On Watch

The Company had pushed forward. They were at the street corner they had been ordered to by Lieutenant Colonel Strummer. That had been three days ago, and there hadn’t been any news from Battalion since. Only light enemy fire though, so nothing much to complain about. The sun was about to go down. Evans was waiting to take the next watch. He was sitting by his pack on the fifth floor of Second Platoon’s building.

Evans had his own little corner put together. He had pried a piece of wood off a bed to use as a writing desk, and, with his bayonet, he had carved a little notch to set up the two pictures Anna had given him. His pack was pushed all the way against the wall to form a pillow. The shotgun was leaned against the wall, with a makeshift bandolier draped over it.

He had just finished writing his fourth unsent letter to Anna when Newey walked up and leaned over to see what Evans was doing. “Our watch starts soon,” Newey glanced at the two pictures, laughed, then quickly snatched one of them, “So this is what Zwev looks like naked eh?”

Blushing, Evans dived and tried to grab the photograph, but Newey jumped back. Newey called down the hallway, “Ustinov! Come see the tits on Zwev! Evans has a picture!”

Evans kicked at the back of Newey’s leg, who tumbled over and quickly passed the photograph to Ustinov, who had run over from another room. Ustinov smiled, “Man, if only I had a nice secluded ar…”

“What the Hell is going on here?” Sergeant Gabriel whispered at the three of them angrily, “Did you forget that we are in a fucking war zone?” Sergeant Gabriel walked over to Ustinov and grabbed the photograph, “Really? A Fucking Picture? Haven’t you all seen a woman naked before?”

Evans stood to attention and whispered towards Sergeant Gabriel, “It’s my wife Sergeant.”

“Well congratulations on marrying a fuckable woman,” Sergeant Gabriel flung the photograph at Evans, “Now Goddammit all of you shut the fuck up. I don’t want to be fucking killed because you two want to jack off to a picture of Evans’ wife.”

Newey stood at attention, “In our defense sir,” Ustinov started to elbow Newey, “We both now Anna and she is really hot, so this way next time we see her-”

“How is that better? In any way? That’s just creepier,” Sergeant Gabriel looked at his watch, “Newey and Evans, don’t you have watch right now with Hoste?”

The three of them apologized. Evans got his gear together and followed Newey to relieve Webb, Wood, and Hawke. Hoste grabbed the binoculars while Evans and Newey scanned the streets. They stood silently for a few minutes before Newey whispered at Evans, “If you die, can I have that picture? Maybe I can go and console Zwev. Repeatedly. While naked.” Newey leaned over to Evans, “I’m talking about fucking her.”

“I got that,” Evans turned and glared at Newey, “It was not that subtle.”

Hoste pulled down his binoculars, “Uh guys… Theres movement down the road to the West.”

Evans grabbed the binoculars and scanned down the long road. He saw something strange a dozen kilometers away, slowly working down the road passed the roadblock Fox Company had set up, “It appears to be a company of… our guys on horseback?” Evans handed the binoculars to Newey.

“They appear to be Dragoons. You know, mounted infantry,” Newey turned to Evans, “Evans, run down to Captain Simmons and report.”

“Yes Lance Corporal,” Evans ran down to the second floor, where the company headquarters was. He knocked on the door with ‘Captain’ carved into it. After a few seconds, the door opened. Evans saluted, “Sir, Second Platoon has a report sir.”

Captain Simmons returned the salute, “Come on in Evans.” Evans walked past Lucy, who was holding the door open, to the map on Captain Simmons’ desk.

Gesturing to the large ‘x’ that demarcated the roadblock, Evans spoke, “My fire team was on watch, and we noticed what appears to be a company of Dragoons moving in across the roadblock here on horseback. They seem to be coming towards our location.”

Nodding, the Captain wrote a note on a piece of paper and handed it to Lucy, “Chambers, bring this to Lieutenant Stoddart. Evans, you can return to your post.”

Lucy and Evans left the room, “So Goldfish, where is Lieutenant Stoddart? It seems like every time I carry a message to him, he is off wandering.”

“Yeah, I think he’s on the top floor with Calepino and Blake. Probably boring them to death by talking about rocks,” Evans opened the door to the center stairwell then followed Lucy in.

“So how are things at Second Platoon?” Lucy obviously didn’t want to get back to work so she was stalling the delivery as long as possible.

Evans agreed with Lucy’s sentiments, so he played along, “Eh, I guess I should have hidden it better, but some of the guys found one of the pictures of my wife, so I’ll have to keep one eye open so they don’t steal it.”

“Aww, I thought she looked pretty in that picture, the one with that sundress right? I guess they just want to feel normal though. Just want to see someone not wearing a tunic.”

Blushing a bit, Evans responded, “It’s um… A different picture then the one I showed you. It’s um… One that Anna wouldn’t want to be floating around out there.”

“Ah… I could keep it for you, that way someone won’t run off with it,” Lucy held out her hand. Evans smiled in thanks and pulled the photo out of his pocket and handed it to Lucy. Lucy looked at the photo before putting it in her pocket, “Damn. So when we’re on leave, if you need any help in the bedroom, I’d be happy to join in. Now I’d best be going to the roof now.”

Evans shook his head and walked back to his watch post, “I reported it to the Captain. I think he wants to send out a patrol from our Platoon.”

Newey nodded, “I’m fucking glad we are on watch right now and don’t have to do that shit.” He looked out over the cityscape, “Speaking of fucking… glad… Um… I had one for this.”

Hoste looked over at the two of them, “You were going to say about how glad you’d be to fuck his wife. Seriously. How could you forget one as easy as that.”

“You had a plan for this Newey?” Evans looked incredulously at the Lance Corporal.

“Well I had to tell Hoste about Zwev. It’s my moral imperative as an upstanding citizen,” Newey adopted a somewhat heroic looking pose for a moment.

Private Clark ran into the room, “Evans, the Lieutenant wants you to find Delage and have him replace you on watch. You are then to report to the roof.”

“Oh thank God,” Evans grabbed all his gear and turned for the door, “Watch your back tonight Newey, I’m probably going to kill you in your sleep.” Running out, Evans quickly found Ustinov and got to the roof. The Lieutenant was talking to a very bored looking Private Calepino. Lucy, Clark, and Blake were all standing near the stairwell talking to each other.

When Lieutenant Stoddart finally noticed Evans, he started talking to the group, “Alright, Captain Simmons wants us to send a team out to meet the company of Dragoons. He wants Private Chambers here to go as his representative. Blake and Evans, you two will provide cover. They are about 13 kilometers away, so you’ll be out a while. Bring water. Dismissed.”

Evans walked over to Lucy and whispered, “Dammit. Why would the Lieutenant pick me for this. Usually being on watch makes you ineligible for this BS.”

“Um…” Lucy looked at her toes, “I sort of picked you. Captain Simmons asked for Corporal Blake and one infantryman. So I may have lied a little bit and said the Captain asked for Blake and you.”

Corporal Blake looked at the two, shouldered her scoped rifle, and gestured to the two, “Let’s go.”

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