Chapter 6: Stand Up and Be Counted

 
Drystan smirks back at Leo, and turns half an ear toward the Sergeant as he promotes Butch. As the new Corporal approaches, he turns his full attention to Butch, nudging Leo and indicating that they should listen as the more mature (if not necessarily older) man speaks. Well, he's a good choice for corporal, I suppose. Perhaps I'll talk to him about my position instead of the Sergeant. Butch is a bit more approachable, at least. He mentally shrugged to himself, glad that he didn't have the extra duties associated with higher rank. Better to be a grunt, especially if I can move out of the front line.

As Butch orders them out, Drystan gives a lazy salute and turns to Leo. "Off to Alelip, then? It'll be good to move around without the threat of tearing stitches all the time... And gods know that you at least could use some fixing up."

Leo listened with intent while the others talked. Though the march was over he was still in a sleep deprived state, not that sleep was any promise of escape this night. He'd shake his head before glancing over to Drystan. I'm not concerned about my own wound honestly. It aches quite fiercely, but I'll only have a scar from it. I'd rather wait until the others are finished healing much worse wounds. Besides I know I have someone much more pressing I need to take care of. I'll see you soon. He'd start to walk away towards where the healer's were set up. Though once out of sight he'd head to where he thought Marin was.

"Corporal? Congratulations, Mease Butch" Marin says saluting him as good as she can in her state. "I've trying to locate the chaperone, but it seems that I'm being ignored here, so if you could find her for me I'll thank you" casting a dirty look to the resting soldiers, none of them giving her even a look "I should have asked for an insignia for these situations, what they think I'm doing? Playing with dolls here?" she mutters not really caring if they listen to her or not

"Right now the followers are starting with the unloading of some things and coordinating with Healer Alelip to be of assistance. As soon as we have a place to bunk we'll be ready to mount camp. If you could direct the most uninjured soliders to the carts in a while we can advance quicker and we'll be all resting sooner" she reports.

As Marin goes to speak with Butch and Leo wanders away, Drystan makes his own way to the healers after depositing his gear by a helpful fellow soldier. No point in lugging things to the healer's, I suppose... Gods but it will be good to have this shoulder fixed up! Tired from the long march and hoping that he hasn't torn up his stitches too badly, Drystan looks around the healer's hall for any signs of Alelip. Might as well see "our" healer rather than a new one... although I suppose they'll be fresher than he is.

Rives trailed into the watch tower along with the chaperones, knowing that they would likely be overlooked in all that was taking place and hoping he'd fall into the category as well. Though he longed to be sent to the stables where he hoped to be further out of everyone's sights, Marin's order to attend to assist Alelip was also welcome. As long as he had something "official" to do, it was another day he was safe. But he dreaded the coming night and sleeping in common quarters with all the remaining men of the 7th. Perhaps he could stay with the healers as an assistant. They would certainly need help, and the sick and injured wouldn't be so likely to ask questions.

As Rives silently went about his business, he actually began to feel more relieved. This watchtower reminded him a bit of his days back at the Montross estate. His mother had taught him how to avoid notice and over the last few years had been quite good at being practically invisible. The other stable boys knew him, but he still managed to mostly keep to himself. Maybe being here at Baden Falls would be easier than on the march, after all. If, of course, he could get assigned to the stables.

Butch

"Thanks, Ms. Marin. More rank means more trouble. I'll see what I can do about getting things situated." he says, and then nods quickly and then sets out to accomplish everything that needs to be done. Walking quickly to the group of soldiers against the east wall that is taking their chow break, he scans rank insignia for a Corporal or Sergeant and then apologizes briefly for interrupting their chow and then introduces himself before inquiring after their chaperone. Having received a description and their best guess as to her last location, he crosses back over to Marin and relays the location to Marin along with her last location. Having done this, he walks over to a group of soldiers from the 7th that don't appear to be too badly injured and then asks for their assistance staging the carts in the order Marin had specified and sets his own back to the pushing along with the others from the group. Although a person could order those of lower ranks around, it was best to ask and to help whenever possible. A promotion didn't mean getting to skate out of work -- it meant more work to do and more hassle, as he was finding out. Once that is accomplished, he joins the que of men getting their wounds looked at by the 3rd's healer and then settles down to do his own gear maintenance. He was one of the lucky ones who had gone on patrol, and had packed most of what he needed for soldiering before he left. Others hadn't been so lucky, and had lost some of their provisions in the fires. Removing his breastplate for the first time in several score of ours, he winces at the stench that accompanies it: the smell of scorched flesh, rotting blood, unwashed body (his own and that of others) as well as the dirt and grime that seemed to accumulate like clock work. Plus there was a plethora of scars from enemy sword and dried blood. Taking a scrap of cloth from his pack, he begins to wipe down the breastplate of the filth that covers it, using water to loosen the debris. Once the outside was clean, he pulls out another cloth and wipes down the leather padding on the inside, doing his best to remove the grime that a sweating body will deposit and hoping fervently that it will have time to be cured by an air bath. Lastly he wipes down the surface of the breastplate with a thin coat of oil to keep it from rusting after having water and sweat applied to it.

Having taken care of his armor, he then turns to his weapons. Giving his spear and sword a thorough visual inspection for any weapon blows that might weaken them and finding none, he moves on to the same cleaning and preserving process that he went through with his armor. When he's finished, he returns his sword to its belt and pauses to see what remains to be done: he still has to see if Marin was able to secure billeting for them, and check in with Sergeant Wyndshof to see if he had any further assignments. If all that proved to be good, maybe he could finally catch some rack time himself...

Thanking Corporal Butch for the assistance, Marin quickly goes to find the resident chaperone. After introducing herself (and meeting a few unbelieving stares) she asks for a place to arrange the 7th's camp and the ongoing schedule and logistics.

With the new information, she directs herself to the carts, where she starts helping and carrying things to the fires and cooking place, and also to where the me would be bunking. Thanks to the Gods they could rescue enough tents and bunks for all the survivors so everyone would be as comfortable as they could here. Sweating and grumbling, the bunks were set and with a tired smile she reported the corporal that men could rest now. Morning had come and go, and afternoon was advanced when they were finished.

"What I would give right now for a bath, even in river ice cold water" she thinks as she finishes the last chores with some help of the men. "Ok men. That's the last. Thanks all for your help, and have a good rest, you deserve it" she says with a sigh. "Karina, Betsey. Go and get some rest" she orders them "I'll see that the men have rations today and we'll see a proper meal tomorrow, we're all exhausted"

Going to the followers' tent, she takes of her own armor grimacing at the state "Will have to find someone to teach me how to maintain this" she thinks aloud before changing to a second set of fatigues that thankfully were intact in her backpack "And will have to mend and clean all this clothes". Fighting a while with her hair to control it, she braids it and buckling again her sword at her back, she exits to find her Sergeant now that she's more presentable. In her way, she pauses at the bunks checking that everything is alright, and also at the healer's. "Alice? Rives? All is ready and set, go and get some rest. I'll stay helping the healers until all is done" she urges them nudging them in their shoulders "You get some healing first, Rives, and then you can use my bunk".

While the pair finishes, she goes about distributing rations they have between the hungry men, answering any complain that if they wanted a proper meal for now they could cook it themselves. Her tone is not angry, not even annoyed, but more tired that anything. After that is done, she reports to Alelip, ready to help in anything necessary as Alice and Rives go to rest. She know that probably she is at her limit, but anything to keep her mind off the battle

"With all due respect Ma'am," Rives says awkwardly, "I'm fine. My arm's a bit sore, but Alelip's magic made it as good as new last night. I can stay here and help. I'm probably better off than most."

Nodding to the young aide, Marin gives a tired smile "Good. If you want to help, stay. But I advice you to take some rest, now that you can. The next days will be very tiring, I suppose"

Alelip directs the wounded into the Great Hall and finds those that need a place to rest a cot. He introduces himself to the resident healer, then proceeds to do rounds among all of the injured, checking on their wounds, replacing dressings, providing balms and ointments from what little of his stock remains to ease pain.

After completing that, he goes and seeks out the resident healer, and asks, "Sorry for intruding on your infirmary. So, how are things here?"





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