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Re: [xmmff] Digest Number 1297

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  • Wolf Whitewater
    And seeing as how it s getting close to the 61st anniversary of D-Day again, I thought I might share. Laura s fic reminded me that I wrote this one-off. It s a
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2005
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      And seeing as how it's getting close to the 61st anniversary of D-Day
      again, I thought I might share. Laura's fic reminded me that I wrote
      this one-off. It's a TOTALLY different universe -- X-men:Evolution, the
      TV show, and Stan Lee changed almost everything to make the Xmen
      suitable as a Saturday morning cartoon, including most of Logan's past,
      but in the ways that matter I don't think Logan changed too much. I
      played Logan on the X-men: Evolution RPG (which is now defunct) and
      wrote this back when the RPG was at its height. This is Logan, writing
      in his Livejournal about going to France for the big 60th anniversary
      rememberances. Apologies about the formatting, Live Journal was being a
      butt and so it came out looking like this. I have another journal entry
      about Logan and the war -- when I find it, I'll post it. Until then, enjoy.

      Name: June 6th, 1944
      Author: Wolf Whitewater
      Rating: PG
      Pairing: None, this is just Logan and an original character
      Notes: See above
      Created: June 6 2004
      Archive: Please ask first!
      Is it up on my website? Not Yet
      Disclaimers: Evolution universe. I'm making no money. This isn't my
      character, not technically.
      Feedback: Yes, please! I always like to know what people think


      This weekend I took the jet and went over to France for the D-Day
      remberances. I didn't bring anybody with me. There wasn't anyone who
      would have been appropriate. Sorry, Jean. Sorry, Charles. I just knew I
      wanted to do this by myself. I walked along the beaches and looked up at
      the concrete bunkers on the high green hills above the beaches and saw
      the Germans again, waiting to slaughter us. Rommel and his army were
      waiting, although Rommel himself wasn't there. He'd gone back to Berlin
      with a present for his wife's birthday. But he knew we were going to
      come sooner or later, and he was ready. They set traps, to waylay and
      kill men. All kinds of traps. Mines. Great big X's made of steel. They'd
      barricaded the beach at the hill's beginnings with rolls of loose barbed
      wire. Loose, so that we couldn't climb over it, but get entangled in it,
      within easy range of their guns. Sharp stakes where the water would be
      at high tide, to tear open the hulls of our ships. No cover at all. It
      was a madhouse of horrors. I have never seen such carnage, such death.
      Such numbers. At least two thousand men and boys died in roughly two
      hours along those three and a bit miles of beach. I was one of them,
      though of course I revived and continued on. Must have screwed up the
      body count.

      There weren't many people at the beach that we were told had been
      codenamed Juno. I still don't know what it's real name is. Or was. The
      Canadians were a small contingent anyway, much smaller than either the
      British to the west or the Americans to the east. There isn't much about
      us in the history books. The men that were there this weekend were
      standing in groups of no more than three, or more often by themselves,
      looking around them silently. I saw one take out a test tube, or a vial
      of some kind and scoop some of the sand into it. Another planted a small
      Canadian flag at the base of the hill, where the cruel barbed wire
      barrier was. The flag looked like it might have been there on the day,
      and I guessed it was some kind of a promise kept. I was suprised that
      the sand was so . . . unmarked. It was low tide when I was there, and it
      was fresh. Made new. Am I the only one that will be left to tell the
      story of what happened here? Of how a mass of determined men and
      conscripted boys with only a handful of training took the beaches
      everyone said were untakable? The cocky 18 and 19 year olds that I
      crossed the Channel with, smoking and talking about their girls and
      convincing themselves desperately that that night was just another walk
      in the park are now old, old men. Many are dead. Some died that night,
      others later in life, I guess. There are worse ways to die than
      instantaneously in war. I walked among them with my hands in my pockets
      and my hat pulled well down. I didn't want to be recognized. But. . . I
      was hailed, and my nose jerked around because of a scent I hadn't
      smelled since that night.
      "Corporal Logan!" It was a tall, gangly senior citizen that when I knew
      him had been a tall, gangly 19 year old, celebrating his birthday on the
      1st of June and always accidently winding up where he shouldn't have
      been. I tried to remember his name.
      "Corporal Logan?" This time the words were questioning, as though he was
      ashamed of letting his imagination get away from him. That too, I
      remembered. He was always second-guessing himself, and it saved him that
      night.
      "Private Harris. It's been a long time." I raised my hat and made myself
      look at him and smile.
      "Corporal Logan! It's good to see you! Haven't aged a day, have you? But
      then, they said you would come through it ok, and I guess you have. Or
      else, I guess you could be his son?"
      "No, Harris, it's me. I'm. . . " I hesitated. "I'm still a special
      agent." He nodded.
      "I'd guessed that might be it, Corporal. Or is it Captain or something
      now? They said you were different from the rest of us and I put two and
      two together after some of the things I saw that night. Always wondered
      if I was seeing things."
      I glanced at him. That frighteningly quick intelligence was his best
      asset. I'd forgotten he could deduce so accurately from fragments. "No,
      it's not Captain anything. I have no rank anymore. It's. . . classified."
      He nodded. "I understand." And somehow I got the bizarre feeling that he
      really *did*, that he understood *everything*. Seeing me basically
      unchanged must have finally given him the last piece of the puzzle. We'd
      been drifting along, chatting quietly in the way of old soldiers, until
      we reached the base of the hill, and both shuddered in memory of that
      accursed barbed wire, preventing us from getting to the cover we craved
      and the Germans we needed to kill.
      "Do you still have them?" The question came out of the blue.
      "What?" I asked, startled. I didn't know what he meant. "What?"
      "Those-- knife things. They told us you were different from us, that you
      were going to be our secret weapon against the Nazis and not to be
      suprised at anything. I was right next to you when I saw you slash
      through the wire like it was melted butter. And I thought, 'Holy Cow,
      I'd really like a set of those!' Because I collect stuff like that,
      knives and swords and things, even back then when I'd just started. I
      hope it isn't too personal, but I'd really like to see them again, just
      once, if you have them on you. I never got to ask back then."
      I looked at him. And hesitated. He was the only one that would talk to
      me, treat me like a human being on that day in the boat. I trusted he
      still had that kindness and tolerance. *schook* He recoiled briefly,
      then came back and glanced up at me, then back to them.
      "I'm sorry. I didn't know. I never realized what it must have been." He
      nodded, thinking, then spoke. "You saved all our lives that day. You
      gave us a way out. You stood there, holding back the wire in your hands
      and were the last one through." He paused. "I'm the only one of our
      regiment fit enough to come back here. I just wanted to say, thank you.
      For staying behind. If it hadn't been for you we all would have been
      killed."
      I didn't know what to say to that. You're welcome seemed so inadequate.
      I shrugged a little. "Anybody else would have done the same."
      He tipped his hat to me. "But they didn't." And waved and walked off.

      If there was only one to be saved, I'm glad it was him. I didn't stay
      for most of the ceremonies and I didn't watch the unveiling of the new
      memorials. I spent most of my time on the beach by myself, remembering,
      in the silent comradeship of others who were doing the same. It was very
      peaceful, and I found myself in a much better mood leaving than when I
      had arrived.

      I'm glad I was on the beach in Normandy on the 60th anniversary of the
      invasion.
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