At The Cemetary Gates

Arras Cemetary (13 5)
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The Arras cemetary is an eerie place with rows upon rows of neatly alligned white tombstones with a variety of names written on them. Almost all of the dates correspond with the massive battles of the First World War. Many of the tombstones have small floral arrangements at their base, put there by the local civilians who may have known the soldier during his life, or simply out of respect. The cemetary is immacuately kept, tended to by the local populace as a sign of solemn respect for the many allied soldiers who lost their lives on this hallowed ground.

(+graveyard to look at some of the names of the headstones.)

It is currently daytime.

Sub-Rooms :

Contents
Underwood
Morgenstern

Street <ST>

Here are just some few of the names of those that are buried here, as they died defending Arras or other parts of France.
Edward O'Taginell, Marcus Hall, Alexander Walsh, Stanley, Alexander Walsh, Overdon Linefork, Jacques Brissac, Elise Dupres, Aman Sher Singh, Sebastien Labelle, Jonathan Murphy, Samantha Cole, Achille Chaloux, Clancy Fitzgerald, Colin Thatcher, David Stone, Derek Johansen, Brian Mandzuk, Arik Sidiqqi, Pierre Travere, Jacob Taylor, James Henslin, Joseph Court, George Luz, John Kinski, Alex Nevoight, Thomas Henston, Guiseppe Mancuso, Frank Menoso, Mark Marchand, Robert Hensone, Bruce Hannaken, Frederick Reinhardt, Felix Byrd, Soldat Toure, David Mason, Charles Hensworth, Michael Aubrey.

Morgenstern is here to pay his respect to old friends that died in the Great War. He's standing in front of one of the graves, head bowed and a frown on his face. His hands are in his pockets and he's relaxed enough, but clearly not too happy about something.

Underwood doesn't have any friends that died in the great war, but some relatives he never met are resting here and he the grave he says a quick prayer by has the same name as himself. He spots Morgenstern there a bit away and makes a move but halts himself.

Morgenstern runs a hand through his greying hair, smoothing it back on his skull. He backs off from the grave and starts wandering down the long row of similar crosses, glancing at the names. He comes closer to Underwood and finally realizes someone else is here, and looking up he seems pleasantly surprised to see Underwood. "Hello," he says with a friendly nod.

"Hello", Underwood looks undecided for a moment before he makes up his mind. "Hello" he repeats himself, and even though he quite clearly has something on his mind he doesn't want to skip protocol too much. "How are you doing?"

Morgenstern squints at Underwood in a way that suggests he might start using glasses, or already is but forgets them. "Hello, again," he says with faint amusement, watching the younger man with now raised eyebrows. "Oh, I'm fine, just fine," he assures, speaking his accented English. "You? Not been shot too much?"

"One time was too much, so I'm afraid I'm over the limit there already", Underwood grins just a little at that before looking around to make sure they are alone. "Do you get much news about the Germans? Heard were they are?"

"Yeah, once is more than enough," Morgenstern agrees with a grin back at the young soldier. When the topic shifts to the Germans, his grin fails and he turns grim. "Heard they're closing in. Problems in Belgium, the BEF being pushed back. All rumours, mind. But I see soldiers here that don't look too happy."

"No, not too happy, we got pushed back and it wasn't even the main attack from what I heard." Underwood kneels down and pulls up a crumpled piece of paper, "And to be honest, don't think we'll be able to stop them here either, we dig in, and sooner or later they just run right over us." He isn't sounding pessimistic either, just a touch of realistic.

Morgenstern looks at Underwood with a stoic expression. Then he curses. "Sacre bleu." He runs a hand through his hair again. "Should send my kids away while there's still time. Waterways open to England? You know anything?"

"I don't know about the waterways, I think so at least, which is why .." Underwood holds out the piece of paper, "I made this. I guess I could get shot over it, but I put the mines there and don't want any innocent people walking over them."

Morgenstern stares at Underwood, well aware of what the soldier is just doing. "Can I have a look?" he asks quietly, and also glances around to make sure there's nobody nearby to get a look at what they're doing.

"Just take it and don't show it to anyone, but let them know to stay away from there." Underwood fishes up a cigarette, "As I said, I don't think we'll be here for long, then those mines will be mostly your problem I'm afraid."

Morgenstern reaches for the note and nods thankfully at Underwood. "Thanks," he says quietly. He lights up a cigarette too, tucking the note away in safety. "Damn, I can't warn the whole town." Morgenstern looks angry now, not at Underwood, but at the situation in general. "God damn that Hitler. Once was enough. Don't people ever learn."

"No, obviously not, but no more static warfare, we dig trenches but sooner or later a tank will smash through. Which is why I think we'll have to fall back even further shortly." Underwood rubs his nose, eyeing the cemetary, "So the time to get out is soon."

Morgenstern smokes his cigarette intently, his anger receding and exchanged for a coldly burning determination. "Guess we'll be in German hands soon. Got to be ready for that. People won't flee - they'll be stuck here, with German boots marching up and down, moving into their homes, stealing, raping…" He scratches his neck. "Not a whole lot of land west of here. You gonna be able to stop them before you reach the channel?"

"No, not judging from what I have seen so far." Underwood rubs his ear, easy enough to reach, "Unless we have something up our sleeve that I don't know about." He looks around, "I think I better get back to our lines, I.. I just wanted to visit this place one last time, not sure if I'll get a chance again."

"Alright," Morgenstern says. He wasn't really thinking they could stop the Germans and he's rather realistic and prepared than believing in some false hope. He reaches a hand out, to pat Underwood's shoulder in a friendly gesture if allowed. "Take care. And say hi to your uncle for
me when you see him."

"Good luck", Underwood gives Morgenstern a quick salute before turning around, back to the front.

Morgenstern watches the soldier leave, standing there amongst all the graves smoking his cigarette. He glances down and realizes he's standing by a grave that has the name Underwood on it. He feels cold all over.

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