Letter

After breakfast, the orderly came in with some crutches and a wheelchair. He picked two trays off the wheelchair and handed them to the Miller and Evans. He then left.

After Evans finished his meal, he put down the tray, put the letter in his pocket, picked up his crutches, and limped out of the room. Miller stayed in bed.

When he got outside, Evans was surprised, the camp was much smaller than he expected. Evans could only see six tents. The tent across was labeled, “Officer and Civilian Barracks.” The one to the right of that was labeled, “Main Office.” It had several telegraph lines going into it. On the same side there was a third tent labeled “Orderlies.”

Evans crutched out to the center of the camp. The two tents on the same side of the recovery ward were labeled “Emergency” and “Standard.”

There was a clearing a bit further down where a few people were standing, two or three people were in wheelchairs. Evans crutched towards them. The back of one of the soldiers heads looked familiar. She had black hair in a bun. As he got closer, his heart started to beat faster. It couldn’t be. Evans walked around to get a look at her face.

“Hey… Goldfish…” Lucy coughed, “What are the odds?”

She looked significantly worse that usual. Her face was mostly pale, her arm was in a sling, there was a tube running down out of her hospital gown to her leg, and she was attempting to hide her wincing. But, she wasn’t dead, which was good enough for Evans. He knelt down and tried to hug her. She leaned forward to allow his hands to go behind her back. When finished, he stood back up, “I… I thought you were dead.”

“Really?” Lucy weakly laughed, “That’s all you have to say?” She reached into a pocket on her wheelchair, pulled out a pack of cigarettes, and offered one to Evans.

“Thanks,” He balanced himself on the crutches and grabbed it.

Lucy put one in her mouth and then pulled out a lighter and lit hers. She then handed it to Evans, who quickly lit his, “So, Lucy, what have you been up to then?”

“Oh… You know… This and that,” Lucy shrugged, “How about you?”

“Ooh, you missed it. Guess who is the new Lieutenant for Second?”

“You got rid of that Stoddart guy?”

“Yeah, Evans nodded, “And the new Lieutenant, is none other than Lady Demetria.”

Lucy softly laughed, “So there’s some family out there that decided Demetria is a normal name?”

Evans shook his head, “Nope, We just have Lieutenant Kestel.”

“Wait…” Lucy took out her cigarette, “So like… Lady Demetria? The future Duchess? The very symbol of beauty and grace? The person I pretended to be as a kid?”

Evans nodded.

“Holy Shit,” Lucy leaned forward, “What’s she like in person?”

“Insane,” Evans laughed, “I think you’d like her. She has a sword that she takes with her. We charged a Vledscan emplacement. Three machine guns. With her, on point, with the sword.” Evans paused, “Oh, and I picked up Lance Corporal.”

She laughed, “Bastard, I’ve been in way longer and I’m still a private.”

“But I’ve shown leadership in combat, and been reccomended for the Medal of Ethslin Fourth Class,” Evans put his hand up to his face, “And we took a lot of casualties.”

They were quiet for a moment. Lucy gestured at his leg, “So what happened there?”

“I broke it. I was in an armored car that was hit by some artillery,” Evans shrugged, “Tiscornia says I’m immortal.”

“Yeah, could I have some of your luck?” Lucy went into a fit of coughing, “First I get that shell that rips me up, get better, and then I get shot a few times.” Lucy took a puff of her cigarette, “Now I’ve got no Uterthingy which apparently means I can’t have kids. Plus I’ve got this scar on my face, and plenty of scars elsewhere. Plus I’m peeing into a bag.”

Evans shrugged, “At least you have a bathroom, in the recovery ward, they’ve pretty much forgot we exist. I have to use a bucket under my bed. I had to ask for these crutches.”

Lucy nodded, “I noticed that, I’m still in the Emergency ward even though I haven’t had surgery or tests done for two days.”

Evans shrugged, “Well, I’ve got to go send a letter. Great to see that you aren’t dead.” He turned around and crutched his way to the main office. It was a bit of trouble opening the door, but he finally did. The office was emptier than he expected. He saw Sarah tapping on the transmitter key of the telegraph. Evans stood and waited for her to finish the message. When she did, Evans approached her desk.

She waved at him, “Do you have the letter to send James?”

“Yes,” Evans reached into his pocket and pulled it out, “Thank you very much Sarah. How long will it take to deliver?”

“Only a few days,” Sarah smiled and took the letter, “They like to keep civilians happy, so they give me higher priority on mail service to back home.”

Evans nodded, “Say, what’s your fiancees name? I can see if my friend Jack knows him.”

Sarah looked back and forth and then leaned towards Evans, “I’m not engaged, I just tell that to most people because, well, you saw John. A bunch of soldiers want to get something from me while they’re recovering, so it’s easier if I just say I’m engaged.”

“Right…” Evans straightened himself up, “And don’t worry, I won’t tell Miller.” He shook his head, “And you were right about him. After you left he started whining about how it was unfair or something.” Evans then crutched out the door.

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