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Fic : Might Shape Up Well (Narnia, 1/1)

Title : Might Shape Up Well
Author : Gunbunny
Fandom : Narnia.
Pairing : none.
Rating : Violence. A wee bit bloody.
Summary : Soldiering is soldiering, even when you're using a gun rather than a sword. And they're underestimating you because of your age. (post-PC)
Disclaimer : Not mine. CS Lewis's.
Feedback : I accept burnt offerings and alcohol.
Archive : http://burntcopper.com/fic , anywhere else feel free.
Notes : After calculating age (film) and officer training time, I didn't think Peter would be quite old enough to be in WW2. So after discussing it a bit with a military buff *and* chucking in the fact that you were posted by regiment rather than individually, I went for the Emergency in Malaya which *officially* started in 1948 (though the British soldiers were already out there). :deep breath: CT = Communist Terrorist.



The young lieutenant shades his eyes against the glare. "They're probably lurking in those trees. It's got the best cover and vantage point on the path. If we flush them out, it would work to our favour - force them out by the river." He turns to the sergeant. "Sergeant Hendricks, Jones and Carlson are probably our best men for that."

The sergeant grins. "Sir, are we going to bother to run this one by the captain?"

The lieutenant flushes. "Whoops. I keep forgetting."

" 'S a good idea anyway. Tell him and if he doesn't do it, we can do it anyway and pretend it was an accident." Hendricks puts his fag-end behind his ear. "The night one was good, where we managed to ambush that lot when they were trying to ambush us."

The communists had tried to get them when they were sleeping - overpower a few guards and bob's your uncle, which is what would've happened if they'd been as unprepared as the captain. The captain had thought a posted guard was quite sufficient, thankyou, when they'd voiced their doubts. However, Lieutenant Pevensie had been just as uneasy about their position as some of the older hands and it hadn't taken too much persuading to get the sarge to post some of the men along the trail to watch for possible night attack. Which meant everyone ended up being alive to see their morning cuppa, rather than what the communists had planned.

"I'd try to get more stuff past him by making him think it was his idea," Sarge Hendricks continues, adding "Remember, you're not captain yet."

"I do overstep my bounds a little," The lieutenant admits.

"It's okay, lads're agreed that you're shaping up well. Must've been a right bastard on the playground, though, I reckon. Some've your ideas're downright mean."

"But effective, I hope," he grins. "And if you think I'm bad, you should meet my brother."

---

"All clear, I think, Pevensie," Captain Dawkins says, turning back to the men. That's when Lieutenant Pevensie raises his weapon and shoots at something over the Captain's shoulder. "Steady on, old man, can't have itchy trigger fingers here. I know this is your first posting. We'll soon calm those nerves," he says, patting him on the shoulder reassuringly.

"Sir. Sorry, sir," Pevensie says, ducking his head and moving past him. He's clearly trying to keep a good front up in front of the men.

The Captain nods approvingly. "Once he gets over shooting at shadows, he might shape up well," he comments to the sergeant.

Sarge Hendricks coughs. "Might want to turn round, sir." The Captain turns, and blanches slightly. There's the body of a CT collapsed in the bush, bullethole in its forehead. "Think he's already shaping up, sir."

Corporal Lloyd whistles as he passes the body. "What I want to know, Sarge, is what we've got on our hands."

Hendricks shrugs. "Decent head on his shoulders, practical, nerves of solid rock, cares that the men survive and doesn't give stupid orders. Fine by me."

"Okay, can't fault that. What I want to know is where he bloody learnt to do what he did yesterday."

---flashback----

The sun was blazing down on the patrol. Mid-afternoon and no signs of it letting up, everyone trying to keep a lookout, even though it was dead quiet. All you could hear was the loud buzz of insects. Even with the nerves, you couldn't help but be lulled into a bit of stupor after an hour or so of tramping through long grass. That's when the CTs bloody rose from the grass in front of them.

"Camouflage is good, I'll give them that," Corporal Lloyd comments, bringing up his gun and firing.

To his left, there's cursing. The lieutenant's gun's jammed. And there's a CT coming straight for him.

Lloyd curses, expecting him to freeze. Even if he's handled himself well so far, he's still green. He'll be dead meat if he can't get to him in time, and losing an officer this early always looks bad. However, instead of freezing, the lieutenant shifts his grip on his rifle, bringing the butt up and using it as a club to block the attack, bringing it back across the enemy's face on the backswing, and his attacker goes down like a felled tree. Lieutenant doesn't stand back like you'd expect, but shoves the butt into the man's stomach, then pulls a knife and stabs him in the throat. Right through the big vein. Blood goes all over his hands and face. He jerks the knife out, turns and throttles the attacker firing at Miller as he stabs him in the kidneys.

"Should've watched his back," the lieutenant says grimly as Lloyd comes face to face with him. "Duck," he adds shortly. Lloyd does, just missing a rifle butt coming for his head that the lieutenant blocks with his rifle, twisting it and smashing the CT in the face. Knocks the rifle out of his hand, knife to follow up and grabs the rifle, shooting the CT for good measure to make sure he stays down.

It's over nearly as fast as it started, and by some miracle, they're still mostly standing. "Check for injuries," the lieutenant raps out curtly to Lloyd. He moves off, checking on the men, hauling them up if they're fine, and checking that their attackers're dead. If they're not, the lieutenant slides a knife between their ribs to finish them off, expression grim. Once he's done, the lieutenant straightens.

"Looks like we've lost one. Someone take his ID and possessions. Clarke, go through his pack for anything else useful. Everyone else, strip the dead. Knives, ammunition and water especially," He wipes his knife off on a dead man's body, picking up the spare rifle and sticking the knife in his belt.

"Um, sir?" Clarke says hesitantly. They're not going to argue. No-one's going to argue after all that. "Might want to clean up a bit."

---end flashback---

"I don't trust any bugger who fights like that or does any of that without knowing them from the bloody cradle. And if it's an officer with no experience, I really don't trust 'em," Lloyd says. "Officer training school does not bloody teach you to do that."

"Got a point, Bob. Good to have someone like that on your side, though. Be thankful for what you've got. We could've been stuck with some lad still clinging to the spit and polish like it was his teddy bear."

"Yeah, well, we'll see, Sarge," Lloyd mutters, shifting his pack. "You noticed he's got that knack for getting the lads to listen when he talks?"

"Think they call that charisma, which you're just jealous you don't have," Hendricks says. "Useful for an officer who knows what he's doing. This one listens, Lloyd. Be fucking thankful."

END

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
westingturtle
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
My God, Peter would be absolutely terrifying. And doesn't even seem to know it, or at least doesn't acknowledge that they think so. And considering his comment, I really want to know what your Edmund is like.
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
Edmund ran the Intelligence arm of Narnia. He *plans*. (not to mention that the costume people have specifically said that they designed his armour to be a ranger's.)

And yep, CS Lewis, this is what happens when you dump a soldier and general of 15 years' experience into a teenager's body. There's just so much he doesn't notice is off about himself because he's utterly focussed on the battle and soldiering itself. and probably surreptitiously training everyone in his regiment up to his mindset by sheer influence.

(also, if you think my Peter is frightening, try bedlambard's)
westingturtle
Aug. 13th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
Oh I've read bedlambard's and while her Peter is certainly ...interesting (I believe the phrase her Edmund used was "possibly sociopathic") this hits deeper because that's Narnia, and everything has always been savage in Narnia. Seeing that savagery in England is another thing altogether.
tetsubinatu
Sep. 22nd, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
Hi! I'm just getting into Narnia fiction and this is the second time I have read a recommendation from you for this writer, but alas s/he is no longer on LJ (or IJ or GJ) under this name and a google search just turned up a lot about a Mercedes Lackey series. I don't suppose you know where to find her work now? I'd appreciate a pointer.
burntcopper
Sep. 22nd, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
oops, spelt it wrong - bedlamsbard
tetsubinatu
Sep. 22nd, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Now I've found it.
reni_m
Aug. 12th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
I really liked this. I also really appreciate that you took the time to research their ages and if they would have participated in WWII. I actually have done those calculations myself and determined that all the Pevensie's were part of the Silent Generation.
Anyway, it would be interesting to see another piece connected to this universe, if not I'm more than happy with this.
Good show!
katakokk
Aug. 12th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
What's the Silent Generation?
reni_m
Aug. 12th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_generation
Basically it's the generation inbetween the WWII G.I.s and the Baby Boomers.
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
er, the UK didn't *have* that. They're just called the post-war generation here. If they were from London they were refugees, some did National Service up til '48, but the main thing they tend to talk about is the rationing, which went right through the '50s.

Rationing was almost a bigger impact than the war.
reni_m
Aug. 12th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
There I go messing with history again.
Thank you for correcting me! (That's why you wrote the story and I didn't!)
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
ta muchly, the problems with a brain working overtime on the details - I wanted to see peter post-books, reckoned he'd probably be a soldier what with his experiences (the thought of Peter on Civvy street is frankly scary in his inability to function there) and it kind of went on from there.
katakokk
Aug. 12th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Oh, WOW. This is wonderfully gorgeous! Your Peter is truly frightening, and I would really, really like to see what your Edmund is like! That comment was both hilarious and chilling...
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
hee. thankyou. Peter : what happens when you put fifteen years of solid combat experience in the body of a stripling youth. Edmund is sneakier. As far as I'm concerned, Edmund ran the intelligence part of Narnia, which seems to be a fairly common thought among some Narnia writers.
katakokk
Aug. 12th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Yup, seems to be a pretty common thought. I'd seriously like to see your Edmund, though! Please?
lunamazes
Aug. 12th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Love it, it's chilling yet suiting for someone who had been to war before.
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
yay! I rather liked the concept of them (corporal Lloyd especially) being a tad freaked out that he's clearly an experienced and battle-hardened soldier, but he should not have this experience. Whatsoever. Especially the, er, ruthlessness.
realpestilence
Aug. 12th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC)
This is definitely going straight to the memories! You really caught that young-old experienced air that they'd have; you found combat for Peter (because he'd end up in the military, somehow, somewhere) where he can be useful; and there's even a touch of grim humor.

I, too, would love to see Edmund join Peter here, and watch them interact and back each other up. If Peter by himself is scary, the two of them would be appalling. *grins*

I very much like the realism of how the officers and men would have different reactions to Peter, too. The officers, very spit and polish, very rank and class conscious, would eye him with more suspicion than the regular troops would. Tommys would just be glad he was *competent* and gave a shit about them and their survival, whereas the officers would (as a group) be more worried about receiving their just due of saluting.

Have you ever seen 'Gallipoli'? It's an old Mel Gibson movie, made way back before he got big, about a couple of Australian soldiers in WWII. Very well-acted and the mis-use of Australian troops by British commanders explains a great deal about why they later refused to be under British command in the field. I thought of it after reading this, I guess because of the potential for class/rank conflict that Peter's uber-competence and forgeting to check with authority would inspire.
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
The concept of Peter on civvy street simply scared me.

Edmund always strikes me as more of - well, floating troops? an advance agent of some sort, involved in intel and some very odd operations.

Officers : 'well, he'll learn, buck up, young feller me lad, war is about waiting - dear lord, what did he just *do*? And you're not supposed to fight like that! Don't you know any of the rules of war or honour?'

Peter : *looks confuzzled*

The NCOs and soldiers have always had a rather more earthy view of war, so this new bloke who's only concerned with making sure that the enemy goes down hard, fast, and stays down is a good thing. As is his constant paranoia that keeps them alive. Because he's on their side. They're trying to ignore the way he fights, like one of the hard men down their way. And the experience is more obvious to them because it's not *officer* experience, but fighting for his life experience. Sounds like an officer, moves like rank and file.
realpestilence
Aug. 13th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
Edmund's no slouch as a fighter, whether you go by movie or book canon; he went to the wars with Peter and Lucy, and in PC, was described as a "fell warrior". (I love that phrase.) But no, I don't think he's in Peter's class-few people *are*!

However, as a spymaster/intelligence operator and general fact-finder/performer of odd jobs, he'd be an extraordinary aide to someone like Peter, who's a very charismatic and natural field commander.

The age difference would make it a bit difficult to get both of them in the field together right now, but maybe in a few years...


"Sounds like an officer, moves like rank and file."

I love that description, it's very accurate. :)
genarti
Aug. 12th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, very nice. Yes, Peter in that kind of war would be just like that, and I like the class differences too.

And count me as another who's very interested in your version of Edmund here -- and especially in seeing the two of them together. *grin* I dunno how likely that would be, but oh man, can you imagine how formidable the two of them would be?
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
Peter does not understand how you can't be thinking of possible ambush at every moment. Sneaking up on people is *natural*. And you mean everyone doesn't expect you to fight like this and take the enemy down as fast as possible and make sure they stay down? Really?

I just love that officers have one mindset, still blinkered even after WW2, and see a nice public school boy who wants to fight for King and country who needs to guided, and the NCOs and soldiers see an utter bastard who really isn't that far off some of the hard men of the more frightening neighbourhoods. at least he's on their side.

Edmund would probably only join up as a route into MI5 or MI6. Together. er.

'Well, there's that vicious and frankly scary bastard Pevensie, and then there's his brother who doesn't seem to have any guiding compass beyond 'it needed doing'. Which one did you want to talk to again?'
realpestilence
Aug. 13th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking! *laughs*


*Either* of them would be disturbing, but as you say..."together. er."
tree_and_leaf
Aug. 12th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
This is fascinating idea, and I feel sorry for anyone who got on the wrong side of Peter (though with an attitude like that, he'd end up either having an almighty blowup with authority and getting busted or, if he had superiors with a bit of judgment, getting a transfer into the SAS or the SBS... he strikes me as the sort of person who would have difficulty in the military at a low rank.
burntcopper
Aug. 12th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Peter : still has problems remembering that he's not a general and High King and that the entire army does not jump at his word. :wails: I can't transfer him to the SAS yet! They don't reform until 1950, which was as a direct result of the Emergency in Malaya.

:facepalm: I have vague whatsits of backstory of Peter in officer training. So many fights. So much getting busted. Officers going 'how the hell do you have a born soldier and officer who hasn't the first idea about how to take notice of orders?'
tree_and_leaf
Aug. 12th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
I don't think he'd brawl - I think even film! Peter would have got through that stage, and book! Peter was always too sensible, but I can see a lot of Orderly Officer and worse for insubordination....

I had forgotten that the SAS were disbanded post war; of course, I suspect that had he been in the War, he'd have ended up being sent to do something fearful hush-hush he wasn't allowed to talk about afterwards... (that or training partisans, which would be right up his street).
tx_boss
Aug. 24th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
I would love to see some of how Edmund would react to the war. Though what you have is excellent. I like the idea of post-Narnia that they would turn to this sort of life. Hardened...
shadowbyrd
Aug. 29th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! I love savage!Peter and the fact that it's this side of the wardrobe makes it all the starker and all the more brutal.

Also makes me re-consider the idea of just how odd Peter would be to people - I tend to come at it from his side, but it would be ineteresting to see someone tryoing to figure it out.

Sorry, babbling. But I love it very much. :)
burntcopper
Sep. 13th, 2008 10:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, CS Lewis : completely forgetting that being an adult in a child's body does things to people's psyches. There's a great drabble-esque one out there that had the Pevensie's dad coming home from war and being able to understand his kids better than his wife did. Recognising that they'd been doing *something* to do with soldiering, and recognising a bunch of the reactions they had.
animeartistjo
Nov. 24th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC)
Oh mah goodness! This fic makes me want to go out the 24-hour-movie-rental place across the street and rent the Narnia movies I never actually saw! XD

I'm bookmarking it. Even the COMMENTS are awesome! XDDD
sun1ight_fades
Jan. 24th, 2013 12:38 am (UTC)
National Service Series
I have read this series a lot and there is just something about the Pevensies being violent and getting to see them from an outsider view, and older that is just awesome. Your stories that I read got me to thinking about them being older, and what that would mean for them.

At first I wondered if I would be as thrilled as I was used to seeing them as kids( In the books it really skims over them as adults) but by reading this series I fell in love with the idea. I also fell in love with the idea of them being in England and considered so strange by outsiders. But even with seeing them by outsiders, they seemed so in character for how they had been in the book ,and how you imagine them to have been in mediaeval times. Peter calm in battle and a take charge attitude. Edmund cool and fair along with being bloody evasive. Susan a diplomat with a stubborn nature, and Lucy the scary nurse that likes to laugh.

So thank you for getting me hooked onto a new way of looking at the Pevensies, the more violent and grown up Pevensies. I find myself wanting to write them violent and grown up now (oh the violence stories that could shock my friends. haha)

I look forward to anything else you write. Thank you for a wonderful series.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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