View Full Version : Imperial Glory Story: Aiming at the Fog

Greek Phalanx
22nd May 2005, 01:28
Aiming at the Fog

Chapter 1

Usti, Village North of Prague

The river Elbe was bringing its tender lullaby to the Wessex Company. The British garrison was still sleeping. The winter was coming slowly, like the decisions from London. It made three months since Charles Becker (http://www.imagedump.com/index.cgi?pick=get&tp=251668&poll_id=0&warned=y) and his compatriots (http://www.imagedump.com/index.cgi?pick=get&tp=251671&poll_id=0&warned=y) reached Prague and were sent to Usti, a little village. The company passed difficultly through the dense forest: there were no roads at this time to open a path through North to Usti. The small village wasn’t a great town… simply a strategic position. Why? There was a bridge… it was one of the few other bridges except Prague’s in this region to cross the Elbe river. The British army stood at Prague, awaiting for the Prussian offensive, remembering the dark day when Britain declared war on Prussia, two years later. Unfortunately, the first army was repulsed and suffered heavy losses before reaching Prague. The second one, lead by Marshall Haberty arrived a year later to reinforce the newly gained territory. This army was Charles’s one. Charles remembered when he first saw that it was so cold in these dangerous lands! Ambushed several times by the Prussians, his company succeeded difficultly to reach Usti, the crossing point. North of Usti was Berlin.

Charles was singing softly, watching the tiny shiny stars in the black sky. He was at the top of the church of the village. A local legend tells that every regiment who stood in garrison in Usti was shot at until no man could breathe. But, Charles didn’t care about legends. He trusted the Captain of his regiment, Richard Lockman. Richard was a great soldier and was a great sharpshooter. He fought wars since he was 20. Now, he was 32. Twelve long years of war can change a man. But not Richard. He was a stern but efficient officer, knowing where to strike, where to fight, and some even say that he knows the perfect place to die. Reading philosophy books, this man was no more than a philosopher trapped in a brute’s body. Lieutenant Jerry Manning, a man from Portsmouth, was a miner before the war. He knew how to use everything that used powder. He knew how to use mortars, any kind of rifles and muskets, cannons, any kind of pistol… He was the kind of practical man who always had something interesting to buy in his pockets. He was thinner than Lockman, but he was a greater orator. Steve Robinson, on his side, was an American. His father emigrated to Britain in 1805, a few years after the American Revolutionary war, carrying with him his one month old son. They were banished from the United States of American because his father was a hardened and proud English partisan. His father died eight years later, leaving his son alone in the streets of Portsmouth. Placed in a “Childhood House” (like they wanted him to name it… meaning he was brainwashed slowly by his cruel religious Sisters from the “Adoption House”) and suffered a lot mentally. Having running away from the Childhood House, he lived poorly until he was 15 years old. Then, he started a new life in the army of Britain. He was a funny guy, always adding his bit of salt in a conversation, as if he never had a proper conversation with anyone before. He was the Company’s pet. His best friend. Randy McKelmer, was a Scottish. He dressed like a Highlander. His uniform was given to him by his father, an ancient Highlander dead on the battlefield of Waterloo. He was the best shooter of the company, even if he was still at the rank of Corporal. Charles Becker was the black sheep of the company. No one talked to him, no one wanted to play cards with him… He had always been alone in his childhood and in his adolescence. Living in the poor quarters of London was like a jail for him. Even if he’s a good soldier, one of the best hand-to-hand fighter, has been awarded the rank of Sergeant, no one had any respect for him. He used all his money in buying his ranks. Yes, in this time, a soldier had to pay for getting a higher rank. This was too much expensive for a standard soldier that drank constantly his monthly payment, but for a man who knew how to win and keep his money, it was possible. Unless you had relations with the government, had noble blood, it was useless to try to reach sergeant with your salary. He was one of the rare sergeant that paid by his soldier’s salary his grades.

The regiment’s red uniforms didn’t warm enough the brave riflemen of the Wessex Company. Steve was doing his patrol near the bridge, sleeping on the barricades facing the main street. The bridge was made of stone and was pretty large for a bridge made 150 years ago. The Wessex Company had 250 riflemen. Of the 250 riflemen were the 25 sharpshooters under Craig Green’s command. Ironically, we could say that his green uniform of an elite rifleman was a particular coincidence. Sam Hagman was cleaning his rifle, smiling tenderly at Steve, sleeping like a baby. Sam was the kind of “secret” bodyguard of the American immigrant. He had always watched over him, considering him as his little brother. Sam and Steve were probably bound together by an unbreakable link of friendship and loyalty, like Randy. But, Randy and Sam had a kind of rivalry between each other. They hated themselves to the point of shooting the other in the back, even if they had a too great sense of honor to commit such a shameful act. Even if Sam didn’t like Americans a lot, this one was an exception. His brown eyes were shining with intelligence and cleverness. He fixed his bayonet and went to see Coal in the tavern.

Coal was a man of exception. He was about 17 and always had a stain of black in the face, as if he thought it gave him a dangerous look. He always carried a piece of coal in his pocket to tint his face in black. For night operations, he was the man of the situation. Discreet and silent, he always had a nervous or suspicious look hidden in his eyes. No one knew his name, so the men called him Coal. He was a drunkard and loved every pleasure that life was generous enough to procure him. He was a bit lazy though, as if he didn’t leave the world of his adolescence. He was one of the youngest soldiers of the Company. Sam slammed the door of the bar, seeing Coal sleeping on a table. He slammed the door another time, laughing at Coal being woke up by such a brutal manner.
-“Want a bit of sugar with this, darling?” he barked, slapping Coal’s back friendlily. “Wake up! Beer’s bad for you… leave it to the veterans!” he took a drink of the half-full bottle.
-“Give that back, you scum!” screamed Coal before snatching the bottle, laughing even louder than Sam.
-“Well, guess what? It’s your turn to go outside check the bridge! Come on!”
-“But, it’s cold, outside!”
-“Well, go freeze your can off like a man! Come on lady, take your umbrella!”
-“Okay, okay…” he groaned. He took his rifle, wore his red scarf and went outside, swearing that Sam was just a tired penguin sending camels in the glacial waters of North Pole. He had strange expressions that he said with a strange way. These expressions though were coming from nowhere.

Coal kicked Steve gently, whistling a tired “Wake up, damn!” between his teeth.
Steve woke up, launching instinctively a “I see that you still didn’t decide to clean what appears to be your face…” knowing that Coal would swear during an hour an apologize after, like every day since he knew him. Coal was known from everyone. Coal and Steve walked during an hour, and in fact Coal did swear during the whole hour. Sleepy and thirsty, both sat on the frozen fountain of the main place of city (near the bridge), took a puff from Steve’s cigar and they both released the grey smoke in the freezing air. They took their water can and took a drink. Steve couldn’t resist to slip a “It’s not alcohol, don’t spit it out!” that made Coal spit the water out. He took another drink, gazing at Steve with a grim smile. His throat accepted water too, after all.

Charles wrote in his personal journal “The life at the garrison was calm since the Wessex Company established itself in Usti. But, like always, peace probably won’t last. It won’t last for sure, but later. Okay? War can wait a bit…”

Chapter 2


-Forest east of the Elbe River-
Craig Green and his men were running in the snow. It was difficult to advance due to the high mass of white snow covering the ground of the forest at the other side of the river Elbe. Craig was freezing himself in his green uniform. His black shako with a golden rope had become a grey shako with two holes in it. Craig Green and his 20 elite riflemen were retreating since their last scouting mission, which led them facing a large army of Prussians. Untrained? Maybe… But surely dangerous though. Vassiliv Zaitev, a Prussian scout that fought alongside the British, was yelling. He had found an abandoned blockhouse. At least, they could make their last stand there… Vassiliv vanished in the forest, too afraid to fight against his own kind. Craig opened the creaking door, which fell down on the ground. “This house’s damn old!” swore Kurt, a tall sergeant of the Green riflemen. The men took position, and waited for the Prussians to reach their line of sight.

-Fort Brenning-
The second lieutenant Riley Denny was walking to Fort Brenning, just a bit North of Usti. Sam Hagman and his twin brother, Arthur Hagman, were members of the squad of 40 men to reinforce the Fort. An imminent attack from the river had been reported from different scouting parties. The second lieutenant barked an order, and the wooden gates of the fort opened. This fort was there before the city and was made of stone. It was a great strategic point to repulse an attack from the river. The bridge was still the other strategic point, but the village houses provided a good cover to repulse an eventual attack. Denny looked at the ammunition boxes hidden in the snow, at the rifles hanging from the sleepy sentinel’s hands… He sighed… After all, it made a long time since they didn’t see their family. They deserved to take some good time, even if it wasn’t the time to tan himself on the hot and warm beaches of the Elbe river. The snow’s heat would simply remind them that they were in a Prussian territory.

He saw the British flag hanging from a high wooden pole. He saw some cannons placed on the wall, but they were probably unloaded. Of course, the mortars could help, but the cannons were nearly essential to an effective defence. Denny climbed up the stone stairs, took a cup of tea from one of his sentinels (yep, the sentinels didn’t really mind to share their tea with their superior… but only when the tea had gotten cold!), sapped it and gulped. “Cold tea… the damn sons of…!” swore Denny. He should have guessed that his men wouldn’t pass him any hot and relaxing tea! Denny roared angrily and went to the HeadQuarters to warm himself near the hot fire of his cabin. On the way to the headquarters, he barked “ANDERSON! TWO DAYS FOR YOU THE HEAD STUCK IN THE SNOW OR TWO DAYS DIGGING TRENCHES! THIS NASTY JOKE WAS SO IMMATURE FROM YOUR PART THAT YOU PROBABLY NEED TO GET A LIFE. BEGIN BY DIGGING THESE TRENCHES!”
Thomas Anderson swore, plotting to make his superior’s life even worse… like always.

Richard Lockman was running through the streets of the town. He shot with his pistol at the sky, waking up the sleepy garrison. “Wake up! Wake up, damn!” The lieutenant Jerry Manning was yelling at his captain. Why?
“No, I won’t go with this forest to find Green and his 20 riflemen! Why should we sacrifice 40 of our best men to find him?”
-“Shut your trap and get there! Zaitev came back and told me that they needed help! I’d rather prefer to lose this whole company than to lose Green and his men! We don’t have enough good shooters, but I guessed you knew that already, huh?!

The discussion ended when the soldiers gathered at the icy fountain. The captain talked.
-“I need 40 volunteers to go find Craig Green and his 20 riflemen. I guess you guys already know about Green’s reputation. He’s the leader of the Elite Riflemen. He’s the most skilled shooter of the whole company… So I want him back there in one piece… Come on! Who comes with Manning?”
-“I come” answered the sergeant Charles Becker, Steve Robinson and the Scottish corporal Randy McKelmer simultaneously. Too bad that Sam, Arty and Denny were at Fort Brenning… Other men raised their hands to join.
-“Coal, you’re not comin’?” said Randy, looking suspiciously at the dirty face of Coal.
-“ I’d prefer to stay here… Too cold out there!”
-“The rest of you will dig trenches alongside the river… You prefer this, Coal?” said angrily Lockman.

Coal gasped, thinking about digging trenches in the cold and frozen soil with a rusted shovel. He timidly raised his hand, grinning like always.

-At the blockhouse-
A loud “BLAM!” was heard in the forest. The Prussian flag-bearer fell down on the ground, leaving blood on the cold ground. Blood dropped from his left eye… Craig gazed at the forest, wondering if his aiming was still as efficient. He took his little bag with power and munitions and reloaded his rifle. Aiming from a window could provide some advantages: Protection and a good spot for aiming. His men shot a volley that flew in the trees, but precisely hit some Prussian soldiers. The precision was a great quality that had the green riflemen. A regiment appeared through the dark shadows of the trees. Kurt reloaded his rifle as fast as his training allowed him to perform this essential step in the process of using a rifle. He aimed, looking in his line of sight at his old “helper”, a metal thing with a gap in the middle, allowing him to aim with his rifle. He pressed with his finger, and the blow threw him some centimetres backwards, like it always did. He saw the cloud of white and grey smoke rising in the air, trying to reach the sky, coming from the extremity of his rifle. His compatriots aimed at the same time, galvanized by the encouragements of their captain. They all grinned as they simultaneously pressed on the with their finger on the trigger.

The volley came in the ranks and the soldiers on the first line fell down, another line of soldiers taking their place. An explosion made the regiment’s formation collapse. Brent Fletcher, also called “Brute Fletcher”, had used his favourite tactic. He always carried the crew’s mortar. He always kept some rockets in his bag, not caring about bringing some things that reminded him his family, or his past. He preferred to carry rockets. He was on the roof of the blockhouse, laughing at what had happened to the Prussian regiment. His rocket had gone to the center of the regiment, slaughtering the Prussian captain and a couple of men. Most of the Prussians had stopped walking, coughing in the dense air polluted with powder. After, another volley from the green riflemen had slaughtered a large part of what remained of the regiment. The men fled, but another regiment showed up. Brent reloaded his mortar, gazing at the other upcoming regiment. Suddenly, an explosion made him fall down the roof and go into the cold snow. Fortunately for him, it was better to be frozen than to break your neck on the hard ground. The Prussians had gotten cannons… Another shell had gone into the blockhouse’s wall. Shrapnels went in all directions, crashing on the wood of the house. Brent went back into the house, crossed the stairs, saluted the riflemen fighting at the second floor, and went back to the roof. He laughed, seeing that his mortar was still intact. Another blow exploded, near the house. “Time to make some dirty work!” he whistled between his teeth.

-Other side of the Elbe River-
Jerry Manning was running through the woods with his 40 men. Sergeant Becker was following behind with the rest of the company. Steve kept complaining about the snow going into his shoes. A friendly slap in the back made him forget about his feet. Josh Hart, the regiment’s flag bearer, was following behind. He was always taking his pistol and replacing it into his holster after having made some moves to check if his aiming was correct. Randy was scouting a bit farther than Jerry asked him to go. Randy came back running, telling that there was a firefight. The men headed north and found the blockhouse circled. “FORM TRIPLE LINE!” was heard from Lieutenant Manning. The men formed up the formation. The first row kneeled, aimed, the three rows of guns were aiming straight at the back of a Prussian regiment. The volley was sent and the regiment fled back to the whole army. Prussians were fighting at the blockhouse’s door. The 41 men took their bayonet and fixed it on their rifle. They charged, striking like ferocious beasts. The Prussians barely had time to realize that they were attacked by reinforcements. Charles had time to reload his rifle and to shoot at a mounted officer. The bullet stroke deadly in the air, making the officer fall down of his horse. Josh, on his side, thrust his flag pole into a cavalryman’s belly. The men entered in the blockhouse and continued to fire their bullets on the Prussian regiments that were always coming more and more numerous. A huge explosion made the soldiers at the first floor look up. Dust was coming from the floor up their heads. A soldier crawled slowly down the stairs, his uniform stained with blood and a piece of shrapnel stuck in his leg. “Go help them on the second floor… Their damn cannons are aiming at the second fl… or…” he whispered. His face was covered with some kind of black powder that seemed to give this soldier a dangerous look…

-Fort Brenning-
-“Hey, Arty! Get there with us to dig these damn trenches!” yelled Sam at his brother.
-“Yeah, yeah… you mean I have to freeze my can off outside while I can relax inside? Are you just stupid to the point of not knowing my logic?”
Sam angrily took his pistol and shot two inches to the right of Arthur Hagman’s head. This was the negotiations between the two brothers. Arthur took a shovel and dug rapidly. He didn’t dig with all his strength, but he dug anyway. There were some cannons put on the western side of the river to help the defence of the trenches. Fortunately, all of this wasn’t done for nothing. The Prussians would a day or another have to attack the British to kick their butt out of their country! The second lieutenant Riley Denny was walking in the fort, checking up if the rifles didn’t freeze. Indeed, it was a problem that probably only him cared about. The black waters of the Elbe river didn’t seem to make the work more enjoyable. The water wasn’t frozen yet, but only a thin roof of ice covered the river.

The sentinel heard several blows’ and rifle’s sounds to the North-East. He ran back to the village and warned his Captain. Lockman simply answered: “I told you that trenches were needed. Prepare your rifle, soldier. Sound the bell and position the men in the trenches. A battle is going to reach us. Warn Fort Brenning to supply us with ammunition and artillery shells. Our cannons will fire until they melt or until we’re out of ammunition.

And the church bell rang.

But, farther in the forest, the sounds of rifles and cannons was heard no more. Only the wind of North was audible. Pictures:
Steve Robinson, my favourite one! http://www.imagedump.com/index.cgi?pick=get&tp=253187
Cpt. Richard Lockman http://www.imagedump.com/index.cgi?pick=get&tp=253188
Wessex Regiment http://www.imagedump.com/index.cgi?pick=get&tp=253190

22nd May 2005, 08:24
Moved it to this place otherwise it might go by unnoted.

22nd May 2005, 10:16
the big font takes ages to red coz i need to move thescreen over.

Greek Phalanx
22nd May 2005, 12:22
first of all, thanks for having putted my story there. You're real nice! I've changed the font to make it easier to read. Hope you guys enjoyed it! It'll keep being updated.

Greek Phalanx
26th May 2005, 01:49
lol this seems to be soooooooooooooo popular! :rolleyes:

2nd Jun 2005, 00:33
very good story, waiting for chapter 2.

Greek Phalanx
2nd Jun 2005, 01:17
Chapter 3


Josh Hart coughed… He was lying down on the second floor. He slowly raised up, and looked for his flag. His superb Union Jack was his reason to live. When he stole it from a dead British flag-bearer, he swore he’d never release the flag from his grasp until he died. Even if he was crazy, he was sympathetic anyway. His hand nervously reached the flag, and his eyes slowly accommodated themselves to see in the cloud of black powder. The explosion had made a lot of damage, and most of the men of the second floor were either in a real bad state or were slowly dying. He took his pistol from his holster and went downstairs.

The tall sergeant Kurt was gazing at the trees near the blockhouse. The Prussians stopped firing, and the explosions had stopped too. He looked at Jake Flary, his best friend. A bullet was stuck hard between in his belly and he was constantly vomiting blood. He was dying. Kurt gasped, and swore. He just couldn’t let his best friend die for nothing. He took Jake on his shoulders and ran through the woods. Grabbing a pistol on the ground, he shot down a Prussian scout. Farther in the fog, other shoots were heard. Kurt reloaded his pistol, took back his friend on his back, and decided to reach the base. A distinct “Come back, Kurt!” was heard from the blockhouse, but Kurt didn’t turn back. He was running, and a tear froze before reaching the cold snow.

While, Craig Green was doing his best to save a poor soldier from the Wessex regiment. The man had an arm missing and was agonizing. Craig took his pistol, aimed for the head, closed his eyes, and pulled the trigger. It was his last bullet. He raised up and counted the men. Half of the Wessex reinforcements were dead, 6 men were wounded, 5 riflemen were wounded, Kurt and Flary had disappeared, and they were out of ammunition. Craig went upstairs, met Josh Hart with his flag, and saw the big hole in the wall. He saw that several soldiers were lying dead on the floor forever. He sighed. He saw the lieutenant Jerry Manning, fixing a bayonet on his rifle. The men left the blockhouse with no ammunition. Becker thought: “What will be the most difficult? Reaching back our lines, or avoiding the Prussian army? If they could afford to lost 3 regiments that easily and leave us there, it means that their army is quite big…”

-Fort Brenning-
The second Lieutenant Riley Denny was gazing at the forest. The cannons already began to fire their deadly shrapnels to the forest on the other side of the river Elbe. The Prussians finally decided to kick the British out of their country. At last! The trees were roasting as the fire spread through the trees. But, most of the explosions were making the trees crash down on the snow. The Prussians were running for their life and were regrouping farther in the forest to attack. But, Riley saw a Prussian flag-bearer with his regiment marching south. Riley ordered Sam to get to Usti. The Prussians were attacking on 2 fronts, after all. The trenches would be quite useful. Sam mounted his horse and galloped to Usti in the cold snow. The dense forest separating Fort Brenning from Usti was dark and mysterious, but Sam kept looking forward.

When he reached the village church, he yelled “THEY’RE COMIN’! TO THE TRENCHES!” Captain Lockman took his rifle and buttoned his shirt. He led his men to the barricades and to the trenches. An explosion was heard in the North of the city. The Prussians were using their mortars. At least, it meant that they weren’t ready to attack yet. Sam went to the “Rusky’s Bar” and saw with horror that his favourite bar had taken a shell in the roof, which damaged a lot the roof. Even worse, this place was a strategic point where a part of the ammunition reserve was stocked. Fortunately, the explosion wasn’t powerful enough to reach the ammunition depot. Sam ran through the streets to get on the guard tower, near the bridge. “Where are Manning and Green?” wondered Sam Hagman.

Richard Lockman, on his side, was preparing his defence plan. Fort Brenning would be the Northern part of the battle-line. Most of the men would fight in Fort Brenning, while the garrison of Usti was the breaking point of the British line. If only the Lieutenant Manning could come back with Green! At least, the moral would be higher and there would be a more efficient defence!

-In the forest-
The men were running through the snow, completely disoriented. Jerry Manning, the lieutenant, didn’t know where to go. If only Vassiliv Zaitev was there! He could maybe help what was left of the rescue squad and the elite riflemen to get back to the camp in one piece. Coal had been healed and he was able to run. But, his left arm hurt a lot. Randy, on his side, was really mad. He just wanted to get back to Usti as soon as possible. Steve, on his side, kept complaining about the cold. He said that Jerry didn’t do his job like a real man… A slap in the face made him shut up. Craig Green, on his side, decided to go with Brent Fletcher, Charles Becker and Randy to find Kurt and Jake. The rest of the riflemen were led by the Lieutenant Manning. The 2 crews wished themselves luck in their mission. The Lieutenant went south and Craig went North-West. Craig Green was happy that three of the best riflemen accepted to help him to find Kurt. Kurt was a close friend and a great soldier. He just couldn’t let his foolishness cause his death.

-Usti, Trench 9-
Arthur Hagman was hiding himself in the cold and stretched trench. The artillery battle continued during a whole hour! The countryside was all covered with black holes, some trees burned down on the other side of the river Elbe river. An explosion near his spot made him waver. He just wanted this hell to stop! Some soldiers unfortunately didn’t have his great luck. The Prussian cannons butchered some skilled soldiers… Arthur yelled like a maniac when an arm appeared in his hole. An arm without the body attached to it! Arthur ran away from his hole and jumped in the Trench 10. A cannon shell crashed down on the ground, projecting a lot of ground on Arthur. Thomas Anderson, a man from Fort Brenning, was laughing.
-“So, you saw your first body part flying in the battlefield, Arty?
-Yeah… he gasped. I’ve seen… an… an arm!!!
-You’re pretty lucky, man! My first body part I saw was an eye. I thought it was a snow ball that hit me, but snow balls don’t have blood dripping on the snow! C’mon… calm yourself down and everything will be all right.
-Thanks, Tom! I hope that these Prussians are going to attack soon! I’m tired of their artillery battle! I want action! Now!”
Suddenly, an explosion made Thomas fly 4 meters away from his hole. A “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS NEXT TIME!” was heard in the Trench 10 after a well-deserved slap on Arthur’s cheek.

Here is a battlefield map

-Fort Brenning-
-“A messenger came to tell us that our Captain needed some reinforcements to Usti, soldiers. But, most of you will fight in the trenches.” An explosion interrupted his speech. “I want you to fight for Britain and the honor of our dead ancestors. I want you to fight until you have shot your last bullet and until you have broken your bayonet or broken your rifle! Cowards will be shot down! If you guys don’t…” Another explosion interrupted his speech. “DAMMIT! SHAT UP, UP HERE!” yelled Riley Denny. A voice in a cannon post answered yelling “WELL, COME HERE AND RELOAD THAT CANNON YOURSELF, YOU ***GOT!” Riley went red. But, he continued his speech though. (It makes a lot of “speeches” in that story!) “I want you to defend the cannons as much time as you can! The Prussians will probably try to reach our shore with boats. So be ready to fight in the trenches for hours! Good luck, soldiers! GOD SAVE US! HAMMERIN’ THE *******!”
-“HAMMERIN’ THE *******!” answered loudly the rest of the fort garrison. Their battlecry was heard in all the trenches, and the men began singing. “HAMMERIN’ THE *******!” Riley was quite happy with this peculiar effect. He grimly smiled. He went on the wall and looked at the river. There was still no sign of the Prussian boats…

-Northern Forest-
Craig Green was happy. Vassiliv Zaitev finally reached him. He ran away from Usti just to help his beloved leader. Charles Becker, on his side, was still as pessimist as ever. The crew composed of Green, McKelmer, and Fletcher. Brent was quite happy to see that his old friend Vassiliv was still loyal to the crow of England. Suddenly, Charles aimed at the fog. “What are you doing? Put it down!” ordered Craig. Charles pulled the trigger and a scream was heard. A horse was galloping and went out of the fog cloud. A Prussian rider was lying dead on it. The crew advanced and heard a pistol sound. Craig ran and saw several riders attacking Kurt. Jake was lying on the ground, protected by Kurt. Craig thrust his rifle (with his bayonet, of course!) in a horse’s chest. Charles, on his side, succeeded to reload his rifle and to take down another rider. Randy had the time to find a grenade and to throw it in the mass of riders. Screams and a violent explosion, and nothing more… Kurt was cut by a sabre, but seemed all right. But he wasn’t. Blood dripped from his mouth, and his chest was bleeding. A deadly bullet perforated his left lung. Brent ran to him, and he cried. “DON’T DIE, DAMMIT!!!” he yelled. The last sentence of Kurt was: “Make sure Jake gets back to the camp… he’s too young to… die…” His last word vanished with a sigh. The sergeant Kurt was dead.

Chapter 4

Image of the 76th regiment of Dragoons