“So, what kind of dresses does Major Kestel like to wear?” Polly smiled as she looked over the over the green field as the sun rose. She scanned for any engine smoke.
“She doesn’t really talk that. We mostly just talk fighting, and I mostly see her in uniforms,” Evans sighed as he looked over the other horizon, Scanning for any infantry or vehicles. Or… fucking god it better not be fucking airships.
“Colors then. She ever talk about her favorite colors? Is mauve still in?” Polly polished a little bit of dirt off her rifle.
“Still don’t know,” Evans pulled a looted cigarette pack out of his jacket, offered one to Polly, who declined. He pulled one out and put it in his mouth, “Tell you what, next time my wife and I are with the Major, I’ll get Anna to bother her. Since she isn’t army, she can do whatever the hell she wants.”
Evans slipped the cigarette pack back into his jacket and patted himself down. No fucking lighter. He pulled the cigarette out his mouth, “Do you have a lighter?”
“I don’t smoke anymore. Don’t have a lighter.”
“Dammit,” Evans yelled down to a sailor who was working to clear up the roadblock, “HEY! HAVE A LIGHT?”
“YEAH,” The sailor pulled out his lighter and flicked it, “FUCK, NEVER MIND! I NEED A REFILL!”
“Fucking hell,” Evans looked back at Polly, “Nothing in your sur-”
“CONTACT ON THE SOUTHERN HORIZON!” Polly turned and yelled to the signalman, “GET THE ENSIGN AND BRING UP THE BINOCULARS!”
The Signalman pointed to someone who ran the binoculars up while she went to get the Ensign.
“So whatcha see Polly?” Evans kept watching the northern horizon.
“Smoke, maybe. Hopefully the column,” Polly held out her hand for the sailor with the binoculars. When the sailor gave them to her, she pulled them to her eyes and scanned the horizon, “Multiple contacts from the south. Looks to be our armored cars. I think I see the infantry support riding along.”
“Last time I was supporting armored cars we weren’t allowed to ride.”
“Wow. So sad for you. Maybe if you-”
“Army? You had something to report?” The ensign tapped Polly on the shoulder.
She handed the binoculars to him and pointed to the smoke on the horizon, “Yes Sir. Looks to be the column and I can see some attached infantry. Should be here in about half an hour, Sir.”
“Very well… Private?” He handed the binoculars back to her and turned to the signalman, “Raise our flag!”
“Corporal, take the private and one of my sailors with you to meet the column out in front of the roadblock. Tell them what’s happened and what to expect.”
“Yes Sir,” Evans paused, “Who are you and what unit is this?”
“Ensign Carruthers, and we’re the 5th Regiment, D Company. At least I am, we’ve got sailors from all over 5th, and a few from other regiments.”
“Thank you sir. And shouldn’t someone take over our watch sir?”
“Yes…” The Ensign shouted down to the working party, “ALDUINO! TAFANI! YOU’RE ON WATCH! FIORE, YOU’RE WITH ARMY!”
Evans climbed down the ladder, followed by Polly. An Sailor walked over and stood to attention, “Corporal, Able Seaman Nicholas Fiore reporting for duty.”
“What?” Evans was confused.
“Excuse me?” This response confused Fiore.
“What’s with all the fancy talk?”
“I thought you army guys really liked protocol.”
“Fucking nope. Maybe the careers and officers, but I don’t give a shit,” Evans pointed over his shoulder, “Now let’s go for a walk. Slung rifles. We don’t want to look like we’re trying to shoot anyone. Because my wife hates it when I die. I’d rather not actually die.”
The three walked for a few minutes before Fiore got curious, “What do you mean your wife hates it when you die?”
“First time she saw me get hit by a shell, second time I got lost behind enemy lines, third time I got shot and then captured, and I guess now I’ve been stuck behind the lines again. I might be forgetting some,” He started waving his arms at the approaching column, “HEY! ETHSLIN ARMY… I MEAN NAVAL INFANTRY! NAVAL… CAVALRY? THAT SOUNDS STUPID! WHOEVER THE HELL ARE YOU, WE’RE HERE TO LINK UP WITH YOU!”
One of the infantryman waved at them. The sailors on the lead truck then dismounted and it accelerated towards the trio. The rest of the trucks pulled to a halt. One of the doors opened and an officer stepped out as the truck slowed, “Who the fuck are you?”
“Corporal James Evans. Ensign Carruthers of the 5th sends his regards. We’ve taken care of that nasty looking roadblock up the road Sir.”
“Right… Wait… James Evans. Shit. Would that happen to be Ann Stoddart?”
Polly piped up, “Yes! Why the hell do you care?”
The officer grabbed a flag out of the truck and waved it.
Another truck exited the column and zipped towards Evans. It pulled up and an army Colonel jumped out of the back. He walked towards Evans and Polly. He then pulled two pictures out of his pocket, compared them to Evans and Polly.
“Corporal Evans, Private Stoddart, come with me please,” He put the pictures away and pulled a sheet from his pocket and handed it to Evans, “Order from the very top.”
“The Oligarchs. You two are recalled to Medway immediately.”