Drowning. Drowning. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Evans tried to move up to the air. He started to flail against Captain Ricci. He tried to scream at her, but that just let water in. He could feel the heat from the surface. The beautiful heat. He needed to breath. He was going to die. But Captain Ricci held him firm. Every breath drew in more of the putrid water.

After what seemed like an eternity, Captain Ricci dragged him out of the water. Evans coughed up water as silently as he could. Captain Ricci whispered to him, “The hell is wrong with you Sergeant?”

“I can’t swim Ma’am.” Evans crawled a bit further from the water, “Water fucking terrifies me.”

“Didn’t you win your MoE First by saving Duchess Medway from a sinking ship?”

“Yeah, I grabbed onto a big piece of wood with one arm and Major Kestel with the other. I also did a lot of screaming…” Evans shuddered thinking about it, “So, what did the orders say.”

Ricci took a long pause, “How long are you on the line here?”

“Two more weeks,” He paused a moment, trying to remember further and then said, “Last five days are frontline.”

Her face went a bit pale, “Do you want a transfer? I need someone like you, and… I can’t tell you why, but you should accept.”

“You know the answer Ma’am.”

“I had to ask Sergeant… I’m sorry.”

After about twenty minutes, the Vledscans repeated the flamethrower sweep. Evans was calmer this time. From Captain Ricci’s panic and the Vledscans trying their hardest to kill the two, it was evident that something awful was going to happen within the next two weeks.

The two waited in silence until the sun fell. A few more artillery barrages attempted to find the two. But, once the sun fell, the two were able to sneak their way back to Ethslin lines.

Captain Ricci gave him the standard talk about how he couldn’t reveal anything he had learned. And then, like that, they parted ways. Evans returned to Major Kestel’s dugout. She gave him a hug, told him she was worried, and they went back to work.


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