It was the First of November. Two days since the Lieutenant Kestel had taken over command of the company. They had pushed forward with little resistance to their present position and set up in two buildings. They then stayed in position awaiting orders.

Evans was sitting in the makeshift company headquarters with his feet on the desk. The Lieutenant was sleeping quietly in the corner on a mattress Evans had moved in. She looked weird in sleep. Instead of her normal, slightly crazy, war enthused self, she looked peaceful and happy. Evans would have called it cute if that wasn’t a completely inappropriate thing to call someone of her stature.

He shook his head. He was way too tired. One more hour and he could sleep. Just one more…

There was a loud knock on the door. Evans snapped awake and opened the door. An unfamiliar Private was standing at the door, smiling holding out a letter. Evans grabbed the letter, “Is this for Lieutenant Kestel?”

Nodding, the Private pushed past Evans, “Yes, is she in here?” She looked at the Lieutenant, smiled, and bounced up and down, “She is so pretty! Can I have like a little bit of her hair?”

Evans shook his head, “No, that’s weird. Why would you want that.”

“Can I touch her?” The Private stepped closer to the Lieutenant, and Evans stepped in between the two.

“No. Don’t touch her. Seriously, go away.”

The Lieutenant sat up, “Evans, is that you?”

“Yes Lieutenant,” Evans opened up the letter, “We have orders from Lieutenant Colonel Strummer.”

The Private bounced up some more, “And I’m Private Harper!” She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket, “Can I have your autograph Lady Demetria?”

The Lieutenant ignored Private Harper and grabbed the letter from Evans. She quickly scanned the letter, “Evans, assemble the Sergeants.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Evans left the room and shook his head. He quickly roused the four Sergeants in the current building and went to the exit door to rouse the next three and the Sergeant Major. Evans hooked his helmet onto his rifle and slowly pushed it out of the door. Nothing. He put his helmet back on and sprinted across. He slammed against the wall and knocked on the door, “Lance Evans Open Up.”

The door opened and Evans rolled in, looked at the Private, “Nice to see you again Wesley, Can you tell Sergeant’s Howard and Stark to report to the Lieutenant?”

She nodded and ran upstairs. Evans then walked to the Sergeant Major’s office and knocked on the door. In a few moments a private answered the door, “What do you need?”

“The Sergeant Major needs to meet with the Lieutenant as soon as possible,” Evans waited until the Private turned to wake the Sergeant Major before he ran to the stairwell. Fifth floor was Sergeant… something Damn. Evans should really know his name.

Evans got out onto the second floor and looked around. A Lance Corporal was drumming on his legs.

“Hey, where’s your Sergeant?”

The Lance Corporal nervously looked around, “He’s ah… Giving specialized instruction to one of the privates.”

“I didn’t ask what he was doing, where is he?”

“I’ll get him,” The Lance Corporal walked to the stairs. Evans followed a few steps behind. They went up to the sixth floor, then the Lance Corporal knocked in an odd pattern. There was some clattering in the room, and Evans thought he heard a woman crying.

The door opened a crack and a Sergeant slid out, glistening with sweat. He swore and quickly did his belt and fly. When he saw Evans, he quickly snapped at the Lance Corporal, “What the Hell is he doing here?”

“Se… Sergeant…” Evans stuttered, “The uh… Lieutenant wants all Sergeants to meet at her office.”

The Sergeant muttered, “I hate that bitch.” He then looked back at Evans, “Now, what the hell are you still doing here?”

Evans nodded, “I’ll, uh… go wake the other Sergeants.” Evans ran to the stairwell. He paused a moment. Why had he said that? Evans ran part way up to the seventh floor and laid himself as flat as he could in the shadows. It was uncomfortable. This was really dumb.

After about a minute, the Sergeant and Lance Corporal walked down the stairs. The Lance exited on floor five, but Evans had to wait while the Sergeant plodded all the way to the ground floor. Once the stairwell was silent, Evans snuck back onto the sixth floor. He slowly approached the door and put his hand on the doorknob, twisted it, and slowly pushed it open. He heard someone softly cry “No.”

Evans pulled out his lighter and lit his candle to illuminate the dark room, “Whose there?” His eyes slowly adjusted and he saw.

All the windows in the room had been blocked out. Most of the furniture had been moved to the walls, and, in the center, was a cot. A Private was sitting there, who had been in the midst of dressing herself when Evans came in. Evans quickly averted his eyes and whispered, “Sorry… Private. Are you alright?”

More crying. “No.”

“What’s the Sergeant been up to?”

There was a long pause.

“They’ll kill me if I tell.”

Evans didn’t know what to do. He shrugged, “I’ll protect you. Give me their names.”

“S… Sergeant Knowles. And… And… Lance Corporal Drummond.”

“Are you decent yet?”

“I am, Lance… What’s your name?”

“Jim Evans,” he slowly turned around, transfered the candle to his left hand and extended his right, “And you?”

“Madelyn Boswell,” She grabbed his hand and pulled herself up. She seemed cold and clammy. Evans then waved her to follow him downstairs, to the first floor.

Wesley was standing at the entrance, and she waved at him, “I sent the Sergeants through, Sergeant Knowles passed me, and the Sergeant Major’s office is empty except for Joe.”

Evans nodded, “Good. Now,” He gestured back at Boswell, “This is Boswell from Third. I want her to join you on guard duty for the moment… Do you know Lance Corporal Drummond?”

Wesley thought to herself, “Tall, blond, little mustache” She smiled a bit, “Kind of cute?”

Evans looked back towards the stairs, “If He or Sergeant Knowles come by, find a place for Boswell to hide. And you didn’t see her if they ask. Once Knowles does go back upstairs, bring her across the street to the Lieutenant’s office.” Before Wesley could respond, Evans opened the door and sprinted across the street. He slipped into the door and walked to the back of the crowd of Sergeants. The Lieutenant saw him and gestured for him to head back to the office. He nodded, walked past the group, and entered the office.

Evans sat impatiently and waited for the Lieutenant to come in. She threw a notepad onto his desk, “Evans, I need you to copy this down and get it run down to the Lieutenant Colonel.” She started back to her bed, “We move out at dawn.”

“Ma’am… Wait…”

The Lieutenant turned around and raised her eyebrow, “Yes Evans?”

“There is an issue with Sergeant Knowles,” Evans heard a knock on the door, “I think that might be about this.”

Evans opened the door, Boswell was standing there, shrouded in a blanket, and Wesley was standing next to her. Evans ushered Boswell in. He stepped outside, leaned in, and looked at the Lieutenant, “I’ll leave you two to discuss.” He then shut the door.

“So what is going on with her, Knowles, and Drummond?” Wesley cocked her head at Evans.

He pointed across the street, “Shouldn’t you be getting back to your post Private?”

“Nah,” She shook her head, “I got off duty a few minutes ago.”


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