One Night In Arras

Who: Alice, Henrik / Alice, Claude, Henrik
What: Two illegal discussions

Arras
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
2. Alice's Sew Shop

The sky is growing darker, but night isn't yet upon Arras by the time Henrik strides toward Alice's place of business. Pace hastened slightly, to avoid spending too much time out of doors, he approaches the shop door and raps upon it solidly, thrice.

Work work. Alice is not that kind of Frenchie. Her kitties are finally back in the shop with her. Indeed, as the door opens a tiny white face greets him. Almost with a smile. "Monsieur!" Alice blinks, "Come in," She motions the Swede into the shop. "How are you?"

Henrik steps inside, with a brusque, "Fine." He glances down quickly to make certain he doesnt step on the felines in entering, before regarding Alice again, as the shop door goes closed. The swede surveys the interior with a curt pass of blue eyes, before asking, "You're not with a customer now? Need a new shirt."

"Non, I was merely washing. Things seem to have slowed down. Though, I bet they will try to find stuff for us to do," Alice frowns. She smiles as he makes sure not to step on the kitties. The white female sniffs at him before bounding to her chair, while Ignus is sucking a sunbeam before it is gone. "It is just me. What kind of shirt do you need?" Alice is gathering up her measuring tape.

Henrik snorts once and nods to her bet. Bringing his eye back to Alice after a second pass about the room, he answers quietly with a stonefaced stare. "A uniform. Like the ones the germans bring you to mend. Trousers as well. Perhaps one of those goddamn hats."

Alice blinks at that. "Oh…" Alice seems puzzled. "Yes, I can do that. Do you know your measurements?" She asks quietly. She looks behind her, some officer has left his uniform here. "Officer … or regular soldier? They are picky about that," Alice looks to him. Her kitties are dozing by now. Her voice is low, just in case.

Henrik shakes his head once to her initial question. "No. Regular soldier. Oberschutze, if you know what that means." A drawn breath before he adds, "I know you cant make a uniform disappear without getting in trouble. Don't try. Think you can make one new, to look very close?"

Alice squints a moment, putting a finger to her lips. "Man with none is the Schutze… Is that like the one above Private?" She seems to have an idea. Sort of. "I know, but I can use the ones here as a pattern sort of. I think I can. I have to keep fabric and thread here for reparing them… maybe I have enough for a whole one. I'll have to be careful though," She nods.

"Be careful. Very careful," Henrik agrees with a level tone and single slow nod. "Have plenty of time. Don't risk anything if you can help it. But could be important in the future. Understand?"

Alice mms and nods. She has a measuring tape in hand, and reaches over to grab her notepad. "I will be careful. I promise. Besides, I am dumb," She taps her head. She doesn't *mean* that… but she is probably referring to her habit of cowering around Germans. "Come here, and hold your arms out. If we're going to do this- it has to fit. They seem really picky on how you look."

Henrik grunts a low snort with another nod to agree with the seamstress' assessment. "Yeah. To the picky part," he clarifies evenly a moment later. He holds his arms out as instructed, before asking dryly, "You need me to sit down?"

"Such is life, no wonder they are so frumpy and stomping other countries," Alice considers. "They just need to find hobbies," A wink at that. She measures under his arms, writing things as she goes. Down the side here. "Arms down," More measuring! His in-seam, Alice kneels to measure. More writing. In a few moments, circling Henrik like a shark bearing a tape measure, she seems satisfied. "There we go." She straightens herself. "About how much time are we thinking?"

"Much time as you need," Henrik returns to the question. Her choice of the word 'frumpy' gets a briefly curious look, but nothing is said of it. Arms are maneuvered as instructed and the big man adds afterward, "How long you think to need?"

"Hm. Well, it really depends on if they decide I need to be doing Something," Alice taps her lips again, looking thoughtful. "Maybe a few days or so," She nods. "I'll make it a priority, but fortunately, I can hide it too." She smiles up at him. "All done measuring. Still, Oberschutze… do you know anything about it?" She asks in a whisper. Or was she correct in her earlier guess?

Henrik nods once. "Oberschutze is.. eh- I think like a french Caporal. One step up from a common soldier. Have the papers for an Oberschutze," he explains by way of cause for the specific request. "Uniforms are simpler. should be good. Easier to make."

"Ah, okay," Alice nods. "Yes, they make the officers shiny so they get shot first I guess," The French woman shrugs. She smiles up at Henrik. "I will do my best then." The woman takes a breath. "Suppose I am happy those buttons came. I don't imagine Germans would be happy with me if I improvised, I'd give them pink…" She trails off. "Anyway, don't worry about paying for it." Since it's apparently for some just cause! "Anything else?" Her voice is still low and soft.

Henrik gives a short, dry chuckle at the notion of nazis in pink buttons. "Would be amusing, anyway. Watching fascists trying so hard to look pissed and proper, keeping the sticks shoved up thier asses with a lot of pink frills for a uniform."

Alice even grins at the idea. "Well, when you put it that way…" Her blue eyes sparkle with amusement. She takes a breath. "Ah. I wonder if they all get a standard issue stick when they join." She shrugs. Then smiles up at Henrik, "It's good to see you again."

Henrik nods. "Yeah, they do. Thats why they whine so much if they don't get beer- the sticks start splintering," the big man explains, indulging a briefly bemused (not to mention crass) humor. Eyeing Alice with affected gravity, he mutters, "And no comments about me complaining about the beer, too. I didn't think it through very well, before saying it."

Alice giggles a little. "Non, sir, I keep our conversations here, unless you ask me to tell Gabriel." Alice shakes her head. "But that does make an awful lot of sense, doesn't it?" She grins up at him. Sure, it was a crass joke, but he meant well! She takes a deep breath and picks up Iggy. "So don't worry, if you say things like that."

"Hrm. Yeah, it does," Henrik mutters in return to Alice's observation of a 'lot of sense'. "My thanks in advance for your work. No chance just finding a shirt that would fit proper." A shrug of his thick shoulders before the foreigner offers with a turn back toward the door, "Good bye, madame."

"Heh," Alice smiles up at him. "No worries, you are welcome." She nods. Alice waves to him. "Good bye, monsieur. Be well." She gathers her keys and is likely getting ready to start home. She's scooping up and herding her felines for their journey home.


Later that night…


L'Eglise de Saint Boniface
Coordinates: 13 5

A great window opposite of the entrance depicts the saviour in splendid glory, colorful and magnificent and yet with a certain humbleness to it, the saviour's expression mild and kind as he looks down onto the interior of the church.

The church itself isn't especially large, and has fifteen rows of benches on each side of the room; nowhere near the size of the main church of Arras, the cathedral.

There's obvious signs of repair work for the one who looks, as this church was heavily damaged in The Great War, as was so many other buildings. For the one interest in such history, this church was used as a hospital in the Great War, when the war was just outside. In remembrance of this, there's a plaque at the entrance dedicated to the nurses and doctors that worked here.

It is currently dusk.

Claude slips into church at some pre-appointed time. He does his beret off and settles into one of the corner pews. It is between services and the priest has seen fit to busy himself elsewhere, so Claude has some privacy. Not that he does any praying.

The pre-appointed time is before dark, but after midday. The church doors are opened, letting in some of the fading light to lengthen the shadows thrown by the rows of pews as Henrik holds the door braced open to allow the entrance of two others…

Alice meanders in, a white kitty on her shoulders. The feline is twirling one of Alice's blonde curls around a paw. Oh ho! Nibble that hair good! "Thank you, Monsieur," Alice whispers. The woman looks around the church, tilting her head. Then she notices Claude! A little wave to the man. "Allo."

Claude's back stiffens at Alice's cheery 'allo'. He sighs. She was, perhaps, not the ideal espionage conspirator. But, one must make do. "Monsieur Svensson. Hello again. I see you have brought Madame Chevalier." He inclines his head to Alice, his eyes lingering for a moment on the white cat.

Henrik notes Claude's stiffening with a grim amusement. Once the church door has closed with a faint echo, he voices to the frenchman. "She greets everyone like that. As if she doesn't have the good sense to be dour and miserable."

Alice smiles, and offers over the kitten, who reluctantly lets go of Alice's hair. Alice frowns, at everyone's reaction to her allo. "Well, they don't expect me to do anything period, I am dumb, or at least they think so," Alice sighs. So THERE. It's good to be cheery dammit~! Either way, she looks to Claude. "Hello there. And he did."

"'Allo." Claude's is dour and laced with shifty nervousness, for his part. As he seems to think befits a spy. He smiles at the cat. "I see my Camille has found a new home. I should thank you, Madame, for taking her in."

Henrik instructs Alice in a flat word: "Sit," as he himself moves to take a spot slightly down the pew from Claude. If the two want to chit-chat about cats, who is he to interrupt?

Alice freezes, her eyes wide. "Your Camille?" She looks to the white kitty. "I can't … take someone's kitty, you can hold her, and take her home. I had found her and couldn't leave her-" Not with those German dogs. She blinks, at Henrik's instruction and sits as instructed, by him. "Sorry."

Claude shakes her head. "Non, Madame. I fear I make a very poor master now. I am only glad she managed to find some safety." He tilts his head at Alice. Giving her a beady, weighing look. "So. How much has Monsieur Svensson told you?"

Henrik hears out the back-and-forth talk of cat owners with steady patience. He remains silent, allowing Alice to answer Claude's question on her own behalf.

Alice sets the kitty on the pew. The white feline wiggles her tail and stands. "Well… some, not - a lot," Alice admits quietly, unless she'd forgotten. "I have something important to do." She nods. She peers at Claude. Does he know about the …? Hrrrm. She seems hesitant to keep answering.

Claude does not mind Alice's hesitation. Better than her being too chatty. "I am a…representative of the French government. The true, free French government. I am among a handful of men working to set up information networks in the country, to feed whatever we can back to the Allies. So that France might one day be liberated. You have a radio, Madame?"

Henrik holds his tongue a while longer, simply nodding once to Alice at Claude's words. Expression is stern once again, as the foreigner leans forward in the seat, elbows resting on his knees as he listens.

Alice looks up to Claude as Camilla turns circles. Her eyes go a bit wide at his introduction. But she nods, "Yes, monsieur. I bought it under the guise of keeping it in my shop so I can listen to my gossip shows and the dramas…" Oh those soap operas! But Alice is nearly 30, so she can. She seems interested, although Henrik's nod reassures her. Back to Claude.

"I am on my way to Calais," Claude says. "Germany is preparing for a sea invasion, to crush Britain after it has finished their air force. I must reach the coast. But we are in need to volunteers in the countryside, Madame. To transmit information, German movements. Even rumors. Monsieur Svensson thought you might be up to such a task."

Henrik adds, under his breath with a sidelong look to Alice, "As well, to point him toward your friend the farmer. He's been here too long already."

"I see," Alice whispers. "I understand. I can try and do my best. How do I find out that kind of thing, or can Monsieur Henrik tell me?" She looks to Henrik, as Camilla gives Claude a sniff and tiny smile. "I do not want to keep him here too long," She whispers.

"We can relay instructions to you, from time to time, though largely your locals shall have to work on their own," Claude says. "It is dangerous, you understand, for our ties to be too firm. Too easy to trace. For now, the airfield is of the most importance." He reaches out, to pet the cat. "There are those in town who have quick eyes and ears, I suspect. Listen well. That is all we can ask of people such as you now."

Henrik notes curtly toward Claude, "You will want to talk to the Englishman on your way to Calais. She can tell you where," he notes with a toss of his head toward Alice. Looking to the woman, he asks, "What will you need to receive a radio message?"

"Of course, I see," Alice tilts her head. She nods, after that. "He is going to the coast too…" She whispers that part. "Mostly the frequency, I have headphones, clumsy things." She wrinkles her nose. Camilla purrs, laying her ears back. Oh yeah. "You are welcome to come by and use the radio too, Monsieur Henrik." She's given up on the Germans not thinking something is up by now.

Claude tilts his head again when Henrik speaks of the Englishman. "I am surprised he has not left for the coast already. It is the only chance he has of survival, and a slim one at that. Well. These are dangerous times for us all." He nods. "Yes, Madame. If you would show me, please. But be cautious. It does little good to antagonize the Germans. Informers are useless if they turn up dead."

Henrik shakes his head. "Don't know how. And I visit you too often already." He lets out a short breath and nods once to Claude's words. Without anything further to say immediately, the big man goes silent.

"I thought he would have by now, he was supposed to…" Alice squints. "But I can take you to that abandoned house, they usually … don't go out there," She considers. "I heard barking after I left though, so I'd be extra careful." She nods. She blinks at Henrik, "Well. I can show you, in case something happens to me. When you get your shirt." A little smile. Then back to Claude. "Anything else? And non, the Germans don't seem to mind me."

Claude nods to Alice. "Good, good. I should not linger in town too long. A quiet place, where I can plan, would be most welcome. And I still wish to meet Monsieur Chevalier. Perhaps he has some ideas that would be useful to the cause." He sounds quite optimistic about Chevalier's brilliance.

Henrik nods once to Alice's shirt comment, a brief look of something akin to amusement tugging at his stoicism. Rising to his feet, he offers, "Madame. Monsieur. Luck to you both," before walking from the pew into the church's central aisle.

"Okay, I can show you … there may be another nearby in case the dogs have sniffed it out," She murmurs. Then a blush. Alice smiles. Alice looks to Henrik, and waves. "Farewell." She's catching onto this sneaky thing! Really! She's /trying/. Camilla is getting a back rub from Alice now. "Anything else? I saw Monsier … not my Chevalier, but the other earlier."

"Farewell, comrade," Claude says simply to Henrik, rising to follow Alice. He has no wish to linger in the church.

Camilla is scooped up and allowed to rest on Alice's shoulders, where she can bat at Alice's curls. Yes! She waves to the men, heading out. "Back to the laundry with us," She comments.

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