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Subject: Shot Down in Flames RPG - IC Thread. "133 Squadron HQ" rss

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Chris Rice
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Welcome to the primary IC thread for Shot Down in Flames, the game of WW1 Air Combat.

This thread will deal with all ground based activities for 133 Squadron cool
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Chris Rice
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France, June 1917

The big Leyland lurches and rolls like a drunken whale staggering across the rutted tracks that pass for roads in this country. It's been three days since you landed in France after a rough crossing and you still feel sick – the constant rocking of the truck doesn't help your condition one little bit.

France is not what you'd imagined it would be. Of course, you know there is a war on, but somehow the scale of what you've encountered has been hard to grasp. Constant streams of men and equipment moving along the roads in both directions – men of all nations; British, French, Belgians, and men from all over the Empire. You've even seen dark skinned troops wearing turbans instead of helmets who seem totally out of place in this landscape.

Who is managing all this confusion you have no idea but it must be someone with a very large brain. Your own, much smaller, brain has been somewhat stretched as your orders have been changed several times already. The truck stops. You all get out to stretch your legs. An officer approaches to check papers. He hands out new orders. Men mill around, moving off to other trucks whilst others make their way to yours. You realise with surprise that you are the only original passenger left.

Your most recent papers have you assigned to “133 Squadron”. You have never heard of this formation and neither has anyone else you have spoken to. You begin to wonder if it is all a mistake and you should really have remained behind in England.

As the day wears on you see increasing numbers of French troops and fewer and fewer British and Empire soldiers. Finally the truck stops at a crossroads and the driver disembarks. You can hear heated voices but finally the truck starts again and heads south away from the front. You are passing through woodland now and notice a sign fallen by the side of the road. It reads, “Escadrille 29”, a French squadron! What can you be doing here?

The truck stops and the driver unhitches the rear flap. Jumping down you see rows of machines, about a dozen in number – they look like Pups. Beyond them is a large stone farmhouse surrounded by wooden buildings and tents. There are men milling about everywhere; putting things up, taking things down, the whole place is a hive of activity.



A subaltern appears and checks your papers one by one. Once satisfied that all is in order he gestures to the farmhouse building.

“Gentlemen, please make your way to the mess where we have a hot meal waiting for you. The Adjutant will visit you there later and no doubt the CO will want to see you.

Welcome to 133 Squadron!”
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Scott M
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After taking a look around and getting acquainted with his surroundings, Dewey follows orders and walks towards the Mess Hall. He is unsure of this new place and silently says "So this is France?" Dewey is hoping to become good friends with the other fellows of the 133rd.
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Matt Cobb
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Ben Slater, or Baby Benny as his friends called him, looked around with the nervous excitement of one who hasn't actually been in a war yet. Catching himself staring, he quickly hurries up to the person in front of him, who coincidentally also appeared to be headed to the Mess Hall.

"I guess so. Have you ever been here before?" Ben holds out his hand in a friendly gesture. "Hi, my name is Ben, but my friends call me Benny. Are you headed to get some food as well?"
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Vivienne Rice
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The Adjutant's Office
Captain Brent remained at the window watching the new arrivals with interest. Without turning, he answered the tap at his door with a simple “Come!”

A junior officer entered. “Papers for the new .... er ... men,” he stammered placing the pile on the desk.

Turning to the officer, “Young?” inquired Brent.

“Some are.”

“Hours?”

“Fourteen or less, sir. Will that be all, sir?”

“Yes, yes, thank you Jones.” The young man left.

Brent sat at the desk and scanned the pages before piling them together for the CO. He ran long fingers through dark curly hair and shuddered involuntarily. After “Bloody April” he had hoped for more experience in the recruits. But still the CFS sent them out barely trained in the simplest manoeuvres and with no combat skills to speak of.

They’ll learn, he thought, they’ll have to .....
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Karan R
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"I sure hope they have good tea", mutters Charles
"Nothing like a good cuppa tea to calm the nerves"
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He hesitated for just a moment, watching them walk away. Their uniforms were immaculate but most wore them uncomfortably, like funeral suits that hadn't been used in a while. Most were older than he expected. Well, some of them at any rate. Benny looked younger than he did, barely old enough to shave, but some of the others had to be almost 30! Maybe the Corps was more desperate than they were letting on? Maybe the War was going worse than they had been told? He certainly hadn't expected the scale of it. It was vast, mind bogglingly vast. His father's face flashed before his eyes, just for a moment. Stern. Disappointed. Suddenly he was in the old man's study, about to be caned for not living up to expectations, not thinking like a Scotsman. Shaking his head to clear the memory he dashed after the others. It wouldn't do to seem aloof, not at the start.

'Did someone mention Tea?'

He grinned, stuffing his hands casually in his pockets as he walked.

'They probably won't let us near the good stuff for a while, eh? Am I right? Bertram's the name, but everyone calls me Dasher on account of the surname. Campbell-Dashwood. Damn good to meet you chaps.'
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Mixu Lauronen
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Anthony looked at the others. They seemed so - confident. He felt out of place. This is crazy, he thought. Such a waste.

He sat down with the food. It looked better than food at home. I might get used to this.
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Karan R
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"Good to see someone from the Kingdom, even if it is a scotsman", he says offering his hand
"I'm Charles Barrington, you can call me Charlie
I propose we go look at what they serve fore food in these parts"


The english and scots were rivals since the middle ages right?
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Scott M
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Dewey reaches out and shakes Benny's hand.
'ello Benny! My name I Dewey. I am heading to get some food, meet the others, and talk with the CO. We better catch up with the others.
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Chris Rice
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The mess room is large and high ceilinged - open all the way to the rafters - perhaps it was once used to shelter animals in winter. There has been some attempt to make the place homely: the walls are partially panelled in wooden planks and the bare stone floor has been covered as much as possible with rugs and bits of carpet. The sparse decorations include a few faded rugby shirts, a pair of crossed cricket bats, and the propeller of an unidentified plane.

On the far wall is a large stone fireplace which shelters a comforting log fire. This is most welcome, as the evening air, though June, is rapidly falling to a chill. To your left, is what appears to be a perfect replica of a club or public bar, complete with shelves and optics. Above hangs a hand daubed sign, “The Blackheath Bar.”

In the centre of the room is a long oak table, laid out with platters holding roast meats and fowl, vegetables and flagons of Ale. The aroma immediately encourages your mouth to water.

A number of uniformed men are seated towards one end of the table. They rise upon seeing you enter. Your eyes are immediately drawn to a bull of a man in the uniform of a Major who stands at the head of the table. He glares at you and bellows.

“Well, don't just stand there you chaps, dinner is waiting. We'll do introductions later. Tuck in before it gets cold!”

With that, the officers sit back down, and begin to serve themselves food from the table.
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Mixu Lauronen
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Ant dug into food like a ravenous rat. He also downed ale like there was no tomorrow. Hell, there may be no tomorrow.
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Matt Cobb
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Benny grabbed a heaping plate of food and sat down with the other recruits. The others seemed nice enough chaps, but he felt a little out of place, being one of the youngest there. Keeping mostly quiet throughout dinner, he downed all his food.
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Scott M
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Dewey sits down with the others after he fills his plate with food. He then quickly eats. He is eager and nervous to find out what awaits him.
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Looking over the lot of them Bobby J seems to take a keen sense to Charlie and Dasher.

I think the hot food is over here! Bobby J points over to where he sees some steam rising from what looks like a buffet bar. There also looks like there is some tea. He goes over and pours three cups. Hands one to Charlie and one to Dasher.

Robert Jones Adams at your service! Bobby J salutes his two new friends. But my friends call me Bobby J, and my squad mates call me Skeeter.
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Karan R
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"Good to make your acquaintance Bobby J", I'm Charles
Let's a see how that tea is"
, says Charles taking the cup
"So, how long have you been here? Any tips for the new people here?"
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Just keep your cool and you should do fine! I think they are going to brief us soon, so let's drink this tea and eat some food, while we still can!, says Bobby J without skipping a beat. If other people think he's been here a bit longer then he might be able to use that to his advantage! He's use to bluffing, and making people believe him when he is, it's proven to serve him well at the poker table and in life. More often than not he's been thrust into a leadership position, sometimes kicking and screaming other times willing. This time, he appears to be willing.
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Bertram nods politely while nibbling on small mouthfuls of food.

Skeeter eh? Care to share the story behind that one?
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Karl Larsson
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Simon sits quietly and eats his food slowly. The chair is too small, and the table is too high, so sitting straight is a challenge, but he does the best he can. He wonders if there might be a possibility to ship his cello here.

So many strange people here, not strange the war effort is going poorly.
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thecameronin wrote:
Bertram nods politely while nibbling on small mouthfuls of food.

Skeeter eh? Care to share the story behind that one?

This one is best to be left for a few drinks after a mission, but it has something to do with skeeball and skeet shooting! Bobby J slyly winks.
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Vivienne Rice
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The Yard in Front of the Mess Hall
Captain Brent scurried across the muddy yard towards the waiting truck. He scowled impatiently; they were late and now he’d missed the start of tea with the recruits. But, seeing the manifest, he raised an eyebrow and smiled. “These will certainly raise morale,” he said, signing the form.

Brent signalled to some of the ground staff to bring planks and for others to assist with unloading. “This way, gentlemen!” The truck was unloaded and the men followed the Adjutant into the mess hall. “Against that wall by the bar,” he indicated curtly, then he turned and strode towards the head of the table.

“Sorry I’m late, sir. I’ve left the recruits’ papers on your desk, and there’s been a message from HQ.”

He leant forward to whisper. “They’d like you to call them this evening; they’re expecting us to be operational by the 23rd. That gives us just five days to get them in the air and familiarised with the Pups!”

Taking his seat, he indicated the other side of the room. “On the upside, they have sent us a piano and a gramophone! No records at present, but I’ll see to that over the next few days. Maybe the boys have some we can commandeer.”

Brent piled food onto his plate and started to tuck in.
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Chris Rice
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The Officers' Mess


You all eat greedily as it's some time since you've had a good hot meal inside you. All around you the stone walls and high ceiling echo with the sounds of clashing cutlery and the loud voices from the head of the table. The atmosphere is somewhat intimidating, so when you do speak, it is in a whisper.

Finally the meal is over and orderlies come to clear the table. The Officer at the head of the table stands to address you, wiping his mouth with a napkin. You see now that he has a glass eye, which gives his face a wild staring look, which is very intimidating.

“Gentlemen, welcome to 133 Squadron. My name is Major Drummond, Commanding Officer. I apologise for the poor state of the facilities at the moment, but the Frenchies took everything that wasn't nailed down with them when they left. This is a new squadron, and untried, but I am determined we will be a credit to the Royal Flying Corps.”

The men at the head of the table begin to clap and cheer loudly and you feel compelled to join in.

“The General Staff are reorganising the front now that the Americans have decided to pitch in and join the fun. As a result of this, the French sector is moving to the East of us and we will be the new end of the British Line. You will have seen our machines – Pups. I wanted Camels but there are none spare at the moment, so you'll have to make do with these old crates. The upside is they're sturdy and pretty much fly themselves, but they're slow compared to the new Hun machines and don't have enough guns. Still, we'll make do till we can make something better.”

More cheering and table thumping.

“We have a few days grace before the Squadron becomes operational. In that time you will familiarise yourselves with your aircraft, the locale and all standing orders. You will be assigned to a flight leader and will take all your instructions directly from them. They are experienced pilots who you can put your trust in. You will draw your kit from the Quartermaster Sergeant this evening and he will assign your quarters. If you have any other requirements you will speak to the Adjutant.

I know you are all newly qualified and have no combat experience, but I have faith in you all, you will not let me down. Never forget, God favours the righteous!”


The officers at the head of the table leap to their feet and cheer at the top of their voices. You join in, till the rafters seem to shake with the sound. The Major is beaming at you all like a proud father. He waits until the noise subsides.

“Thank you gentlemen, thank you. Now pass the port and cigars and we'll toast the King's health. By the the way, can any of you chaps play the piano!”
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Karl Larsson
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Simon raises his hand, not as good as a cello, but still it was music.
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It was a strange and heady mix, he thought, looking over the other recruits. Inexperience and supreme confidence. It was an unlikely partnership, yet there was something to it, something that didn't bear scrutiny or ask difficult questions. For one, precious moment surrounded by a Squadron of people he didn't know, in a field so very far from home he felt like he could do anything. He wanted to be good at this. He would be good at this. For the first time in his life he cared enough to want to be good at something.

'Hear hear!' he bellowed and slapped the chap next to him on the back. In the spirit of the occasion it seemed like the thing to do.
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Mixu Lauronen
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Ant listened to the music, carried away by the melody. His fears for tomorrow washed away. Instead, he felt unity with the fellows around him. He hoped they'd really add to the War Effort. Despite his bad musical ear, he started to sing.
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