Keep Our Heads Down

Morgenstern and Christiane discuss the future…


Coordinates : 16 4

A fine example of a French town, despite the signs of modern warfare with several buildings completely ruined by German bombs. One area of this block is almost completely wiped out, other areas are completely untouched and makes a stark contrast to the ruins.
It is currently dusk.
Sub-Rooms :
1. Air Raid Shelter

Morgenstern hasn't spent his time being lazy just because the cafe isn't open. He's there now, moving out things from the upper floor that are salvageable, concentrating on personal affects first and furniture second. His clothes are getting sooty and dirty but he's rather unconcerned about it. The bottom floor has already been cleaned up quite a lot; it wasn't hit as badly as the upper floor after all.

Christiane walks out of the hospital, toward the cafe. She's done what she can to help clean up and salvage the place, and she goes to join in that effort now. "Hello, Markus," she says simply, smiling at her husband.

Morgenstern looks up from where he's crouched down looking at a chest of drawers he's carried outside. It's salvageable. He stands up and smiles at her; he's always had smiles for her. "Hello, Christiane," he says and squints at her as he walks over, rubbing his hands on already dirty pants to clean them off some soot. "What do you think? A week or so, then we can open again. Can't live upstairs yet though."

Christiane frowns, tilting her head up toward the upper floor. But she has to nod in agreement. "It is very kind of Gabriel to put us up, but I hope we are not imposing too much. And I miss being here. It is silly, perhaps. It is the people who make a home, not a place, and yet…" She shrugs, puttering about the remains of the cafe. "Were you able to salvage any of the photographs? The old ones. From the Great War."

"I know," Markus says, sharing the sentiment fully. He looks up to the sooty, blown out windows upstairs. "House is solid though, it won't fall down on our heads. All in all? We were damn lucky. And none of us were hurt." His relief about that is shown in an intent look at his wife. "All photos from below were fine. Lost some I had in a box upstairs, burnt up, but the best ones were downstairs." He smiles lopsidedly. "I think I won't put them back up. I'm not sure how German soldiers will feel about them."

"Thank God for that," Christiane breathes in agreement, when Markus says none were hurt. "I was so afraid for the girls…" She shudders. "I am still afraid for them. Perhaps we should have sent them away. Though I do not know where they would go. The roads are choked with refugees but with the Germans coming…They have already taken so much, Markus…"

Morgenstern is a realist but even he thought for a long time they were safe here. He sets his jaw grimly and puts an arm around Christian's shoulders, giving her a squeeze. "Too late to send them away now," he notes fatalistically. "Probably more dangerous on the roads, and where the hell is safe now anyway? German army seems unstoppable. We got to ride it out here, keep a low profile, don't do stupid things. This is not like the last war, Christiane."

Christiane nods. She can see the trut of that clearly enough. "I remember when the last war ended. So many said there would never be another. I cannot say I believed it but…I had hoped my children would not live to see days like this."

Morgenstern gives her shoulders another squeeze in complete agreement with her words. "I was about to go ask to enlist, I was so furious," he admits. "But I can't leave you and I don't even know if I ever could pick up a weapon again. In fact, I don't understand how you manage working at the hospital now. You're the strongest woman I know."

Christiane leans against Morgenstern when he squeezes her shoulder. "I do not feel so strong in times like this. But at least I can do something. I would go mad, I think, just waiting for them to come. In a way you are right, Markus. It is different now. And yet…It feels the same in so many ways. Such horrible deja vu."

"Perhaps we should gather up and sit down and talk it through," Morgenstern says, wanting some kind of plan. "Do you think Vivi and Ettie understands how serious it is? I swear, they talk another language than I do at times."
Christiane snorts a laugh. This, at least, can still amuse her. "The language of young girls. I think I've forgotten how to speak it, thankfully. I am not sure, even with what they have seen, that they understand. I wish they did not have to but…I suppose we must accept the state of things. The English, it does not seem they will hold the line at Arras this time."

Morgenstern shakes his head to that. "They won't." He speaks in low tones. "Though it's not openly said, it's pretty clear they're not able to hold, so we'll be overrun soon. Let's just hope the germans find the town nice enough to keep," he mutters darkly.

"How do you think they will treat us?" Christiane asks. She does not sound frightened, exactly. Fear would do her little good. Though she can't keep the uncertainty out of her tone. "I have heard the stories…"

Morgenstern has no answer which is a bad sign in itself. He just looks at her with a grave expression. "Keep our heads down, don't do anything to draw attention," he repeats quietly. It's his only plan, and he /needs/ plans.
"There'll be people wanting to cause the German's trouble. Let's stay out of that."

Christiane nods in agreement with that. "All I want is to keep our family safe. I wish the Germans will not come. That, by some miracle, perhaps they will not. But I can do little to stop it now. It seems nothing can stop them…"

"We'll be fine," Morgenstern says, sounding determined on that score. He pulls his arm away from her shoulder and walks towards the cafe again. "I best get more done before evening," he suggests. There's another plan: get the cafe up and running again.

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