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A moment of silence for the fallen..

Captain Enema

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Liberation Day +14

The Legion Air Force Cargo Planes have been returning a steady stream of bodies from Austria for the last several days. Wooden caskets holding the mortal remains of the fallen Legionnaires pour off the leased 747 Cargo Planes in a never ending stream Will each and every one of the 47,000 or so dead Legionnaires be returned from Austria to Legion proper?

Not likely, too many bodies are so badly mangled it can't really be told if the remains are Legionnaire, Austrian, or German. When a proper identification can be made the body is carefully cleaned and placed in a simple wooden casket. The sheer volume of dead forces the Legion to outsource a contract with a local Austrian furniture maker for the production of a special run of wooden caskets.

Denard being the practical sort, orders the firm to not stop making them as he is all too well aware that the caskets are needed elsewhere. As soon as the Legion has finished policing the battlefields and hospitals of their dead the rest of the caskets will quietly be donated to the Austrian civilians who aren't able to properly bury their own dead. Death is dirty, death is never pretty, but with a bit of care and a proper casket the cleaning of the broken spirits of those left behind can begin.

The cleaning up of the dead is quite another story. The dying is still ongoing as the wounded are still dying in their hospital beds. The secondary effects of war, unexploded ordinance for example, are still killing the unwary. Austrian Army and Legion Teams are working around the clock to disarm UXO and to educate the Austrian population on how to identify UXO and how to report it. There has been a few too many games of catch played with an unexploded mortar round on playgrounds for everyone's comfort.

While this work goes forward unabated the Legion, as stated earlier, gathering the mortal remains of their fallen soldiers. German soldiers are thrown into unmarked graves after their identification tags are collected and the grave sites marked. The tags are thrown into large boxes for shipping once the war is completely over. Austrian remains are processed, placed in a casket, and when possible put into cold storage. The 1st Austrian Army Group has set up a special bureau to assist Austrian families with reclaiming the bodies of their loved ones. Legion on the other hand just boxes the bodies up and flies them home.

The Port Sudan International Airport is lined with hundreds of refrigerated trucks waiting to whisk the bodies away. The debate over where to bury the dead of this war was fairly easy to settle, Dengali. Dengali, a rather small city a true blight on the soul of humanity, serves as sort of a spiritual homeland for all Legionnaires. Dengali that horrible little stain of a place that had nearly devoured the Legion once before is to become the home of the new crop of harvest Legionnaires.

15,000 Legionnaire recruits are issued shovels. They are marched To Dengali, ironically not all that far from Port Sudan. The place that nearly ended up being the grave of the Legion is no more than a stones throw from the place that is the current cradle of the Legion. Neat rows of graves are dug and one by one the Legionnaires were placed into the earth with very little fanfare and no ceremony to mark this occasion.

There are just too many for there to be ceremony. Too many bodies to bury, too much work to be done, and just not enough time to take care of it all. Once the bodies are buried and gravestones properly erected the Legion will have a proper ceremony for all of the fallen. One massive occasion to mourn those who gave their all for a cause the rank and file of the Legion are having a difficult time comprehending.

Of course they understand they are sworn to the Empress Maria Theresia and the Austrians. But the mere act of bleeding away 50,000 or so men over the actions of a madman like Haas confuse the Sudanese of the Legion. They remember a time when the Legion was the African Legion and that it was a time when dying for Africa was a good and proper thing.

The war against the madman Haas had stirred something in the hearts of the Sudanese. It is still quite undefined at this moment, but it is there. Beating, stirring restlessly, and waiting to make itself known. Denard knows what it is, he's feeling it as well. Africa, for Africans, and to hell with Europe is something he thinks about frequently as well. But then, Denard knows he's halfway out the door and down the long road to Khartoum, so whatever happens after that isn't his problem.

Or so he hopes.

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