Most of my uniform was intact and sections of it were smoking. I took stock of what I had and looked around to see what I could use as a weapon, as I could see no rifles about. The small bits of metal here and there from the bits of barb wire and the various buckles and other adornments on the bodies that surrounded me were trailing gray trails upward, like all of the metal spirits had been defeated.
We were, all of us anxious to get going. Our orders and our objectives were fairly simple; gain as much ground as possible so that the infantry could follow in relative safety. If possible get to the village of Flers. I began running through my mental checklist getting ready; we had charges for the weapon ready, The Mark 1, with its forward tilted profile, seemed ready to go, like a beast trembling to be released.
The metal of the barbed wire barricades, will heat up and throw sparks around the 20,000 volt mark, but when the metal begins to melt, the sparks will stick and burn through most anything not metal itself.
The thing FLASHED and BOOMED as we rolled forward, melting the enemy wire, and sending powerful bolts of doom at the enemy!! I saw a soldier grabbed and lifted heavenward, as if by the Hand of God himself, and fall to the Earth, a blackened husk.
I saw others getting suited up, and having noticed me, one of them gave a wave. It was Coles, getting D15 ready. Not a very dashing moniker, but he isn't the swiftest of the bunch, either. There also were Basil and George, each commanding a tank of their own. Those two have been thick as thieves since before I met them.
...Some were completely immobilized with fear by the light and the sound... and now the smells. The smells of burning flesh. I knew the sickly sweet odor too well. I passed another soldier on my way North, and, thinking him another immobilized recruit, I pulled at his sleeve to get down. He fell over, stiff as a post, the top half of his head gone...
I was to man the new 'surprise addition' of Churchills' made behind Major General Swintons' back. We had just transferred in April and had very little experience with machine guns much less this shiny thing. I happen to know they BOTH Swinton AND Churchill felt it was too early to deploy such a weapon too soon.