Freed man
Monday, January 8, 2007

four little scenes that sorta tell a story. Wash, after the War.


The rain had stopped early in the morning, leaving the prisoner of war camp to start its day under a gloomy drizzly sky. The twin fences, warning wire and guard towers dripped depressingly onto the graveled ground as the prisoners straggled out for morning formation and count in their brown coats.

The Alliance commandant strode to the center of the formation. "Attention to orders. It has been announced today by Alliance Central Military Command that the war is over. You will be released soon. Remain calm and in good order. Joint Repatriation Teams will arrive within a few days. Carry on. Dismissed."

A single voice shouted from somewhere in the rear of the formation, "Who won?", but the insolent tone was faked. Everybody here knew the answer.


It hadn't been a few days, it was closer to two months.

"Next!" The POW stepped up in his tattered uniform. He hadn't been athletic while on active duty, and in his time in the prison camp, had gotten round, and grown a big mustache.

"Name, rank, serial number, and date of capture?"

"Washburne, Hoban, flight lieutenant." He reeled off the numbers.

"You've been in here a long time, lieutenant." "Yessir."

"Don't have much to say, do you?" "Laconic, sir."

"All right, here's your packet . Read 'em and sign ."

There were a lot of papers. Discharge from the Independent Military Sevices, Recognition of Honorable Service. Pardon for Rebellion against the Alliance. Amnesty against Crimes Committed During Wartime. Final Settlement and Rejection of Claims against the Parliament. He signed, and returned the duplicate copies.

"Very good, here's your reparations payment."

It wasn't much. Payment for some months of active service, and so many years as a POW, paid at the rate of Recruit Private. A voucher good for one fare on any space vessel, paid by the Alliance Parliament, 200 platinum in cash.

"Good luck, son." He ignored the outstretched hand ,and turned and marched out the gate. By the time he reached the end of the road, he has shed his jacket and shirt. He continued stripping, ignoring the other prisoners also slogging pointlessly up the road. Soon he was wearing only shoes and socks, no fool he, and carrying the packet of papers in one hand.


Some hours later, Wash, still out of uniform, was part of a small group of ex-POWs staggering up the road toward a small village. One had a bottle gotten somewhere. They were singing old Army marching songs, the harmony somewhat assisted by the alcohol.

"The General won the Croix d'Guerre, parley voo. The General won the Croix d'Guerre, parley voo. The General won the Croix d'Guerre, and the son of a bitch wasn't even there. Hinkey , dinkey , parley--"

" 'Ere, wot's this now?" A very large man dressed like a local policeman was blocking their path. "This is nawt acceptable."

One of the others spoke up."We are released POWs,sir."

"Thass awl very well, but I won't 'ave it in my town. This is a respectable place. We got women and children 'ere. I won't 'ave bad language. You will be on your best behavior, and get thru right quick." His eyes lit on Wash. "And you, sir, are not acceptable at all. Come with me."

He steered Wash toward a general store nearby, then spoke to the proprietor. "This young fella seems to 'ave misplaced 'is uneeform. Get 'im kitted out in summat, if you would. If 'e 'asnt got enough cash to pay fer it, I'll stand for 'im. I'll be back in a mite."


When the constable returned, Wash was dressed in a pair of baggy non-military trousers and under clothes, and was picking through the rack of shirts. "I'll take this one," he said, pointing out a garish number printed in blue and orange , with palm trees and tropical flowers all over it. "How much do I owe you?"

"For a man who's got the courage to walk down the street in that shirt, sir, the clothes are a gift. Anything else?"

Wash's eyes swung around the room, caught a display of toys. "I need a mascot," he said, picking out a plastic dinosaur. He dropped a few platinum on the counter as the constable led him out.

OUtside , the clumps of travelling POWS had turned into a steady stream. The constable approached one. "Sergeant, I'd take it fer a kindness, if you'd keep an eye on this chap fer a way."

The big man smiled. "Always able to carry one more. How ya doin', son? My name's Mal--"


Monday, January 8, 2007 9:24 AM


I loved how Wash got his clothes. Not only a smart man but a smart NEKKID man! And he ends up with Mal to look out for him, not a bad first day out of that gorram confinement. Plus he has a new friend, wonder which dino it was? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, January 8, 2007 9:28 AM


I loved this - beautifully done.

Monday, January 8, 2007 7:06 PM


Brilliantly done, NewOldBrownCoat! Definitely loved how you had Wash strip down to his foot coverings and walk nekkid to town. Actually beats out Mal's little adventure in sitting from "Trash"...;D


Tuesday, January 9, 2007 2:05 AM


Way to go, Wash! And Mal as well? Nicely done!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 10:56 AM




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