St. Gaétane Cathedral
"Right, this should keep the water out."
It was rainy season again. The godly sun was barely seeping through the clouds to reach the suffering species on no man's land. Ounces of water poured in a desperate attempt to wash away the disgusting legacy of the 'War to end all wars'. It made it worse. The tears of suffering and pain hidden beneath streams of mud, blood and gunpowder. Their cries unheard, their anguish forgotten.
For these innocent people, this Cathedral was the only sanctuary where they could call home, after their small town had become two ends of a tug of war between the Federation and Imperial Alliance. It is located on a hill in the suburb, separate from the gunfire, from artillery and dead bodies. Those who couldn't run away fast enough or their lingering feelings towards their mother earth were a force too powerful to resist would take shelter here under the town militia's protection. But whereas they did not face the bullet, faced something else instead.
The planks weren't enough to withstand another stray artillery shell, but it would do against the downpour that was still raging at the moment. The rainwater now bounced off the wooden surface or followed the steep slope of the planks down to the dirt. Now the cathedral inhabitants could enjoy a bit of dryness. He knew all too well what could turn out from eating and sleeping with water. Lucky he paid much attention and actively tried to dry his feet. Some weren't so fortunate, and they paid for it with their toes.
"Thanks for the extra effort there, Michael" The squad leader - the new squad leader - nodded her head in appreciation as she handed the Edinburghian sapper a clean rag. Unlike the previous two leaders that Michael had grown too used to, she wasn't too special. She had her shortcomings but she never seemed to have much issues with commanding a group of people, and was able to get used to the war pretty well. It was probably better with some normalcy, but regardless he missed his old squad. He wondered how they were doing. Were they alive? How was Lucia doing? Thoughts that crossed his mind, but didn't linger for too long.
"You're welcome. Everything's good here?" He replied as he took off the outer layers of his uniform to dry.
"Pretty much. The food situation wasn't too bad. The only problem is trench foot. But they aren't that critical yet." She looked around. "...My only concern is if the Imperials want to take this place."
"Yeah..." Michael concurred. "I don't know how much they want this place. It's a high ground with good visions of the surroundings but is isolated from the majority of the fightings.
"I don't think they'd bother. They have their hands tied up in the town already."
"New orders from the top!"
The runner, his pant sleeves soaked in mud, barged into the cathedral. After a quick exchange of salutes, the young kid, barely the age of 15, briefly gazed at Michael as he faced the squad leader.
"The higher-ups are requesting Corporal Daunte's assistance inside the town. We are preparing the second phase of the offensive." He said. "Please report to Lieutenant Mayer by the end of today."
They're finally pressing to take over the town? Good. If this ended up well, they could perhaps see some respite for a while, until the next objective arrived. But it was a little funny that in the request, they were asking for his assistance instead of the squad's assistance. Legacies of that daring Amone tunnel raid still echoed among the ranks. It was pretty nice that he got some recognition at last, but hoped that wouldn't the excuse for them to throw him into more of it.
"Alright, Corporal Daunte and our sappers will follow you to your CO. Just give us a few moments, if you don't mind."
It was 1937 right? A brief look at his coat would clearly indicate that he was indeed in the present. And that he wasn't going to get back those youth anymore. But still? She was right there. As young as the trench days. A beacon of love, kindness and grace he had the pleasure of knowing. Was it hallucination? Or was it someone else that looked like her...
"Penttila..." It really was...he couldn't believe it. "Ah, I am Michael. Michael Daunte. It's a pleasure to meet you both."
Senja Penttila. Eija Penttila. Mothers and daughters do look alike perhaps.
"Oh war sucks always, but you get used to it after a while. Try and find something you can enjoy during these downtimes before combat. This war can last for a while, so it's better to have some respite activities." He replied as Austin complained about war. Ahh, recruits. Young and green. Will complain about uncomfortness anytime. Like he used to back then.
"Do you mind if I ask this, miss?" Then Michael turned to Eija, his mind full of curiosity and desire for confirmation. "Have you heard of a woman named Senja Penttila?"