Characters: Sgt Troy, Sgt Moffitt, SS-Sergeant Fredrick Hagenberg, and SS-Captain Erich Wiesenland
Author's Note: The characters of Erich Wiesenland and Fredrick Hagenberg are my own and may not be borrowed. Everything else belongs to "Rat Patrol", which I do not own in any way.
Summary: After a devestating attack by the Rat Patrol, a young SS-Sergeant tries to cope with the loss whilst following the advice of his dying commander in order to make the right decision when the Rat Patrol come in to take him prisoner.
Troy and Moffitt entered the tent, following Dr. Matterson as he made his rounds to his patients. As they looked around at the few injured American and British soldiers, Troy felt a surge of mixed emotions run through him. On one hand, it was always disheartening to see fellow soldiers laying wounded, but at the same time, Troy knew it could have been worse, a lot worse. The information that they had received about the German artillery position had been vital in their attack, though it had cost the Germans dearly. But Troy wasn't necessarily worried about that.
"How are they doing?" Troy inquired, looking at the five soldiers that were there.
"Better," was all Dr. Matterson said. He pushed a flap to the side and looked in on a separate section of the field hospital. This part was designated for the enemy and at the moment, only two people were in it.
Immediately Troy recognised the Waffen-SS Sergeant, Hagenberg. This surprised Troy and he exchanged a look with Moffitt, who seemed equally puzzled. The sergeant wasn't injured, at least not that either of them could see. Hagenberg instead sat next to a cot where another German lay. It didn't take a second look from Troy to recognise the other as being Captain Erich von Wiesenland, the commander of Hagenberg's panzer unit.
"What's he still doing here?" Troy asked, his tone more harsh than he intended, for he was simply curious rather than angry.
Dr. Matterson replied, "Captain Wiesenland has remained unconscious since our first operation. There were some unfortunate complications and he has been like this ever since."
The doctor smiled at Troy as he replied, "There was some difficulty extracting the shrapnel from his leg and unfortunately, he wound up being awake during that time. We tried our best to sedate him, but our supplies are low and well, with our other patients…"
One look from Troy made the doctor stop and clear his throat. Troy knew that when it came to hospitals, especially ones out of in the field, supplies always favoured the hosting side. He knew this, but somehow hearing it just didn't seem right to him. The thought of being completely awake during such an agonising time sent shivers down his spine.
"His sergeant, Hagenberg, well he was outside, waiting to hear news on his captain when the screaming started. I was told that at first he was fine, then distraught. But then his grief turned to anger and he shouted at all of us, saying that we were intentionally trying to kill him. It was at that unfortunate moment that Captain Wiesenland fell unconscious. Hagenberg lost it and accused me of murder. We had to forcibly remove him from our premises."
Again Troy felt another fit of confusion come over him. Had that been Moffitt, Tully, or Hitch in the same situation, under the knife and crying in agony, Troy knew that he would have reacted the same way. He looked over at the German sergeant and moved towards him. There weren't any chains on either of them.
"No restraints?" asked Troy curiously.
"That occurred several days ago," said Dr. Matterson. "When Hagenberg came to, he apologised for his behaviour and we told him that Captain Wiesenland was now recovering. He didn't attempt any deals with me, or any of us. His good conduct and willingness to help has granted him privileges, like this one, where he is allowed to visit Captain Wiesenland."
Moffitt, perking up from his thoughts, inquired, "You don't see him a threat?"
"Sergeant, I have seen more casualties under this roof than I ever hope to see again. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is when a man has lost all desire to fight in a war. The only thing that German soldier wants to fight, is the thing that is keeping Captain Wiesenland unconscious. No, Hagenberg is not a threat to anyone. I believe he may be the miracle that saves his Captain's life."