Colonel Bull Kurz stared down and past the depths of his coffee cup, lost in his thoughts. The deserted officers club would not open until later in the day, but he needed a place to think. His coffee was forgotten and growing cold. So lost was he in his own thoughts, that he didn't notice the other officer walk into the room The new arrival walked up to the bar - and begged a coffee of his own. The bar tender was clearly unhappy about serving customers before operating hours, but dared not say anything about it to the high ranking men. The general thanked the barkeep and ambled over to join the Colonel.
He stood, waiting for his subordinate to notice and acknowledge him. At length he cleared his throat noisily, startling Kurz out of his funk. "Jeez, Bull. You look like shit," the officer opined. "Fuck you right back, General Platt," the Colonel said tiredly. "I'm sorry Harv. Please - have a seat and join me." The General settled in comfortably across from his old friend. The men turned serious and stared quietly at each other, waiting for the other to break the awkward silence that had fallen between them. The general spoke first.
"Can you believe those cock suckers?" He asked. As he expected, the question unleashed a torrent from Kurz.
"General, when I go to my people with this, I am going to get shot. Then they're gonna frag me. If there is anything left of my corpse, they will violate it and desecrate it... and I am going to deserve it." The General blew out his cheeks in exasperated sympathy. "The men under my command are now on their third trip into a Russian cauldron. They got the stuffing beaten out of them in Kiev, and pretty much every rally point we've fallen back to since. The ones that are still alive are parboiled, poached and roached beyond all recognition. There have been fights, dissention and I'm told that there is rampant talk about desertion. And... surrender. This latest assault is the worst I have seen so far. My casualties will go through the fucken roof...!"
"Look...Bull -" Kurz interrupted his superior before he could get a word in. "Air support out of Poland is nonexistent. As we speak, my men are short on ammo, equipment and supplies. Ivan just about encircled us and finished us at Lutsk. It is my conviction that the Russkies let us go; they could have finished us had they wanted to."
"Okay, Bull, but-" The Colonel interrupted again. "Close to 30% of my men are dead or wounded. The Ukes sell us out everywhere - they sell each other out. My men get ambushed, their supplies are interdicted or "misdirected" by Uke gangsters, and the brass is in on it. If you send us into Lviv, we WILL not be so lucky this time as we were at Lutzk. The Russians are dug in, fortified, and well supplied. The damned Chinks are there with them like a dirty shirt, and their weapons are easily the equal of our own. What the actual FUCK are our leaders thinking?" The general remained silent, letting his man run and vent, but Kurz finally caught himself and fell into silence.
"When's the last time you got any sleep, Colenel?" The General moaned to himself silently. If Bull Kurz was coming apart ... he could only imagine where his men were. He tried again.
"Look... Bull. These orders come from That General High Heels. And you know where xhe/it got his from. He's a fucken lunatic froot; It's only a matter of time until even the civvies realize that trannies, women and faggots can't fight or run a military operation. Please - I can't be specific right now, but the back channels are lighting up like a Christmas tree. Something is up - it's so way up, even a one star like me doesn't know all the details." he looked around cautiously and lowered his voice, and leaned closer to his subordinate. "Word is Ian MacMaster is involved. We both know this can't go on any longer - just try to hang on a little longer! Do your jobs, and give us a chance to do ours..."
Bull Kurz and recovered his self control. He looked back at his friend and commnding officer with stony eyes. And began removing the Colonel's insignias from his collar. "Bull! Don't you fuggin DARE...!" The general growled. The Colonel's insignias clattered on the table between them.
"The Commander in Chief shits his pants in public and falls down stairs, Harv. Were he not senile, in a real country he'd be charged with pedophilia and treason. The command structure is riddled with people that can't do their jobs or tell which washroom to use. Or grifters. They hate the men that serve under them, and I will not order my men to commit suicide on their behalf. We are out of time, General. Things for us will not get better - we will not live that long to see it. If we sacrifice now, it will be for lunatics and criminals. I will not serve these men, or submit to them. I'm done."
Just then, the doors to the club opened again. A young lieutenant entered with a squad of armed officers. He thumbed the microphone at his collar. "I've got them, sir. They're in the O-Club drinking coffee.... Sir... are you sure you want me to-" The young man winced at the response in his ear bud. "Yes sir," he said sullenly. Turning in dismay, he addressed the two men at the coffee table. "Sirs - you are both hereby under arrest-"
"For what!?!?" the General exploded. "And on whose aurhority? Speak up, Lieutenant, or by God I will have your bloody hide!" Both men were so astonished, neither even resisted as the cuffs were fastened around their wrists. "Please sirs... come quietly. My orders are to take you into custody and detain you on base. You will be dealt with as quickly and fairly as possible. Please, guys... we're following our orders..." he pleaded.
While Harv considered, Kurz was expressionless and said nothing. He had that look of a man pushed beyond his limits and his conscience. This isn't good, he thought. "Lieutenant - those Colonel's Birds on the table - I want you to hang on to those, and I will hold you personally responsible for their safekeeping. Is that understood?"
The young man nodded and placed the pins in his pocket. "Looks like military affairs may no longer be a concern to either of us, Bull. It looks like there is a power play afoot - and we will be sidelined. Welp - let's go, Lieutenant. You and your men are doing a fine job, and we will be no trouble. For you, anyways. Let's go, then, men! Given the current state of our jobs, prison life looks pretty good right now."
The men trooped out of bar, leaving only two cups of cold coffee.