Such Sad News

Who: Alice, Chevalier, Christiane, Julie
What: A discussion in public, and one in private

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 daytime.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Air Raid Shelter
2. Alice's Sew Shop

Chevalier can be seen walking along the street towards the cafe. If this man is suffering the turmoils of war it is not present in his outward appearence.

Na-na-nazi. Make your own ominous music. The German woman is walking along down the street, looking almost … it's hard to pin, she just looks cold and distant, with an aura of command around her. She hums, folder under her arm. She hrms, spotting Chevalier.

Someone is going to get it, and no doubt Alice will be at their head leading the charge. It seems one of the small window-baskets has been planted with natural, herbal, oh-so-wonderful catnip… and Iggy has honed in on it. The chubby tabby lies on the window-sill in contented bliss, mrowling ever so quietly as he allows the noxious fumes to put him into a stoner's slumber, meekly staring onto the street, his eyes half-lidded.

Henrik had been standing in front of the Seamstress' shop, peering through the window and muttering under his breath at the lack of visible people within. Rapping solidly on the door three even times, the swede curses quietly and turns away, belatedly taking note of the other pedestrians about.

Chevalier pauses about a 1/2 block away under the gise of lighting a cigarette. In actuality he is taking in the scene ahead. A woman he does not know, the large swede peering in the windows, curious, and of course the Nazi woman doctor.

Sofia just keeps walking on by. The woman tilts her head, blinking at the swede banging on the door. She shrugs. The Nazi nods her head, and passes them all. Apparently she's in no mood to be poked at.

Iggy raises his furred head, whiskers twitching as he watches Sofia past. Ahh yes, he is invisible on his ledge, no one cans see him! The catnip-induced haze fades somewhat as he regards from his perch, tail flicking warily as he watches the crowd.. planning their untimely demises.

Henrik snorts once under his breath, before letting out a slow breath and letting his blue regard settle on Sofia as the german woman passes. As she seems in no mood to be poked at, the swede seems in no mood to be poking, and he simply turns to start walking along the road in a direction that will carry him past the frau-nazi in short order.

Alice arrives from the Cafe Mason.

Julie is down the street a ways, at a cart from one of the local farms, peering over the items they claim are vegetables. She carries a small basket in one arm.

Lured out by the knocking, and seeking her stoned kitty, Alice finally peers out. "Who was that?" She wonders, outloud. And there is an Iggy! She smiles at the orange tabby, stepping out and over to her feline.

Chevalier watches the swede and makes to follow him, when out pops Alice. He slows his pace a little as he takes a long drag from his cigarette.

Iggy yawns as he looks lazily over to Alice, making no move to roll from his perch, perfectly content to remain in his stoney haze, blinking slowly as he watches his owner approaching.

Henrik turns back around as an Alice appears in the shop he'd just abandoned. "Hrm. Me," he raises his voice to mutter back. A moment later, he notices that Chevalier had been moving in the same direction, and the big foreigner eyes the other man for a moment.

It's da Iggy! Alice makes cutesy faces at him, ready to pet her poor cat. "You're going to get too much of that," She teases her feline lightly. She pauses though, hearing Henrik. She smiles, and turns around. "Allo, Monsieur Henrik! How are you? I finished your shirt! The collar was a bit rough, but!"

Christiane arrives from the Cafe Mason.

Well if there is one thing Iggy detests it is when the spotlight is taken! The tubby tabby sways a bit as he straightens up, assuming a sitting position, his upper-body gently moving back and forth as he regains his senses, though his feline-eyes rest on Alice, "Meow….."

Julie eventually selects a few meager potatoes from the cart where she's shopping at the moment, as well as a couple onions, and three carrots. She exchanges polite conversation with the cart's owner as she eyes his goods carefully. Her attention is on the task at hand, not those that may be out this morning as well.

Christiane slips out of her home/the cafe, a basket looped over her arm. She's headed to look at the vegetables as well. Such as they are. She finds herself browsing the selection of turnips which, due to their unpopularity, are in better shape than many of the other crops. She picks one up, eyeing it critically.

Julie supposes her few meager vegetables will do for the day. She turns then, but spots Christiane out of a corner of her eye. She shoots her a polite smile, but does not move to interrupt the woman's shopping. Her gaze then sweeps up the street, towards the sewing shop.

Henrik returns his eye to Alice to state in his deep, rough french: "That's what I came by for. Have time now?" As Chevalier moves off, the big fellow ignores the frenchman, a disinterest in vegetables contributing to his failure to note Christiane just yet.

Kitty! Alice smiles and is distracted once more, reaching over to scritch him a little. She will pick him up. "Come here you," She murmurs. She will pull the cat to her, if he lets her. She peers at Julie and Christiane before glancing to Henrik and nods. "Yes, monsieur. I even have a little box you can take it home in."

Iggy seems a little happier once he is firmly held against Alice's bosom, curling slightly, his tail tapping against her form as he rests his chin on her shoulder, purring softly as his eyes close, ahhhh yes… victory.

Christiane hasn't taken note of Henrik yet, either. Or Alice and her kitty, for that matter. But she does spot Julie, returning the woman's smile with a polite one of her own. "Madame Bourgneuf. Good day."

Henrik nods once to Alice's news. "Can I get it now?" he asks evenly. "Not going to be in this part of town again today." Arms crossing idly over his chest, he stands on the sidewalk in front of Alice.

Aw, kitty lovins. Alice would almost purr as the feline is nestled against her chest and shoulder. She rubs his back softly with fingertips. She nods at Henrik and smiles. "Of course," She opens the door, propping it open with a foot. The woman will step inside and hold it open for Henrik. "Please come in, it's right on the side here."

Julie turns now, again towards Christiane, since she has been addressed, "Madame Morgenstern," she says quietly, taking half a step towards her, "A fine day, don't you agree?" she says, motioning towards the morning sky.

Iggy hardly gives a chirp of protest as he is patted, though he is noticeably heavier than before. He casts a lazy glance at Henrik, extending his claws somewhat to hold onto Alice as he is carried into her shop.

Henrik nods once, stepping inside the shop and closing the door behind him. Manner still stoic, he asks quietly, "You've heard that the fascists took a man yesterday?" The cause for his visit- the boxed shirt, goes unrequested.

Christiane shrugs, as to the fineness of the day. "The weather is very nice. Still a trace of summer in the air. I hope it holds." She puts four turnips in her basket, passing some francs to the grocer selling them. A hefty price for those vegetables, but the value of the franc has been hit hard since the occupation. As she looks up from paying she catches sight of Henrik and Alice moving into the sew shop. She tenses.

"What? Really?" Alice's eyes widen, her voice dropping after that. She almost giggles at the chirp. Oh chirping kitty. Her bright blue eyes glitter. She even gives Iggy a little nose kiss, eyes widening as he grips her. "Do you know anything about it?"

Iggy swivels his head to look up at Alice, straining his neck to meet her little kiss. He adjusts himself somewhat, shifting a bit to curl against her chest better, tucking his head in just below her chin, folding his paws at his neck as he closes his eyes, ignoring the conversation, tail swishing contentedly.

Henrik spends neither time nor attention on the cat's feline antics, instead setting a heavy hand on Alice's arm to get the woman's attention. "Madame, this is more important than the goddamn cat," the big man states, voice quiet and intent. "They took Claude. It is very important that you listen closely now."

If Julie picks up on Christiane's tensing from the sight of Alice and Henrik going into the sewing shop, she does not comment on it. Instead, her lowers her voice some, and asks quietly, "I may be needing for your friend to stop by and visit my charge," she says quietly, "The physicians at the hospital are too busy for house calls, I fear." She sighs some, sadness behind her words, her eyes falling to her basket now.

Christiane frowns, nodding at Julie's words. "Yes. Doctor Schmidt does not seem to mingle with patients unless he is forced to, it seems. Anyhow, I shall tell him. Doctor Shoshan will be grateful to use his skills, I am sure. He has worked very hard to earn the title of doctor, but it has come to little for him since the Nazis came." Her eyes drift to the sew shop as she talks but she makes no move toward it.

Julie does not seem to miss Christiane's gaze towards the shop, but she does not a bit at her words, "It would be appreciated," she says quietly, then shares the information about where she stays with the gentleman she cares for.

Alice nods, and looks to Henrik. Suddenly it hits her. "They took … /him/?" She looks horrified, despite hanging onto Iggy. She looks pale, sad and worried all at once. it's a strange mingling. "Oh god…" Her voice is low. "I am listening, Monsieur." She looks to be on the verge of crying too.

It seems one of Iggy's senses is that of fear, which he detects in Alice. He offers a gentle purr, tilting his head to lick at her neck playfully, keping nice and still in her arms, swishing his tail happily.

Christiane looks away from the sew shop, pointedly. As if trying to put it, and anything going on therein, out of her mind. She concentrates on Julie, nodding, taking the information in. "I will let him know tonight. I should look in on him, anyhow." At the thought of her friend she starts browsing the vegetable wares again, buying a few more turnips.

"Good," Henrik returns, stern and stoic to Alice's assurance. Thick fingers draw out a small folded piece of paper. "Before he was taken, he left this for you. It is a radio channel by which to contact the others. Outside Arras. You were to wait one more day, then signal that channel with the words 'Camille is coming'. Although now, perhaps, you should say 'Camille is dead'." His ever-grim manner is strangely no worse than normal in relaying the dire news.

Iggy gets a little scritch, but Alice's attention is being pulled. "I see… One more day after this?" She whispers. Her eyes are watering now. "I liked Claude," And his poor orphaned cat! She is saddened by this loss. She takes a deep breath. "I will do this then," Alice whispers. "Although, I do not … like such sad news."

Henrik nods once, adding, "As often as can be managed, someone should be listening for a signal on the radio. As often as you can without risking being seen." He draws a slow breath, before voicing, "I also have a question for you, madame." He pauses a moment, gauging how steady the woman's manner is, or is not.

Julie says quietly, "I appreciate it. Thank you," to Christiane. Her eyes have not missed the other woman's wariness though. She glances, subtly, towards the sewing shop a moment, then back to Christiane, deciding to stay where she's at as well, for the moment.

Christiane half turns to head toward the sew shop. But she resists the temptation. "I should go get dinner started," she mutters, shouldering her basket. "Markus may run a cafe, but I still do not trust him to cook us a proper meal. Good day, Madame. I hope your friend gets better. I will speak to Doctor Shoshan as soon as I can."

"Of course," Alice replies. "By day is when I am here. I am afraid to bring it into my home," She hesitates. "They have been coming down on Gabriel hard," The woman murmurs, shifting her weight as she holds the cat. "And please ask, you are my friend." She seems to be holding up, despite the deep sorrow.

Henrik nods slowly once, "Wise. Do not take it home. If there is another in Arras with a radio, perhaps they can listen during nights." He draws a second breath, before lowering his steady voice further and rumbling, "Claude is taken, and the fascists believe it was him who helped the English. They think the rebels are gone. Claude knows he is dead, he accepted it. Even if he did not, the Police station has many germans in it.. many eyes upon it and many dogs." The words, level in their tone pause only a moment. "Even if he isnt yet dead.. any effort to get him out would be doomed, and even should it succeed, the nazis will search twice as vicious for rebels. It would be better for everyone to let him be killed. I need to ask you, madame, because I have no clear sight of it myself.." Blue eyes narrow on Alice's as Henrik wonders colorlessly, "Is it a wicked thing to let a good man be tortured and murdered for what I've done?"

"Hopefully," Alice replies. Her eyes go wide at the next bits. "And I was the one who helped the Englishman…" She stammers slowly. Her eyes are watering. She's trying her hardest not to cry, even biting her lower lip and blinking a few times. Alice is pale, breathing slowly. "I don't know. Poor Claude…" She closes her eyes. "He accepted it?" She asks quietly. "I cannot say, Monsieur Henrik. He is blamed for what I have done too." Her voice is soft. "Even Gabriel may suffer for this." She's even closer to tears now. "I just wish the Nazis would go away, though that is stupid and childish. We do wicked things, that we might get back at them and survive. I am wondering if that simply makes us a lesser evil."

"He may have accepted it at one point," Henrik mutters, "But he had no idea what they will do to him." A slow brath is drawn and let out as the stern-faced foreigner regards Alice, to state quietly to her last question, "Some of us are good. The ones like you. Others of us are nothing better than- what did you call it? A lesser evil. You, madame- there is nothing you could do to help Claude. Me, there is very little and it is very risky- almost sure to fail. But it is something. I need to ask what you think. Is a good fool's life worth risking everything to save?"

"They are so horrible," Alice's trying not to cry. So very very hard. The poor white cat remains oblivious to her ex-owner's plight too. "Good? I don't know about that, people have suffered because of me," She tilts her head. "We did save that pilot, and he was shot down for dropping papers… although those papers have helped a lot," She is trying to think on it. It is a huge dilemma and she seems fond of them both. "What do you think of it? It is your life and his on the line."

Henrik eyes Alice evenly before answering. "You will doubt and dread and worry, madame. But if it helps you at all.. I have seen wickedness. I have been wicked. There is none of it in you." On the latter question, "I think it is smart to let him die. The fascists will lower their guard with the rebel captured. They will go easier on the people of Arras, and perhaps let something important fall into our hands. It is better for all free people to let Claude die. Not so long ago, I wouldn't pause a heartbeat at this. He chose to risk his life and he will be remembered.." He scowls with the next words, "But now.. I need to hear from another. From someone good. Is what is smartest.. what is best?"

"I know," Alice replies. She sighs. Then blushes. "But coming from you, that means a lot." Alice tilts her head, looking to Henrik. She is trying to think. It's like rubbing two rocks together really fast to make fire. A whole lotta smoke and nothin'. She reaches up to set a free hand on his shoulder. "Henrik. He would die if you failed too. You would go with them, then who is left? We have been so lucky so far. Henrik, you are never wicked. He is a hero now, a martyr and his name will be remembered. I can only hope his suffering is brief. But tell me Henrik, where would you and he go after this? Our pilot had his friends on the coast… so many countries are falling. You are. Never wicked. And Claude's sacrifice is noble, he brought us hope. And we won't forget him. It is-" Alice chokes, trying not to cry, suppressing tears. "Oh god, Henrik. I want to cry. But …" She shakes her head.

Henrik is silent a moment, before setting a heavy hand on Alice's shoulder in turn, as she tries valiantly not to start crying. "I have been.. a bad man in my life. If I am human now, it is because of another. A good person, who waits for me in England." His thick fingers tighten on her shoulder, in what was *intended* as a reassuring squeeze. "Cry if you need it, madame. Days like these are not meant for happy hearts."

Alice smiles up at Henrik and shakes her head, "Then that is all that matters, Monsieur. That you are human and good now," She seems a little steadied by the squeeze. Alice can't keep the tears away, and bright tears run down her cheek. "I feel like a foolish girl. Crying in front of someone. But Henrik, you are a good person now. These are hard times, with strange decisions. But someday, the sun will rise for us. And you, are a dear friend. We stick together."

"Someday," Henrik echoes with a short nod. "Never apologize. You should not wish to be cold enough to see death without weeping." One last squeeze and he draws the hand back, voicing evenly, "Stay safe, madame. When the sun rises, I intend to introduce you to Lovisa, and to tell your children how brave their mother was in the dark days."

A little sniffle at that, and Alice smiles up at Henrik. She gently squeezes his shoulder in turn. "I would like that." She pauses, hesitating at the children bit. "Perhaps. Thank you, Monsieur Henrik, for being such a good friend. I will have to find good words for you. I am no writer, merely a seamtress." She shakes her head. The woman takes a deep breath. "God. Such strange times these. If you need anything…"

"I've survived worse," Henrik assures her dryly. He nods once to her last offer, before turning toward the door, and stepping to withdraw.

"I am sorry for that," Alice whispers, the idea of worse utterly horrifying to her. She seems sympathetic to the man. The woman waves to him, "Be well. If you need your shirt, it will be kept safe here. Among the women's underthings. They tend to keep out of those."

Henrik, for a wonder, barks out a short, curt laugh at the last. Shaking his head, thick shoulders stirring with the fading humor, the big man steps outside the shop, moving down the street with a low chuckle still rumbling deep in his throat.

Alice grins at that, even though her face is still damp. It is a funny situation, all things consideration. "Be well, Henrik," She waves. Iggy and Camille are being tended too, once he's gone.

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