Disclaimer: I do not own M*A*S*H or Band of Brothers. I wish no disrespect to the memory of the real Ronald Spiers.
A/N: Hello there. So this is the first installment of a short story about two men who come from two different viewpoints on war, coming to an understanding about the other side of the spectrum.
This is the first time I have written for Spiers, Colonel Potter, BJ, Winchester, and Margaret (outside of seasons 1-3). This is kind of a trial for my BoB story, and my MASH story for later on - so feedback on characterization is appreciated!
Also I want to say I couldn't seem to find Spiers' rank in the Korean War, so the rank I choose was an educated guess.
Please read and review! :)
"I can't believe it - I just can't fucking believe it." Ronald Spiers cursed to himself. He simply did not want believe his rotten luck. However, he knew very well that his agitating predicament was probably caused by his own foolishness - rather than just simple luck.
Earlier in the day - back at the front - Spiers was walking the few yards from his battalion command post, to the slit trench to relive his bursting bladder. Suddenly, a few feet above his head, he heard a distinctive loud crack, which was followed by a hot, stinging sensation in his rear. The next thing he knew, he was face down in the mud listening to some officer yell for a medic.
When Spiers and his battalion moved into the area earlier that day, the regimental commander told him that even though the area was secured, the odd sniper may still be out there. So, Spiers and his men knew that they should keep their eyes peeled to the trees at all times. If Spiers wouldn't have been awake for two straight days, he would have done just as his commanding officer had said. Sadly, that was not the case…
Spiers was thirty-two years old, and a Major in charge of an entire battalion. He was D-day veteran, whom survived the Normandy campaign, Operation Market Garden in Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. After Belgium, he and the rest of the 101st Airborne occupied and liberated areas in Germany and Austria, before victory in Europe was declared. In Korea, he participated in Operation Tomahawk, in which he jumped into Munsan with thirty-five hundred other paratroopers.
He prided himself on being a top notch solider and officer, ever since he graduated ROTC and joined the 506th Parachuting Regiment at Toccoa Camp, in 1942.
Despite all of his military achievements, Ronald Spiers found himself lying in a puddle of his own blood, on a stretcher in the compound of the 4077th M*A*S*H. He had no idea that his ass cheek could hurt so much from a simple bullet hole. Blood slowly seeped into his skivvies, as Spiers waited for a doctor to come and assess his wound. While he lied there, he thought back to January 9th, of 1945.
Spiers had been ordered by Captain Richard Winters, to run out into the middle of a field full of haystacks. His task was to relieve Lieutenant Norman Dike of command of Easy Company, and take over the ongoing assault on the town of charged through the deafening rainfall of mortars, bullets and artillery shells, until he reached First Sergeant Lipton and radio operator George Luz, who were hiding behind a brick wall of some half demolished building.
Lipton informed him that if E Company did not hook up with I Company on the other side of town, they would slip away. Without a single moment of hesitation, Spiers committed one of the most selfless acts of his life, and sprinted through the German forces as fast as his frozen combat boots could carry him. By some miracle of God, Spiers managed to reach the wall separating I Company from E Company, and hurdled himself over it. Once he confirmed the situation to I Company, he threw his adrenaline filled body back over the wall. Despite all the odds, Spiers managed to make it back to E Company, and the attack was saved.
Yet somehow, a single bullet from a North Korean sniper had managed to take him down on his way to take a leak.
Nurses and doctors kept scrambling by Spiers like chickens with their heads cut off. He groaned in agony - he was getting highly agitated that nobody has bothered to come look at his throbbing ass cheek yet.
While he waited further, Spiers' relived more memories of the attack on Foy. Sergeant Frank Perconte, had gotten shot in the ass by a sniper that day. Spiers chuckled softly as he remembered the site of short Perconte, being lugged off to the aid station by Bull Randleman, piggyback style. Despite the immense pain, (which Spiers now understood firsthand), Perconte managed to smile as he announced with pride to whoever asked; that he got shot in the ass.
At the time Spiers didn't understand the men's odd jovial reactions, to one of their comrades receiving a hole in their ass. Later on, he learned that Perconte was proud to be a part of the infamous Easy company tradition of getting shot in the ass. Even though Easy Company had been disbanded years ago, Spiers couldn't help to but grin with pride that now he too was part of the infamous tradition.
Out of the corner of his eye, Spiers saw a blonde nurse with a stone cold, authoritarian look upon her face approach him. She knelt down on her knees and read the triage tag attached to his shirt collar.
"I am going to get the doctor here right away Major," The nurse assured Spiers, before she bellowed out at the top of her lungs, "Captain Pierce."
"How long am I going to be taken off of the line?" Spiers asked seriously.
"Oh, anxious to get back to the front are we?" A tall black haired man, with a stethoscope wrapped around his neck, asked as he knelt down to Spiers on the ground.
"I can't be gone too long. There's an offensive being planned, and I am the only one with enough brains to execute it properly." Spiers paused to hiss in pain as the nurse and the doctor rolled him onto his right side to assess his wound, "I can't let regiment appoint that damn Captain Newfield to lead the battalion. That draftee doesn't know the difference between a bayonet and a pair of wire cutters."
"Margaret, I want you to give him a quarter of a grain of morphine, and start him on the usual dosage of plasma, stat. Business is brisk today so, he might have to wait awhile. Make sure he is made comfortable in Pre-OP." Hawkeye ordered, before he turned his attention to Spiers and snidely remarked, "as for you - playing make believe General McArthur will have to wait for a few weeks. It's seems that the North Koreans shot you where you place your thinking cap."
Spiers sharply looked over his shoulder at Hawkeye and growled, "How dare you insult an officer of superior rank! You are wearing the uniform of one of the finest armed forces in world – respect what it stands for!"
"Oh sure," Hawkeye began to harp at Spiers as he helped Margaret roll Spiers onto his stomach, "I am proud to be wearing the same clothes as somebody like you, who gets off on putting ideas in kids' heads that charging up a muddy hillside with a rifle in hand, will somehow bring them admiration, glory and honour."
Margaret interrupted the spiel as she shouted out into the general compound, "Orderlies!" Instantly, two orderlies appeared, and grabbed the handles of Speirs' stretcher and lifted him off of the ground.
Before Spiers was whisked away into Pre-Op, Hawkeye finished his point in a highly raised tone, "The fact of the matter is, that almost none of those kids will come through this atrocity unscathed. Most will have their limbs, or even their entire bodies blown to the high heavens, all thanks to the wonderful invention of advanced weaponry. If the shells, mortars, bullets, or disease don't get them, their own minds will! Before they know it, their brains may make them forget their entire identity because, they can't live with their conscious knowing that they have had to repeatedly take another human beings life!"
"What is the name Sam Hall is going on over here?" A short, older man, with salt and peppered haired yelled.
"How dare you talk to me like that? I am going to have your ass in a sling Doctor! And believe me, there is no way of getting out of the hole you have just dug yourself Doctor!" Spiers yelled at back - his face red with fury.
"Oh I am really scared." Hawkeye pretended to shudder in fear.
Colonel Potter puffed out his chest, "That's enough Pierce, shut your trap!" Potter then pointed to the direction of Pre-Op, and brashly told the orderlies, "you get that man out of Pierce's site on the double."
Potter was astonished by Hawkeye's brash treatment toward a man who had been shot.
"Yes sir!" The two young orderlies answered in unison as they whisked a fuming Spiers away.
Margaret followed Spiers and the orderlies into Pre-OP, to administer him his morphine. As soon as Spiers' stretcher was set down on a gurney, she grabbed a bottle of alcohol, a few cotton puffs, morphine, and a clean needle and syringe from a nearby tray.
"Now just relax Major, I need to give you some morphine which will help calm you down." Margaret instructed Spiers in her usual nurse-patient, manner.
"I will not calm down! You are not jabbing that thing into my arm until I see your commanding officer!" Spiers seethed.
"I am afraid that is impossible, the Colonel is busy outside with triage." Margaret tried to explain in a calm fashion.
Before Spiers could argue, a fuming Colonel Potter came out of nowhere, "I want to know what happened out there Margaret!"
"Pierce started to-" Margaret got interrupted.
"What happened is that your ignorant Doctor disrespected a superior officer!" Spiers cut in.
"Cool your cucumbers Major! I am the commanding officer of this post, and I will look into the matter! We will discuss Captain Pierce's behavior once that hole in your caboose is fixed. In the meantime, let Major Houlihan here, give you some medicine to stop that throbbing in your rear, and calm your nerves." Potter stated sternly.
Spiers gritted his teeth together before he reluctantly complied, "Yes sir."
"You should have seen him Beej, shouting at me like a maniac." Hawkeye exclaimed, throwing a hand in the air for dramatic emphasis.
"You have been here the longest out of all of us Hawk -" BJ paused to slip a white scrub shirt over his head, "Insulting the notion of combat only sends these regular Army guys climbing up the wall."
"I just don't understand why somebody would actually want to be responsible for sending a bunch of kids to an early grave!" Hawkeye cried outraged, as he slipped on his scrub pants.
Before BJ could reply, the familiar, yet terrifying clomp of Colonel Potter's boots came echoing into the scrub room from outside. Suddenly, the white curtain separating the doctor's change area from the scrub room, was violently ripped open, "What the hell were you thinking out there, Pierce!" Potter yelled.
Hawkeye opened his mouth to explain how much of a jackass Spiers was, when Colonel Potter stopped him, "You know what Pierce - I don't even need to hear your side of the story! This is just another one of those instances where you can't keep your personal opinions to yourself! I am sick and tired of you constantly belittling the military every chance you get. So you know what? I think I just may let this Major have your hide – it is time you learn a lesson Captain!"
"But Colonel-" Hawkeye tried to reason with Potter.
"Nope," Potter prevented Pierce from talking, "I know that uniforms and rifles aren't your cup of tea Pierce, and that is just fine – every man is entitled to his opinion. What you need to understand is why officers like Major Spiers, make the decisions they do. By letting him have his way with you, I hope you will learn a lesson!" Potter then turned his piercing gaze towards BJ, "What I said goes for you too. I want you both to broaden your viewpoints! The army has shaped many young boys, into fine men. Now that that's out of the way, you two get you butts into that O.R on the double!" Potter then left the two doctors before either had a chance to refute his statements.
After a few moments of heavy silence Hawkeye spoke up, "Potter meant every word he just said, didn't he..."
"I am afraid so Hawk," BJ responded in a dry tone. He was slightly in shock from the Colonel's speech - it was rare that Potter ever got so worked up about an issue.
BJ knew his best friend was in some serious trouble this time.
"Do me a favour Beej?" Hawkeye asked.
"Sure." BJ's voice was hesitant.
"When that maniac Major puts me in front of a firing squad, will you write the letter to my Dad?"
"Sure Hawk." BJ replied.
Despite his dry humour, Hawkeye was halfway afraid that maniac Spiers may actually put him in front of a firing squad.