ever seen! As we approached I saw them. Mon Dieu, I cried aloud in my cockpit! They were Bosches! Good old Thenault took us right towards them, and they never knew we were there. The Capitane got right behind one and had a good look at him - It’s just like a Fokker, but with a second set of wings. I saw a second enemy machine and attacked with Masson. However, I was just about to attack when bullets whipped right past me! Looking round I saw another one of the brutes on my tail. Immediately I curved around to the right and got behind him, and he led me on a merry chase into the Bosche lines right down at treetop level! Well, I was sure I had him, but the devil quickly landed his machine in a field. As I flew over I gave him a wave, and would you know it, mes amies, the Bosche waved back!”.
Last edited by Wulfe; 09/09/1911:27 PM.
#4488913 - 09/09/1911:24 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
It took most of an evening to get caught up with all the excellent stories here. I've read through my WW1 library several times, but this is like being part of a Book of the Week club. Gripping stuff!
Lou - It was devastating to hear of Dent's loss. Swany will have to reel in his enthusiasm until his new man gains some experience. Harry - Congratulations on Lazlo's first two kills. What a fun character he is. MFair - So good to have you back in the air with Drogo. Congrats on his first victory, but take care while you're still on Eindekkers. It seems to take only a couple of rounds for them to want to fall out of the sky. Fullofit - Toby is amazing. Up to 15 kills already. Albert Ball better look out. Wulfe, I'm loving Fullard's tale and was delighted to meet Lemoine again and hear Devennes is still alive.
Collins is still adjusting...
An Airman’s Odyssey – by Captain James Arthur Collins, VC, MC
Part Sixty: In which I reconcile
Hawkes & Co were taken aback by the presentation of the VC ribbon by a Canadian. They noted that my uniform lacked the “Canada” stripe on the shoulder and suggested that a Canadian VC should appear as such. In the time it took to read the newspaper, they had sewn on the crimson ribbon, adjusted the MC ribbon’s place, added the newly-authorized wound stripe, and finished it all off with the Canada flash. I had an hour and a half before meeting the General at Simpson’s, so I enjoyed some window-shopping on Regent Street, which had become my favourite stroll in the city. Only this time I found heads turning, hats being doffed, and complete strangers wanting to shake my hand. A lieutenant-colonel of Guards saluted before I did. The novelty of it all was entertaining.
Simpson's Gentlemen's Dining Room
My splendid cut of roast beef was getting cold. Mr. Lloyd George demanded all my attention, and he returned once more to his favourite topic.
“These contact patrols, Captain Collins. Were you able to form an opinion on the success of the battle on the ground whilst flying over the lines?”
I glanced over at General Henderson, who was looking at the Marquess of Crewe. Neither was comfortable. And the General had cautioned me in the few private moments we had in the foyer. “Well sir,” I stammered, “we were all rather busy, what with the klaxon signals and note-taking and such.”
The Marquess of Crewe, Leader of the Lords
David Lloyd George, Secretary of War
“But were the Boches holding our men up?”
“Ultimately, yes sir.”
“And yet we persisted week after week from July until September. Remarkable, don’t you think, Captain Collins.”
I thought back to General Trenchard’s briefing in our sheds at Lahoussoye before the battle. “Our purpose as I understand it, sir, was to keep pressure on the Hun and take it off the French. We did that very well. And we took ground, very advantageous ground.”
“But at what cost, my boy? At what dreadful cost?”
The Marquess cut into the conversation. “I’m sure the poor fellow doesn’t have the figures at hand. I for one commend you and the entire Flying Corps on the support you have provided. I am told that the German soldiers complained bitterly that their own flying machines had been driver off.”
After dinner, the General and I stopped at the Charing Cross Hotel for a drink and I learned that Mr. George, a Secretary for War, was advocating a more direct hand in the running of things in France, which the Marquess was prepared to support General Haig. And my shadow, Max Aitken, seemed to have partnered with George. There was even talk of ousting Asquith as Prime Minister. The General was relieved that they had not been able to acquire any benefit from their meeting with me. It was all too much. But more to the point for me at least, he had given me a notice of investiture containing three passes to Windsor Castle for Saturday the 9th.
I left London the next morning for my mother’s house near Cambridge. It was a grey and blustery day. I mentally rehearsed the meeting I expected, but I was determined to try to bring my mother around and have her with me at the Castle.
Mrs. Winthrop, Mummy’s head housekeeper, met me at the door. It was she who had taken my telephone call a couple of days ago. She urged me to come. She greeted me with surprising warmth and congratulated me on the Zeppelins and the VC, and then she took my greatcoat and led me to the parlour. My mother sat by the garden window, a book of poetry in her lap, and looked up impassively. I took the chair beside her and looked for a sign that the ice would break. For nearly a minute she sat staring straight ahead, and then her lip began to quiver. A single sob broke free from her restraint and I reached for her arm. “Mummy, I’m home. Are you all right?”
She looked much older than I remembered, her skin thinner. I noticed her hands, now knotted with arthritis. I wanted to reach for a hand, but my chair was too far away. Mrs. Winthrop brought us tea. “I can’t bear to lose you,” she said at last. “Your father went away for so many years. When he finally came back from the Northwest, we had such a short time together. And then you went away too. Now Dorothy is gone. Everyone goes.” Tears were falling freely now.
I explained as best I could. I’d found something I was half decent at. The distillery was Dad’s affair, and I’d learned the business. Flying was mine. There was a war on. I simply could not stay home in Canada. After the war it would be a fine thing to say one had served in the RFC. And now I have a very great decoration and I’ve met so many people. I’ve done a service to the family name. Why is that wrong?
She looked at me. “You are the image of your father, Jimmy.” At last she smiled, and I laughed. She agreed to come to the investiture. Dorothy would meet her at Kings Cross Station and get her to Paddington by cab. From there they would take the train to Windsor. I would have to meet them at the Castle, as there would be a carriage waiting for Fred, Billy, and me.
She sipped tea. “I do prefer a touch of brandy with it,” she said. “But Mrs. Winthrop has been helping me avoid it.” She explained that since Dorothy left she had been attending meetings at the Society of Friends. “Most stimulating,” she said.
“Are the Quakers teetotal?” I asked.
“Not at all. Not necessarily, at least. But they have taught me the virtue of moderation in all things. When a thing controls your life whether it is love of the thing or hatred of the thing, I believe it is wrong.” It seemed a rational idea.
“Jimmy, do not let the war, or the Army, or a piece of metal on a ribbon control you. For my part, I shall attempt not to control you either.”
Five in the morning, the wind fresh, and the sky fading from violet to blue-orange on the eastern horizon. The task was a routine patrol to the north of the city as far as Northolt. Ness and Burroughs joined me. It was wonderful to be in the cockpit. The smell of flight – leather, leaking oil, whale oil, petrol, cordite, sweat, dope. A very British smell, it seemed. I’d downed a Hun machine and examined it and it smelled sour and foreign. This was home.
The BE12 trundled over the hard field and lifted gently. There was a headwind and the machine wanted to climb. I turned northwest and throttled back. Already the powers that be were pushing me to a non-flying role. That could not be allowed. Only the King could make he accept that. I wanted back to France.
Tubby was out of hospital and posted to 37 Squadron. I gave him back full title of the Singer and spent some of my prize money on a new and luxurious D-type Vauxhall. Billy, Fred, and I were granted leave from 8 September to the 11th. We planned to pile into the new machine and drive to the city. We booked rooms at the Cavendish. It would be a grand time.
#4488914 - 09/09/1911:25 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Lou, a very touching story. Swany will be a man to be reckoned with for sure.
Wulfe, excellent story! I hope your kid brother knows what he’s getting into. But, we both know he does not.
Drogo Dorn Verdun Sept. 9, 1916
Kette Zwei took off at 9 to escort 2 Rolands while they attacked an army base SW of Verdun. Over the target Dorn and the other 2 circled over the area as the Rolands went back and forth over the base. “Those machines sure can fly” Dorn thought as he watched them. “Why in hell are we escorting them!” The Rolands soon climbed up and headed north. Dorn was happy to be getting away from Verdun.
Back at base the 3 pilots were in a somber mood. Kette Eins was an hour over due for return. They soon learned that they had tangled with some Nieuports north of Verdun. Mayer was wounded and Jahnsen was killed. The 3 pilots looked at each other. They were all that was left of Jasta 7.
Dorn caught Mock by himself. “I need to tell you something.” Mock sat his drink down, “what’s on your mind Drogo?” Dorn looked at the floor for a few seconds and then looked Mock in the eye. “Yesterday in that scrap with the French......Well......I almost ran out on you” he said.
Mock picked up his drink and took a sip, starring into the amber liquid. “The key word here is “almost”. The fact is you didn’t.” He put his arm on Dorns shoulder. “You saved my life yesterday my friend. And, I know you will do it again if the circumstances warrant it.” With that Mock threw his arm up. “To much death and sadness for one day my friend. Here is to our health” he said as as he raised his glass.
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4488917 - 09/10/1912:02 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
MFair, thank you for the compliment. I am enjoying Khal Drogo, I mean Drogo Dorn’s story. His struggle to overcome his fear and become a great warrior is about to unfold. I’m looking forward to witness the birth of Der Meister Flieger. Congrats on confirmed victory.
Lou, what you’re trying to say is: you can’t just deck one. A very morbid, somber and poignant story. Makes one reflect on the mortal plane we live on. Well done! Captures the lugubrious tone of the scene.
Wulfe, what an epic narrative. Enjoyed the descriptive devices that brought it all to life. Looks like there is no changing Andrew’s mind at all. This strong-headed behaviour could be used to his advantage or it could be his downfall. We’ll just have to wait and see. Great news! Little Devienne is alive and most likely chasing the mademoiselles. And the new Nieuport with the synchronized MG. Fullard must be excited to have learned of its existence and impending arrival. Exciting times!
Raine, only 15 kills, currently Mulberry is suffering a 2:1 rejection ratio. My, my another visit to Windsor Castle. James is becoming a regular there. The chaps at Hawkes & Co should make more room on the lapel for future awards. Finally some progress with Mamma. It had to take its time. I am glad the relationship is on the mend, or is it?! Looking forward to seeing Collins back in France.
Carrick, La Femme de Chasse? How do you know these people?
"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."
#4488949 - 09/10/1911:51 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 4,879RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Some fab writing from folks recently. I lay in bed reading all the stories this morning. Fullard's trip to Paris and his meeting with his brother, Swany's descent into bitterness, Drogo's latest scraps, Collins' meetings with the feted and famous of the day.... it's like being there!
Lazlo has been up a few times. Nothing exciting to report as yet, but he'll be up again tomorrow. I've fixed my video recording issues (I think) so hopefully I can capture some footage. Also, unbelievably after all these years of flying WOFF, I discovered and fine-tuned my joystick settings to make them slightly less sensitive. I also spent a good deal of time tweaking my TrackIR / seat position to perfection. I'm hoping that all this, in combination with his repositioned gunsight, will help Lazlo gain more shooting accuracy.
As for immersion, WOFF is hands down the best thing, especially when one is participating in one of these DIDs! Can you believe we're also going to get a bunch of new features for it sometime this year? Thank you OBD!!
Thank you, Lou. I like those bars much more than those wound stripes. And Harry, what's all this nonsense about some joysticks and something called TrackIR? All I understood from all of this was a fixed gunsight. Good for Lazlo, bad for us.
MacGegor and Draper were leading in front with Mulberry acting as the escort for them. They were on a recon mission of the front sector north of Baccarat. They were nearly there but something spooked them. A flight of Eindeckers came over the lines to wreak havoc. Just the appearance of them had the ‘A’ flight on the run. Toby noticed one below and dove to intercept. The Hun saw him coming and evaded, but not for long. The Vickers machine guns on the nose of the Strutter gave the Hun a warm welcome. He dove and was able to get some distance. Toby followed and suddenly was under fire. “- Was he this low?” Was his first thought. He immediately rejected that theory. They were at least 5,000 feet high and on friendly side. “- Another plane! There has to be another plane behind. Don’t look, just turn!” It was too late, it was a reflex reaction and Toby was looking back. There he was. Another Fokker right behind. It was a trap and he fell right into it. His hands were already going through the motions and forcing his plane to bank. He lost the assailant from view. “- Where are you!?” His plane was standing on its port wing. “- There! There you are!” He was speaking in his mind to the German in front. “- Let’s see how you like some of that hot lead up you keister!” Toby was angry and firing with little precision. He wanted to hurt the other pilot. He wanted revenge. He followed the Hun closely, matching his moves. His bullets were not hitting the fuselage. Toby was spraying them into the wings. He wanted to cripple the Fokker and then take his time and enjoy the final kill. At this moment he realized his rage. He realized it was controlling him. His finger moved away from the trigger. He was scared of what he was becoming. Killing was a sport, not necessity. It was too late for the Hun. Toby followed alongside and watched as the German pilot wrestled with controls. The controls that controlled nothing. He was falling, helplessly, inevitably. Mulberry watched as the monoplane’s shadow followed the falling craft along the ground. It was catching up to it, closer and closer. There was no escape and no chance to land. The plane was on its side when it hit the ground. The wing snapped off first, sending the airframe with its heavy engine into the ground breaking into pieces. The wrecked fuselage made half a somersault and disintegrated into tiny bits spreading them all around. In the same instant the petrol tank ruptured and ignited. A large sphere of fire spilled like a bursting balloon engulfing everything in flame. The pilot ... there was no pilot. There was no sign. Was he even there? Was he a living and breathing person just a second ago? Was Toby a person? Was he human? Could a human being kill another without even blinking? Without thinking? Without remorse? Toby was disgusted with himself. It was easy to blame it on war. People kill other people during war, right? Toby searched his soul for absolution. It was not forthcoming.
“- So, you’re quitting?” Captain Elder was sitting in his chair, lighting up a cigarette. As always, he reclined as if to be regaled with a great story. He was not looking at Toby standing in front of his desk at attention. “- Yes, Sir!” Mulberry’s answer was simple and to the point. “- You think you’ve become a murderer? Is that it?” Elder was not admitting defeat yet. “- Have you thought that instead of taking, you are saving lives?” “- Sir?” Toby was certain that ‘Daddy’ has finally lost it. “- Think about it. If you have not shot down that poor S.O.B. he may have shot down one of your mates, maybe even you?” Mulberry didn’t answer. Elder smiled, he knew it was working. “- How would you have felt if instead of that Hun it was MacGregor or Draper that was laying crumpled in that heap over there? And all because you hesitated, because you had doubts. Would you want to quit or take your revenge then?” “- Not quit.” Mulberry’s voice was nearly inaudible. “- Well, that settles it then.” Captain Elder picked himself up from the chair. “- I don’t want to hear any more of that quitting nonsense. You’re here to make a difference, not be different. Is that understood Commander Mulberry?” He was looking directly into Toby’s eyes, searching for any signs of doubt. He didn’t find any. “- Loud and clear, Sir” Elder was congratulating himself in his thoughts: “- Works every time.” “- One more thing!” The C.O. stopped Mulberry from leaving. “- This came for you this morning. I think it’ll go very nicely with that matching ribbon you already have.” He pulled out a box out of his desk’s drawer and handed it to Toby. Mulberry opened it to find a bar for his DSC. ‘Daddy’ continued: “- Fifteen Huns! That calls for some sort of a celebration. Congratulations!” Toby smiled.
Fullofit, that was close bud! That Fokker hammerd you pretty good for a moment. Glad it didn’t hit any metal or meat. Congratulations on the bling. War is funny, Toby is worried about being a cold blooded killer while Drogo is worried he ain’t up to snuff.
Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from either end. BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4489025 - 09/10/1911:54 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Raine - you can make any aspect of James' story thoroughly fascinating - be it a desperate duel in a Morane or a run-in with Mrs. Winthrop. Fantastic, sir!
MFair - Man, sounds like the Jasta has it rough! First the run-in with Lufbery and now three pilots lost! Hopefully things will look up soon for Drogo and his pals!
Fullofit - uh-oh, Toby's first moral crisis...Gladf to see that the Captain set him straight. It would be bad news for the war effort if Mr. Mulberry packed it in...
Sous. Lieutenant James B. Fullard, Esc. N.124 'Américaine', Bar-le-Duc, France.
September 8th, 1916 (Part 2)
“Tell me again about this new machine” Blanchon urged, as we awaited our Nieuports being made ready on the field. There were stars in the Frenchman’s eyes, as he hungrily awaited my explanation of the new type for the third time this morning. “It’s just like any other Nieuport 17, except with a synchronised gun. It holds 500 rounds, and you don’t have to reload the gun in the air”. Blanchon took on the air of an excited schoolboy. “Ah, magnificent!” he crooned to himself, “I must have one! And you said they are already arriving at the Escadrilles?”. “Well, so they tell me”.
“Okay, gather round” called Thenault, and we joined Luf and Masson in front of the Capitane. “Today we’re escorting a Caudron from 105 on another reconnaissance. We’ll meet at the Argonne and fly to Etain. Now, reports suggest the new Bosche scout is appearing in larger numbers in our sector. We think more than one enemy Escadrille has them now. So, keep a sharp eye out for trouble! If I’m forced to break off then Fullard’s in charge”. With that, we made for our machines and, after the chocks were pulled away and the props swung, we lifted up into a tumultuous cloudy sky.
Soaring above the clouds, we came to the rendez-vous point, but not a single French machine could be seen. Checking my wristwatch, I thought that perhaps the Caudrons had already headed towards the front. We loitered for a few minutes more before Thenault turned us towards the lines to look for the recon machines, and before long we spotted a Caudron overflying Verdun, headed for Etain. Above it were two biplanes, and for a moment I stiffened. Bosches, about to attack? but, a thorough glance revealed the two scouts to be Nieuports. The two Frenchmen joined us as we caught up to the Caudron, and we waved a cheery hello to them. They looked puzzled to see us, but waved back. We pulled into formation beside the caudron - and that’s when I noticed the insignia on the side of its engine nacelle. It was the emblem of Escadrille C.13 - this was the wrong Caudron! I gained Thenault’s attention by rocking my wings and pointed to the nacelle. After a quick inspection he nodded once and we curved back towards Verdun.
We never did encounter ‘our’ Caudrons, and after a frustrating hunt we turned for home.
September 9th, 1916
Yesterday had been a disaster. As we had later learned, the Caudrons of Escadrille 105 had indeed headed towards their objective without us. En route they encountered a large group of Eindeckers and Rolands, losing both machines in the following attack. Today, as Thenault had told us, was our chance at redemption.
The Caudrons of Esc. 105 were heading back to the same stretch of the lines, this time on a bombing raid, and we were again to escort them. I was given command of the flight, which consisted of Blanchon, Johnson, Rockwell and Lufbery. Naturally, we spent our morning listening to Rockwells promises of “Payin’ those damned Fokkers back”. Lufbery contented himself with loading his Lewis drums with the least crooked bullets.
Upon Thenault’s command we took off at 10 O’Clock in the morning, our tanks full on gasoline, to arrive ahead of the Caudrons taking off. It was no secret that their opinion of us had soured, owing to the deaths of their friends, and so our Capitane thought we should make extra efforts to reconcile. We circled above the airfield as the two lumbering giants lifted into the air, before turning out towards the lines. Apparently the hungry pack of Eindeckers had had their fill - that, or they knew not to attempt the same trap for two days in a row - for our flight across the lines was uneventful. At Spincourt, however, the Flak was surprisingly heavy, and as we lazily weaved to and fro I saw Rockwell drop a few flechettes from out of the side of his cockpit. Before we could become too uncomfortable, however, the Caudrons dropped their bombs into the infantry encampment below, and as one we turned for home. As we did so, I spotted three biplanes approaching from our side of the lines. I tensed for a moment, but was then happy to see Thenault’s flight cheerily rocking their wings at us. They joined us for a little while and together we flew over the Caudrons’ heads, before with another wing rock Thenault suddenly peeled away. Laughing, I waved to him from out the side of the cockpit as he went.
We flew onwards with the Caudrons beneath us, and were crossing our own lines at Verdun when I looked back. I gasped as I spotted a large furball, whirling around the edges of a cloud like an inferno. It was Thenault’s flight against a group of Eindeckers! Immediately I curved to the right, dropping my nose and curling underneath a startled Blanchon before pointing my nose at the fight. The rest of my flight cottoned on quickly and together we dove into the fray, On all sides Eindeckers and Nieuports twisted and whirled, but it seemed that our guys were sticking it to the Bosche. Just then, however, I spotted an Eindecker circling hungrily above a Nieuport. Immediately I threw my machine at the Bosche, firing a short burst at him as he circled. The alarmed German slipped away and fell into the clutches of my wingman below. Together we jostled for position, each trying to get the finishing blow, but as more Nieuports came in I reluctantly broke off my attack. Christ, boys! You’ll cause a crash! I thought, watching three other Nieuports chase the Fokker.
The fight fizzled out, but as it did so I caught sight of another monoplane, running home at low altitude. Immediately I dove down for the German, getting onto his tail and firing wildly at him. There was nowhere he could escape - this Bosche was mines! I saw the German frantically look back, then forward, then back again. To my amazement, he didn’t break! It was at that point that I realised how close we were to the Bosche’s aerodrome - it was within spitting distance. Cursing, I closed in and fired one final lengthy burst. Ahead of me, the German jolted in his seat, before the Eindecker nosed down, tearing itself apart in the trees of Spincourt forest. Looking upwards, I saw Rockwell wheeling above me, looking down with a grin on his face.
That night we celebrated my 11th official victory.
#4489036 - 09/11/1901:46 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
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.
#4489130 - 09/11/1903:49 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
The mess hall was loud as always when there was a celebration. Canadians were making the most noise. They were also drinking the most. It was a celebration triggered by a sudden announcement of Flight Commander Tobias Mulberry’s promotion to Squadron Commander. By now the party devolved into a binge and a few groups have formed. The already mentioned Canadians, the reluctant British and a neutral camp consisting of Toby and Collishaw. There was a half-empty bottle of cognac between them. “- Way to go Killer. From a lowly Sub-Lieutenant to a Squadron Commander in a span of a month. Not bad. I may wake up tomorrow to salute a general.” Ray teased. Toby didn’t even notice the “Killer” title. He decided it fit. He had killed at least fifteen Huns by the official count. A very tipsy Art Whealy joined them at the table. “- What are you drinking here, Gentlemen?” The Torontonian inquired while grabbing the bottle and attempting to read the label with his misty eyes. “- Bah! This swill again. What I wouldn’t give for a dram of Yukon Gold! That stuff will put hair on your chest, y’know?” He saw Mulberry make a face. “- Sorry about that. Such a beautiful moment and I had to bust it.” Toby rolled his eyes. Ray joined in: “I’ve also heard the eucalyptus oil works well for that.” The jokes kept on coming every day. “- Why can’t you be more like Collins? He’s a proper bloke. You should follow his example.” Toby was getting irritated. Whealy was confused: “- Who?” “- James Collins. Don’t you read papers? He was awarded Victoria Cross the other day for downing two Zeppelins over London. He’s a Canadian, one of your people.” Whealy got up to his feet. “- Hey, watch who ya callin’ Canadian! ...” He reflected, “- I mean, watch who ya callin’ people! ...” He reflected again. His mouth was open. It moved as if he was about to say something, but had nothing smart to retort with. He was too drunk to think. He just waved his hand at them and stumbled away. “- He’s going to have one hell of a headache tomorrow and he’s flying the morning mission.” Mulberry spoke to his friend. Ray thought for a moment: “- I’ve heard peppermint oil works well for that.”
"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."
#4489180 - 09/11/1911:15 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)