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30 July, Une maison renfoncée

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:56 am



"Mittelstaedt! Schwol! Get those frogs back!" Kaufmann pointed with his bayonet to where three prisoners were being forcibly dragged away by the Spanish mob. They would be pulled to pieces within moments, or else meet a more grisly end at the Spaniards' leisure. And dammit, those prisoners were theirs.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:05 pm

"Miguel!" Juan had turned in time to see a couple of the greenjackets advance on the men struggling to haul their three captives to the nearest building. "Stop them!"

He would help as well as he could, but his leg was on fire with pain. It wouldn't take very much for him to be overpowered and he knew it. He still had his club, however, and was more than willing to use it. Toward this end, he lifted the weapon threateningly and snarled abuse at the English guards.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:11 pm

Paol fell back, his gaze casting about frantically over the other prisoners for some sign of his mates. He caught a glimpse of a shock of red hair amidst their own struggling mob, but he could not see Charcot. There was a scream from somewhere on their flank, a terrified voice crying out in French and another struggle seemed to erupt just beyond their own ranks, but pulling farther away every moment.

Charcot. It was all sickeningly clear all of the sudden. Paol saw two of the riflemen dart forward in pursuit and without thinking launched himself after them.
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:25 pm

If the three Frenchmen weren't putting up such a fight - which was understandable, really - it would be possible to get them out of here. Juan swung his club at a greenjacket who got too close and Carlos, somehow back on his feet, swept his mallet sideways in front of him, trying to clear a path toward the captured Frenchmen.

It was of vital importance to keep the greenjackets from effecting a rescue. Juan and Carlos were not the only ones putting up a resistance, at least. They had a good chance of success, as long as the Englishmen did not fire on them in their usual terrible volleys.
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:35 pm

The attackers with their French prisoners were not very far away, and their progress was greatly hindered by their struggling captives. Schwol paused in his chase and took aim. There, that fellow right there whose victim was pulling away... There. And now one of the three French was free.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:45 pm

Mittelstaedt skidded to a halt as the Spaniard rounded on them, dragging his musket up to block the blow and trying to thrust it over the man's guard, driving for his face.

*

Paol charged past the two greenjackets, past the mallet-wielding Spaniard, swinging the rifle down from over his shoulder into the face of one of the villagers whose hands were occupied with a struggling prisoner.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:52 pm

"Get them out of here!" Juan thundered, just before he was knocked hard off his feet by a rifle butt.

Two of the Frenchmen were now free, Carlos realised, and they were in danger of losing the third one. He howled a few choice words and pounced after the Frenchman who had slipped cleanly past him. Maybe he could take this one while his back was turned.

Four Spaniards had gotten hold of the remaining French prisoner, however, and between them were able to haul the wildly-fighting man off his feet. With others providing a rearguard for them, the four men hurried toward safety as fast as they could.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:16 pm

At the cry from behind him, Paol turned, swinging the rifle in vicious, horizontal cut. It was the Spaniard with the mallet he realized in a detached sort of way, seeing the blow coming down, even as he felt his own weapon connect.
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:25 pm

The speed of his charge meant there was no chance of dodging or ducking. Carlos took the blow full on the chest and he crumpled immediately, uttering a strangled grunt as he felt something pop deep inside his chest.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:29 pm

The two freed Frenchmen ran as soon as they were let go, rushing for the barn and their fellow prisoners. They did not even think of escape. In this situation, there was more safety in numbers.

But the third was a goner. Schwol cursed and fired a last shot into the retreating mob, not that it would do any good.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:49 pm

The blow never fell, and somehow it was the Spaniard lying on the ground and not him. Paol stumbled back, turning, but the others had already disappeared into one of the buildings and the third prisoner with them. That way was hopeless; the riflemen knew it and were beginning to pull back. Even Paol knew it, though half dazed as he was, it was more instinct than conscious thought that propelled his feet after them towards the barn.
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:55 pm

Despite having lost several of their number, the Spanish mob had triumphed. They had snatched one Frenchman away from the English and knocked a few others around quite nicely. It would do, for now. Most of the glaring, shouting Spaniards gradually withdrew, taking their wounded comrades with them.

A handful of younger, less sensible men trailed after the retreating English and their herd of prisoners, brandishing knives and clubs. One or two threw rocks. The meaning was impossible to mistake. Any stragglers would be fair game.


Last edited by Keiju on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:55 pm



"Come on! Get in!" Kaufmann urged, waving the last few prisoners and riflemen toward the barn door. In spite of his pain, he wanted to see the task finished, all their prisoners herded back into their proper place. The structure didn't even have a decent roof anymore, but at least it was contained. "Is that everyone?" he asked the returning riflemen.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:16 am

Mittelstaedt gave the last of the prisoners a shove through the door. "Yes. Get inside!" he snapped. Normally he would never have dared speak so, but at the moment he was more afraid of the Spanish mob than he was of Kaufmann.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:17 am

Before he could hesitate, a hand between his shoulder blades propelled him over the threshold and into the darkness of the barn. He took several unsteady steps forward, searching the huddled knots of prisoners, but Charcot was not among them. It had been a faint hope, but it had been all he had left and now he stood there numbly as the full reality of what had just happened broke over him.

But the third captive hadn't been Charcot. He was sure of it. Almost sure. They must have grabbed him even before that. Or he'd fallen and been trampled underfoot. But he'd been right beside him. How could he –

A touch on his arm brought him back to the present with a frightened start. It was the sergeant, Duval, his face gravely expectant, as if awaiting a response to a question, but the empty expression on Paol's face was answer enough.

"He's alright, your mate. Alive, anyway." He nodded as if indicating a direction, but Paol simply stared at him. Charcot? Slowly, almost fearfully, his gaze drifted past the sergeant to the small, huddled form pressed into a nearby corner, hardly visible save for the bright stripe of a bandage across his face.

Paol shut his eyes, felt himself sag forward, but the grip on his shoulder kept him upright.

"Steady, lad..." Steady. Right. Paol straightened, nodding jerkily. He started to pull away, but something tugged him back.

"You won't be needing that."

Paol stared in blank incomprehension at the sergeant then down at the rifle, still inexplicably in his hands, but did not resist as Duval pried it free. Charcot. He needed to find Charcot.

Weaving between the other prisoners, Paol made his way to the corner, sinking to his knees beside the blindfolded figure. Very softly, hesitantly he said, "Dominic?"
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:53 am



Charcot was sitting on the ground - the earthen floor of the barn, to be more precise - hugging his knees to his chest with his face burrowed in the space between. His heart and his breathing were racing as he rocked himself. The nightmare had come back, but it was no dream and there was no waking escape from it.

He had heard his name being called during the battle, or what had sounded and felt like a battle in his blind state. But he had been too afraid to respond, or to cry out at all beyond that first moment when he had been separated from Kerjean. But now someone was speaking his Christian name, gently, close by, and he raised his head tentatively. "I'm here," he whispered, opening one hand but not relinquishing his knees.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:33 am

"Dominic, it's Paol," he said, resting a hand on Charcot's arm. "I'm-- Jesus, Charcot, I'm sorry. I never-- I'm sorry."
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:01 am



Charcot jumped at the unexpected touch, but he exclaimed "Paol!" with quiet, desperate relief and unfolded his arms to reach out for his friend. His rapid breathing turned into sobs.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Paol Kerjean on Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:21 am

Wrapping his good arm around Charcot's shoulders, Paol pulled him close, "Easy. Easy, you're alright," he murmured, draping his other arm across Charcot's back. "We're safe inside. Everything's goin' to be alright."

But not if he had anything to do with it. Charcot had been saved this time, but through no effort of Paol's. He couldn't even keep track of him, let alone protect him, or even spare him the hell he'd just been through. If he wasn't such an unmitigated cock-up-- Snapping a civilian's neck, oh, there he was perfectly competent. He was perversely good at hurting people, the more defenseless the better. But helping them? Charcot didn't stand a chance.
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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:29 am



Kaufmann looked around warily, starting to count the prisoners but quickly realizing it would be pointless because he didn't know how many had been present in the barn already. He leaned back against the door frame, and then let his body slide down to a sitting position on the floor, cradling his left arm with his right.

"How many'd we lose?" he asked Mittelstaedt, not bothering to open his eyes.

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:47 am

"None of ours. They got away with one of the prisoners, though. I dunno if we lost any others." Mittelstaedt crouched down beside Kaufmann, eyeing the older rifleman nervously. "You-- you goin' to be alright?"

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:57 am



Got away with one of the prisoners? Kaufmann swore quietly. "Think I broke my arm."

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  outis on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:07 pm

"It were that damn Frog, weren't it? I seen him. Bastard," Mittelstaedt spat. "We'll sort him out."

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  sans nom on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:09 pm



Kaufmann gave him a confused, bleary frown. "Shut up, Mittelstaedt. Gimme your flask."

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Re: 30 July, Une maison renfoncée

Post  Keiju on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:10 pm

"What the devil is going on here?" A hard-eyed Guards major was approaching on horseback, six privates marching stiffly behind. The latter carried their muskets at the Shoulder and their bayonets were fixed. It was obvious they had come prepared for trouble, despite there no longer being any overt trouble.

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