Sunday, March 22, 2009

Visitors from the East

15 February ….

The Orca returned yesterday with serious news about our cousins from across the Atlantic. The Germans have refused to return the former French territories and the Kaiser's officials defiantly claim they can do as they will with their new colonial possession. Seems like what they want to do is steal everything that ain't nailed down, drink anything they can find, and molest any pretty young - or not so young! - girls in the town. Neu Munchen, the former Nouveau Paris, is under martial law as we speak and is patrolled by, of all things, some sort of mechanical men. I still find it hard to believe the Hun has really created mechanical soldiers. The Kaiser is also supposed to be allied with the Ottoman Turks, whoever they are.

Secretary of War Edward G. Graves specifically sent a message via Camp Trafalgar to the Republic Expeditionary Force on Venus. We are to expect more troops to reinforce our position on Venus and are to be prepared for anything the Hun sends our way. The Germans are not on this continent, as verified by our British allies, but that may offer an opportunity for expansion. Our walls are very strong and we have stored provisions in our cellars. I hope we receive at least another squad of Marine Engineers so we can better utilize our construction capabilities.

The British dirigible HMS Galfrey arrived with the Orca. Onboard was Colonel William Basil Davies IV, KCB, VC, and his aides and amongst them all was actually a face I recognized: RSM James Canon. The British colonel wanted to visit Fort Humid and will stay a few days to see how we “Bowies” are doing. They also want a taste of some of the renowned recipes of our crazy Cajun cook, I think. We will have a formal meeting tomorrow as he wants to address our troops.

Once off duty, RSM Canon was as cheerful as always. The Welshman is built very similar to Seaman 1st Johansson: stocky, with no neck to speak of and powerful hands. He grabbed a hold of me and gave me a huge bear hug once we got to my quarters, where he is bunking. Canon is still immensely strong for a man in his late forties.

We originally met while I was at Expeditionary Engineer School. Canon taught a class in defense on the march, in which we were overrun by an enemy of greater strength. He had been curious to see if we Texicans were more like the Jonathons or the British. I think we met with his approval. We learned to form square at the same course, a tactic that may prove useful here on Venus against these primitives, but is surely not wise in the face of modern artillery. I introduced him to RSM Taggart and the two hit it off. Last night in the NCO Mess we got to catch up on our lives since we had last met over a few mugs of jungle juice, the rotgut so-called "rum" our entrepeneurial distiller has been brewing up.

Drs. Caruthers and Palmer finished excavation around the arched opening and their efforts to enter the temple are still all for naught. There was another display of the glowing blue lights as the temple was struck by lightning once again during one of our daily rainstorms. It has to be more than just a coincidence that lightning continues to strike the temple. I believe it is a place of evil where wicked souls are bound.

Father Flannigan gave a wonderful sermon this morning and our visitors were pleased with it. Father Flannigan still wants to venture out into the highlands to see what the land is like further north. He believes that the relatively unexplored region has to have hidden secrets.

I must close as it is once again time to join my friends in a daily ration.

[Editors Note: The British call the Texicans “Bowies” in reference to the standard issue Bowie bayonet carried by all enlisted troops in the Republic. Unlike the “Jonathons” nickname for Americans, it is by no means a derogatory term and is used as a friendly nickname, much like their use of the term "Tommy Atkins" for their own troops. The name was created during the Maximillian War, in which the Republic of Texas fought with Her Majesty’s troops against the French and Mexico. Navy and Marine Officers carry the Model 1852 cutlass. Army officers carry the Model 1864 saber.]

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