All's Fair In Love and War, Parts 19-20/?
- The truck smelled. That was the first thing she noted as she
climbed up into the back of the transport truck that would take her
to a whole new camp. The second thing she noticed was that the
sinking feeling she'd went to bed with the previous night was still
with her. Something wasn't quite right about this whole situation. It
wasn't just the fact that they were being sent to the front lines for
medical attention even though the war was just about over. In fact,
in light of the other instance, that fact was quite excusable.
No, what worried her most was that the only people being
transported were fellow nurses that were known for being mutants. She
lowered her eyes at the thought and studied her hands. So much power
behind them. And with a very slim sense of control, it would be very
easy for the wrong person to take advantage of that power.
She shook her head firmly, reminding herself that the last thing
she needed at that moment in time was to put more doubts and fears
into her mind. She needed to remain calm. She needed to assess the
situation and list all the possible outcomes. She needed...she needed
to stop sounding like a drill sargeant and think logically.
The trucks suddenly roared to life and pulled away from the
hospital. She peered out the small windows located on the sides of
the transports and watched as it faded out of sight slowly. The noise
was horrendous, and she cursed herself for having taking the seat
right above the wheels. Every bump sent a shock up pain trailing up
her spine, causing an almost instant headache. Glancing about the
back of the truck, she noticed that all the other passengers were
equally as uncomfortable. And none of them had their luggage. She
wondered what that was about. Upon reaching the truck, two uniformed
men had insisted she hand over her luggage to them. She did so
reluctantly, grateful that she'd changed her mind and tucked her
letters from Logan in her blouse instead. At the time she'd assumed
that they needed as much space as possible for the other nurses.
Looking now she saw that the back was half empty, and that there
would have been room for twice the amount of luggage they'd all
None of this eased her apprehension any. And of course, to make
matters even worse, it began to rain. Once again she cursed her luck
at finding the most horrid seat in the entire area, for just above
her head a tiny crack was allowing little droplets of rain to fall
onto her head. Strong winds blew the truck, causing it to teeter
rather violently at some points. In some ways, the swaying motion
very much reminded her of the transports she'd been on on her way
across the channel.
The beginning of the war seemed so very long ago. She'd been an
entirely different person then. Eager to get away from her home life,
and into adventure, she'd packed up her bags and signed up to become
a nurse with the Red Cross. She figured since her father and three
brothers were signed up with the army, she might as well do her part
too. It only took two months of training before she was granted
permission to travel abroad with the other qualified men and women.
She'd been very narrow-minded and naive then, as well. She laughed
slightly to herself, remembering her surprise to see male nurses
among the female. She thought for sure every man in America was off
with the army. Until her new friend Agatha explained that not all men
were taken into the army. Marie'd never known then that there were
just as many qualifications (if not more so) to get into the army as
there were to get into the Red Cross.
She was also very unprepared for what she saw in Europe those
first three weeks. True, she'd worked terribly hard, studying every
known injury the medical institutes had. Dr.Henry McCoy was a
fantastic teacher, and made sure her brain was filled with all the
knowledge it would need. No, knowledge was not where she was
unprepared. At least, not in the facts department. What it came down
to was the emotional stress it'd put upon her.
Marie sighed, remembering the picture shows she'd seen back home.
They were all about war right before she left, an obvious attempt to
attract the attention of men. It'd worked too. They made them look
like brave heroes, each and every one dying in a spotlight of glory.
In reality, many died unnoticed. Only a very few died on the battle
field, surrounded by friends, and even less died painlessly. Most
ended up in the Red Cross hospitals, very much in pain. Some came to
them asleep, thank God, but most came, screaming, clutching body
parts, and calling for their mothers. Someone once said shock was
good for a person. She didn't see how. For the first three weeks
she'd cried herself to sleep at night. The whimpering men in the
rooms adjacent to hers often filled her dreams, making them
nightmares very quickly.
Feeling a slight jab in her chest, Marie was pulled from the past,
back into the present. She turned to look out the window, and was
surprised to see it was after dark. She must have fallen asleep
somewhere along the way.
Remembering the sharp point digging into her, she quickly pulled
the letters from her shirt and looked at them. It'd been so long
since she'd heard from Logan. Nearly three weeks now...or was it
more? After the normal week it took for her to receive a response,
she'd lost track of the actual time since he'd written, but she knew
it'd be a while. Of course, they were in the middle of a war, so
delays were to be expected. Especially if he'd gone to the front.
Hitting a bump in the road, her head jerked backward, banging hard
against the wall of the truck. She frowned, rather annoyed by this
whole trip. Rubbing it pointedly, she tucked the letters safely back
against her chest and rebuttoned her shirt. Her fears about this trip
were no less apparent, but somehow, they'd taken a momentary back
seat in her mind. Now, the main concern she had was getting sleep.
She'd been up the entire night before, packing away her things, and
the earlier nap she'd taken wasn't enough. Though her stomach lurched
with an uneasiness, she closed her eyes and rested her head on the
floor, curling up slightly to get comfortable. She didn't fear
putting anyone else out, or having to make them move. They each had a
considerable amount of space to their name, without getting in each
Closing her eyes tightly, she allowed the thoughts of Logan she'd
been attempting to foster to encompass her mind, promising herself
she would not sleep for long. She wanted to think through this
matter, and try to put her finger on exactly what it was that was
troubling her. A part of her knew that she should stay awake and
think on it now, but the other part of her argued that she would get
nothing accomplished if part of her was preoccupied with thoughts of
rest. Deciding then that the second half of her had a better
arguement, she shifted slightly against the hard floor of the truck
bed, and drifted off to sleep.