Another Kind of Story

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Another Kind of Story

Postby SopwithCamel » 17 Jun 2018, 06:30

Captain Mahoney, just back from the morning patrol, was sitting on the chocks enjoying a quiet cigarette when a tender pulled up to the squadron office. A slim figure clambered out, turned back to retrieve its kit, and then slammed the door.

As the tender drove away, the figure turned, and Mahoney stared in astonishment at the strikingly familiar, yet at the same time oddly foreign features, the tousled fair hair ruffled by the wind, the youthful face belying the deep lines at the corners of the watchful eyes that were never still for a moment as they took in the surrounding huts that made up 266 Squadron.

The newcomer’s gaze fell upon Mahoney, and for a brief instant his lips twitched in what might have been a smile, but by then Mahoney was already on his feet and hurrying forward with an outstretched hand.

Biggles, by all that’s wonderful!” he cried, grasping the other pilot’s hand in a crushing grip. “You’re back!”

“It would seem that way,” observed Biggles, with a faint smile. “So you’re still here, are you?”

“I’m always here,” retorted Mahoney. “Just back from patrol, as a matter of fact. It’s a good thing you’re here; we’ve been seriously short-staffed.”

“Everything as usual, then,” said Biggles, his eyes once again roaming his surroundings. “My gosh! I feel as though I’ve stepped back in time. It doesn’t look as though anything has changed.”

“It all looks the same to me,” confessed Mahoney, frankly. “Although—Algy was posted shortly after you left. Somewhere in Egypt, I think. Somewhere with sand.”

“Oh, Algy,” said Biggles distractedly, running a hand through his hair. “He’s due back later today, I think.”

“Back? Algy’s coming back too, is he?”

“Yes; we were meant to travel down together, but there was a problem with his posting slip, so they made him wait for them to sort it out.”

Mahoney snorted. “With you two back, this place’ll soon be a madhouse again. Just when I thought I could enjoy some peace and quiet, too.”

Biggles smiled, but the expression did not quite reach his eyes. Instead, Mahoney was conscious of an incredible weariness behind the alert hazel gaze as Biggles once again scanned his surroundings. “Do we still fly Camels here?” he asked, abruptly.

“Of course.”

“Good. It’ll be nice to get back out there.” Biggles raised his head to glance at the sky overhead, and a strange sadness seemed to cross his face, but it was gone in a moment as he turned to the door of the squadron office. “Well, I’d better be reporting to the CO, I suppose. I’ll see you later, laddie.”

“Meet me in the mess. I’ll stand you a drink and you can tell me all about HE.”

“Home Establishment?” Biggles passed a hand over his face, casting a shadow over his eyes. “It was…interesting.”
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Spitfire666 » 17 Jun 2018, 07:32

Lovely, SC. I never thought before, but we don't hear what happened when they got back from battling El Shereef. Yes, there probably were a few questions.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 17 Jun 2018, 08:17

Spitfire666 wrote:Lovely, SC. I never thought before, but we don't hear what happened when they got back from battling El Shereef. Yes, there probably were a few questions.

And I'll simply echo S666's comments and agree completely.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby SopwithCamel » 17 Jun 2018, 08:26

Several hours later, Mahoney was once again seated on the chocks as another tender pulled up to the squadron office. A figure jumped out, grinning broadly, and Mahoney had no trouble recognizing the boyish features of the Honorable Algernon Montgomery Lacey. “Algy, you old hound!” he roared, leaping to his feet to greet the newcomer.

“So you’re still here, are you?”

“That’s exactly what Biggles said!”

A strange expression flashed in Algy’s eyes, but it was gone so quickly that Mahoney convinced himself that he had imagined it. Certainly Algy’s grin was no less wide as he said, “So Biggles is back already, is he?”

“Got in just a few hours ago. He’s in the mess now, with Wilks.”

“Splendid. The old gang all back together again.”

“How was the Middle East?”

“Sandy.”
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Fairblue » 17 Jun 2018, 08:34

Oh, lovely, Soppy. Life after Far East. I'm really looking forward to seeing where you take this.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 17 Jun 2018, 08:59

Fairblue wrote:Oh, lovely, Soppy. Life after Far East. I'm really looking forward to seeing where you take this.


I've spent the last few days in bed with this wretched chest infection, & the best medicine at 3am when sleep won't come? Reading all the WW1 short stories on the "Algy Chronicles" for the very 1st time! Wow, what a treat, thank you Soppy for brightening my day [er...night, I mean, lol]. P.S. I'm hooked...more please. :D
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Frecks » 17 Jun 2018, 10:24

Sorry to hear you are poorly OzB - I hope you get better soon. Great to hear the Forum helped you through the night :D
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Tracer » 17 Jun 2018, 11:10

This is magnificent! I can HARDLY WAIT for the next instalments :bounce:

Love your dialogue, Soppy.

Sorry to hear you are in sick bay, OzB - wishing you a rapid recovery.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Kismet » 17 Jun 2018, 12:15

Sorry to hear that you are ill, OzB. Soppy's tales are certainly a tonic.

I'm interested to see where you take this one, Soppy!
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Foolscap » 17 Jun 2018, 15:25

Wishing you a speedy recovery, OzB
This is an interesting bit to expand upon...looking forward to the next instalment:-)
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby StoneRoad » 17 Jun 2018, 19:53

Splendid start, looking forward to reading this as it develops ...
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Wanderer » 18 Jun 2018, 05:13

All sentiments expressed above echoed :-) And knowing the author's proclivities there will some mayhem to follow...
(Raymond) "'It's the early bird that catches the worm, you know,'
'... Not always. Sometimes he catches a slug—in the back of the neck,' contradicted Biggles.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby SopwithCamel » 18 Jun 2018, 12:44

I've spent the last few days in bed with this wretched chest infection, & the best medicine at 3am when sleep won't come? Reading all the WW1 short stories on the "Algy Chronicles" for the very 1st time! Wow, what a treat, thank you Soppy for brightening my day [er...night, I mean, lol]. P.S. I'm hooked...more please.


Oh dear. Hope you're doing better and glad to hear that the stories helped :mrgreen:

I tried to find a "Get Well Soon" smiley, but I don't think we have one, so you'll have to make do with bananas:

:dancingbananas:

You're not the first person to mention reading the Chronicles while sick, making me wonder if the stories have healing properties :thinking2: (and if so, are they patentable... :lol: ), or if people only happen to think of them when they are feeling poorly, the same way I always find myself watching garbage TV when I'm sick... :shock:

And knowing the author's proclivities there will some mayhem to follow


Mayhem? What mayhem? There is never any mayhem in Soppy stories. :lol:
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby SopwithCamel » 18 Jun 2018, 12:45

Dinner was the usual boisterous affair, and as the last course was being cleared away, the talk naturally turned to gossip about recent dogfights and rumors of new machines.

“See anything new out in sandyland, Algy?” asked Wilks.

“Nothing to speak of. The Huns had Pfalz Scouts, but we mostly had Pups and RE8s, nothing close to Camels.”

“How did you get on with the Arabs?”

Algy met Biggles’ eye for a brief instant before he made his reply. “I didn’t meet that many, to be honest, although I did pick up a few odd words here and there. From what I hear, they’ve got an interesting way of looking at things. Comes with the territory, I suppose.”

“They say there might be another Sopwith coming out,” broke in Mac. “Possibly next month.”

“They’re always saying that,” said Mahoney dismissively. “They’ve been saying that for months.”

“No doubt Biggles will know something about it.”

All eyes turned to Biggles, who was finishing up a cigarette and staring at the fire.

“Hi, Biggles,” called Wilks, “did they mention anything about new machines when you were at HE?”

Biggles turned slowly to face the assembled pilots, but his mind was clearly elsewhere as he replied, “I don’t think I heard anything about it.”

“What did you do out there, anyway?”

Biggles shrugged. “For the most part, flew a desk and sat around smoking whilst waiting for something to happen.” His voice was so bland that not even Algy, who knew the truth, could tell that he was lying.

“Sounds like a fate worse than death.”

Biggles gazed back at the fire. “You have no idea.”

“You’re unusually pensive tonight,” said Wilks.

“Sorry, chaps; I’m a bit tired. First day back and all that. Actually, I think I might turn in. Mullen’s got me on the early show tomorrow, leading C Flight.”

“Just like old times.”

“Exactly like old times. Well, cheerio, chaps. I’d better push off.” Biggles put out his cigarette and lit another as he strolled towards the door. The others did not watch him go; they were already talking about starting a game of cards, which was why none of them noticed when Algy quietly slipped out of his seat and followed Biggles out of the mess.
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Kismet » 18 Jun 2018, 17:27

I'm enjoying this, Soppy. Intrigued by the situation and wondering what will happen next.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Fairblue » 18 Jun 2018, 17:49

Kismet wrote:I'm enjoying this, Soppy. Intrigued by the situation and wondering what will happen next.

Me too, which in Soppyland could be anything.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Foolscap » 18 Jun 2018, 17:53

Quite thought provoking...you set the scene well:-)
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Spitfire666 » 19 Jun 2018, 06:35

OzBiggles1963 wrote:
Fairblue wrote:Oh, lovely, Soppy. Life after Far East. I'm really looking forward to seeing where you take this.


I've spent the last few days in bed with this wretched chest infection, & the best medicine at 3am when sleep won't come? Reading all the WW1 short stories on the "Algy Chronicles" for the very 1st time! Wow, what a treat, thank you Soppy for brightening my day [er...night, I mean, lol]. P.S. I'm hooked...more please. :D

How are you feeling now, OzB? I hope you are much better; infections can hang around I know.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 19 Jun 2018, 14:06

Fairblue wrote:Oh, lovely, Soppy. Life after Far East. I'm really looking forward to seeing where you take this. I've spent the last few days in bed with this wretched chest infection, & the best medicine at 3am when sleep won't come? Reading all the WW1 short stories on the "Algy Chronicles" for the very 1st time! Wow, what a treat, thank you Soppy for brightening my day [er...night, I mean, lol]. P.S. I'm hooked...more please. :D[/quote=Spitfire666]How are you feeling now, OzB? I hope you are much better; infections can hang around I know.


Thanx for the well wishes everyone...& yes, I'm happy to accept bananas instead of get well smilies, lol. 8-) Unfortunately I'm on my 2nd dose of antibiotics & the essential oil "burners" are going crazy in the house...also eating several cloves of garlic a day [should have started this remedy earlier!]. Mind you, I must declare I haven't seen any vampires, anticlockwise critters [what the heck were they called again??], or were-koalas round here lately. :mrgreen: Another few days & I hope to be back to 51% or more on the health & wellness scale... :P

This is a great story Soppy, now I'm off to read some of the longer Algy Chronicle yarns. :D
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Kismet » 19 Jun 2018, 14:23

OzBiggles1963 wrote:Thanx for the well wishes everyone...& yes, I'm happy to accept bananas instead of get well smilies, lol. Unfortunately I'm on my 2nd dose of antibiotics & the essential oil "burners" are going crazy in the house...also eating several cloves of garlic a day [should have started this remedy earlier!]. Mind you, I must declare I haven't seen any vampires, anticlockwise critters [what the heck were they called again??], or were-koalas round here lately. :mrgreen: Another few days & I hope to be back to 51% or more on the health & wellness scale...

This is a great story Soppy, now I'm off to read some of the longer Algy Chronicle yarns. :D


Have a get well bomb to blow the infection away: :atomic: :atomic: :atomic: or perhaps it needs knocking out of your chest: :flog: :whipgirrl: You can whip it!

:aflower: :aflower: :aflower: Failing these remedies, have some flowers.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 19 Jun 2018, 14:39

A bit of whipping might help, :oops: . But I prefer lavender flowers, lol. Oops! :offtopichappy: :arghijacked: [Been a while since Ive seriously transgressed...]
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Frecks » 19 Jun 2018, 14:44

:dancingbananas: Here are some get well soon bananas OzB - they might make you a bit dizzy at first :lol: Hope all those tablets do the trick very soon.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby SopwithCamel » 20 Jun 2018, 16:59

OzBiggles1963 wrote:Thanx for the well wishes everyone...& yes, I'm happy to accept bananas instead of get well smilies, lol. Unfortunately I'm on my 2nd dose of antibiotics & the essential oil "burners" are going crazy in the house...also eating several cloves of garlic a day [should have started this remedy earlier!]. Mind you, I must declare I haven't seen any vampires, anticlockwise critters [what the heck were they called again??], or were-koalas round here lately. Another few days & I hope to be back to 51% or more on the health & wellness scale...

This is a great story Soppy, now I'm off to read some of the longer Algy Chronicle yarns.


Good to hear you are getting better, OzB :D

Hope you enjoy the longer (read: stranger...) Algy tales... :shock:

(Or maybe they'll worsen your condition...considering that they've left some of our members with no fingernails :scared: :nailbiting: )
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby SopwithCamel » 20 Jun 2018, 17:00

“Are you all right?”

Biggles drew deeply on his cigarette and eyed Algy with equal measure of exasperation and faint affection. “What are you doing here?” he replied, not answering the question.

Instead of replying, Algy lit his own cigarette, remarking as he did so, “We’d make proper targets if some Hun decided to come along for a night raid.”

“And no doubt we’d deserve everything we got,” said Biggles, with a touch of savagery in his voice.

For a long moment there was silence between them as they each retreated into their own thoughts, but finally it was Biggles who spoke first. “It’s different here, isn’t it?”

“Different?” echoed Algy noncommittally. “What d’you mean?”

“I mean it’s—well, it’s exactly the same here, but somehow it feels completely different.”

“Does it?”

“It’s as though I’m here but not really back. Almost as though I’m still there.” Biggles took another draw on his cigarette and rushed on before Algy could speak. “You know, even now I’m not sure if I’m a British pilot coming home or a German agent sent here to spy on the British. I suppose that’s what this game does to you,” he added, bitterly. “Goodness knows how the real secret service chaps stand the pace.”

“It’ll pass,” said Algy, comfortingly.

“Will it? I’m not so sure. Sometimes I have nightmares about the place, thinking I’m still there, that someone’s found me out and they’re taking me to the firing squad. Other times, I dream I’ve shot you down or that Von Stalhein took you prisoner and had you shot.” Biggles grimaced and put a limp hand to his forehead.

“Seems to be quite a lot of shooting in these dreams of yours.”

“Yes. You know, it’s almost true. I’ve never told you this, but I jolly nearly did shoot you down, or at least, I thought I did.”

“What are you talking about?”

“That Camel of yours. Remember how I brought it back after Hess? A couple of hours later I went out with the Huns to bomb that dummy aerodrome you’d had laid out and there was the Camel, large as life, coming down over my rear gun like a ton of bricks. The pilot bought it, of course. There was no possibility of missing at that range.”

“And you thought that was me?”

“Of course I thought it was you, you fathead! It seemed a bit careless, but as far as I knew you were the only one in the vicinity with a Camel, so it was natural for me to assume—”

“Well, it wasn’t me, so you can sleep sound on that point,” broke in Algy. “As matter of fact, what happened was this: they already knew it was Hess’ machine you’d shot down by the time I got back, so they patted me on the back and took the Camel off me, which I thought was a bit rich. In hindsight, I suppose I should write them a letter, thanking them for saving my life.”

“Quite right, too,” said Biggles. “I almost went to pieces on the flight home, and by the time they got the body in I was just about ready to report to Raymond and tell him what he could do with his secret missions. I’m not sure I’ve actually got over the shock of it all, or perhaps I’m just going mad.”

“Or perhaps,” said Algy, with grim humor, “you should have taken that week’s leave the General offered you before approving your posting back here.”

Biggles waved an irritated hand. “That’s not going to help. If anything, sitting around doing nothing would really drive me around the bend. At least here there’s the possibility of getting out in a Camel and going for a few Huns. Speaking of which, we’re both on the early show tomorrow, my lad, so I’m going to roost, and you’d better be turning in too, if you know what’s good for you.”

With that parting shot, he dropped his cigarette onto the ground and put it out with the heel of his boot, not even bothering to look back as he made his way to his old room.

Algy watched him go, thinking, not for the first time, that there was nothing more he would like to do than gather up everyone at the Air Board in a room and hit them all about the head and shoulders with a stout stick.
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Kismet » 20 Jun 2018, 17:08

Poor Biggles. Tortured in a different way.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby SopwithCamel » 20 Jun 2018, 17:36

Kismet wrote:Poor Biggles. Tortured in a different way.


Yes, poor thing. Another kind of torture.

But still torture :twisted:
"Too true I did! What a wizard it was! I hooted like a coot in spite of the archie."
--Biggles Flies East

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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Spitfire666 » 20 Jun 2018, 20:43

Absolutely brilliant, SC. You are definitely filling in some gaps here. Poor Biggles :cryblue:
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 20 Jun 2018, 22:15

Really loving this, Soppy. (I was going to say "enjoying" but that didn't seem quite the right word when you are revealing the post traumatic stress Biggles is experiencing :nono: ). Keep it coming.
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby Tracer » 21 Jun 2018, 10:35

This is all so real. Terrific work, Soppy.
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
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Re: Another Kind of Story

Postby alderaanian » 21 Jun 2018, 10:52

:-| Poor Biggles!!
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