Characters: Lieutenant Moffitt and SS-Captain Erich Wiesenland
Author's Note: The characters of Erich Wiesenland is my own and may not be borrowed. Everything else belongs to "Rat Patrol", which I do not own in any way.
Summary: Despite Moffitt's understanding, Erich refuses to believe that his decision to turn against the Third Reich is going to be beneficial for the Allies and help free his country from the evil of tyranny.
"This is not how I envisioned my life to be," said Erich slowly as he took his gaze to his hands. On the cot, Moffitt stared at him with an uncharacteristic level of sympathy. Erich continued, "Only a few years ago I was content knowing that I would be taking over our riding school and helping young riders develop their skills for competitions as well as helping newcomers discover the joys of horseback riding. Never did I think that in a very short time, I would be far from that, wearing a uniform and killing people… and becoming a traitor to my own country."
"Try as we may," said Moffitt hesitantly, wincing as a sudden hot pain shot through his neck. "We can never quite see what will become of us in a few years."
"At least you are on the good side," replied Erich swiftly, his voice hushed with grief.
"Aren't you though? Now at least?"
Erich sighed and let his hands fall between his knees where he simply stared at the floor in quiet mourning. His reply came slowly. "In my heart I know that my helping the Allies is the right thing to do, yet at the same time, I am still causing death to my own people. How much am I really helping? Will I be able to live with myself in my country after all of this?"
"It's as you said, in your heart you know what's right and are following that path rather than just following your orders that you know are wrong. I think you'll find that in time your guilt will be replaced with the knowledge that you are actually saving your people rather than destroying them."
"But what good can I do? Look at you… look at the state you're in!" Erich sighed and regarded Moffitt with troubled eyes. "Nothing I did prevented you from being captured. If I really wanted to help, I would have stolen those documents for you and simply delivered them. Then you wouldn't be here, waiting for rescue and in…"
Erich quickly looked away from Moffitt, unable to grieve over his own cowardice.
"Nothing is ever easy and you know as well as I that had you taken those documents and left to find us, they would have been on to you. You would have been interrogated and killed. It's much better this way."
"Do you really believe that?" Erich demanded. "How can you say that, lying there with bruised ribs, a broken hand…" He shook his head. "It's just not possible. You should hate me."
"Wounds mend. What's important is the mission." Moffitt looked up at Erich and tried to reassure him with a friendly smile. "You're not the enemy, Erich. Once you stop viewing yourself as the enemy perhaps then you'll start to realise all the difference you are making in this war."