The Tourch Of Resistance Is Lit

Arras —

Charles Chevalier lives in a house in what many consider a fine example of an upper French neighborhood.
There is little sign of war here, unlike other part of Arras. The buildings are all in good condition - very good condition in fact, having been spared the recent bombing, luck is all it was.

Chevalier leaves his house at the very hour curfew is lifted. He quickly makes his way down a side street and slips into an air raid shelter. He much prefers to transverse the town through the network of shelters then along the street.

Chevalier cautiously emerges from the shelter and calmly makes his way across the street and into the Café Mason.

Cafe Mason (16 4)

The cafe isn't huge by anyone's standard, fitting ten or so tables with four chairs around them, and a few smaller tables near the large front window to allow for more privacy with only two chairs. The tables all have a wooden surface but metal legs, and the chairs are simple wooden chairs with blue upholstery, matching the blue-white chequered tablecloths. Mismatched vases with fresh flowers are on every table, together with salt and peppershakers.
The floor is lacquered wood, the walls are painted white and the ceiling is also wood, with small lights hanging at even intervals to provide light for the customers. A long counter stretches across most of the room, behind which the bartender can serve drinks and snacks, with shelves behind holding various liquors. A swing-door in a corner leads into the kitchen, letting the staff pass through easily to bring food to the guests. Another door at the other side of the room has a 'PRIVATE' sign on it - it must leads to the upper floor and the private residence of the owners.

It is currently daytime.

Contents
Chevalier
Etoile
Christiane

Chevalier steps inside and closes the door. He scans the Cafe pleased to see it is still empty. He moves over to the bar and waits to be served.

Etoile is just mooching about, tidying up here and there. She looks over to Chevalier as he enters, and covers her mouth to stifle a yawn. She's not totally devoid of manners, after all. "Can I get you a drink?" she asks him, wandering over.

Christiane is sitting at the counter. Reading a battered Belgian novel and sipping tea, as there's not much else for her to do at the moment. The Germans are, thankfully, not haunting the place at the moment. She looks up when Chevalier enters, a smile coming to her face. "Charles. Bonjour. It is good to see you."

Chevalier says perhaps a bit too loud, "Good to see you too Christiane" then to Etoile, "Yes, a coffee." He then says in a quiet voice just loud enough for Christiane to hear, "Is Marcus about?"

Etoile turns to get a fresh jug of coffee, letting her mother answer that.

Christiane's gaze drifts to the door, showing a hint of worry. She shakes her head. "Non. Not right now. He's out bargaining with the farmers for bread. It is getting difficult for him, I think. Prices are getting high with the army taking so much food." She frowns thinly. Stupid Germans.

Chevalier speaks in a barely audible tone, he uses few words but gets to the point speaking quickly, "Then you will have to do. Come to my house please, it is most important. Use the air raid shelters to move. You may bring family, and anyone you'd trust with your life." He looks back over his shoulder then says, "Give me a 5 min head start, use the shelters." He then stands straighter and making a big show out of checking his pocketwatch annouces, "Oh look at the time. Sorry I must be on way, Have a good day!"

The door opens. The small room gets even smaller when Rimeaux, as the big man enters looking around for a place to sit, well, a chair strong enough to support his bulk.

Chevalier tips his hat to Rimeaux as he scurries out.

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The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION < < <


Coordinates : 14 5

A fine example of a French town. There is little sign of war here, the buildings are all in good condition - very good condition in fact, as most of them have been newly built. The last war was not kind on this area, after all. It all looks peaceful, at least on the surface.

It is currently daytime.

Sub-Rooms :
1. Chevalier's House

Chevalier once more makes his way back across town by using the connected air raid shelters. Upon reaching his house he see Louis already there waiting.

Chevalier says, "Ah Louis, Good come in, come in, Please have a seat. There should be others soon."

Louis walks cautiously into the mans house, this being his first time here. Louis is quite impressed with the furnishing having grown up in poverty himself. Louis takes a seat on a nearby chair, his back facing the wall and a short step to the door. He has only met this man, Chevalier, the other day and is still a bit unsure of his intentions.

Chevalier keeps peeking out a window near the door then just as the women knock he opens the door and says loud enough to be heard out into the street, "Ah Christiane! Etoile! What a pleasent surprise, please come in, come in."

Christiane knocks first, ever polite, and enters once she's received that invitation. She holds it open for Etoile to follow. "What is all this about, Charles?" she asks in a whisper, sounding nervous. "This cloak and dagger play of yours is very annoying."

Etoile follows after Christiane - her expression shows curiosity more than anything. She looks past Chevalier to the interior of his house, heading in as Christiane opens the door. She keeps quiet, so it's not a great leap to assume that she shares the same concerns as her mother.

Chevalier closes and locks the door then hurries past the women, "Please come in have a seat. I will explain everything." Chevalier's house is well furnished and is it easy to tell he is by no means a poor man.
Louis stands to introduce himself.. he's not use to formal introductions but assumes standing is the correct first action. He begins to stick out his hand then retracks it not really knowing what to do. He manages to only offer a nod to both woman and a short "Louis…"

Christiane returns Louis' nod, eyeing him, keeping close to Etoile. Not that she's particularly nervous to be in the home of an old family friend, but big Louis is unfamiliar to her. "I am Christiane Morgenstern. This is my daughter, Etoile. She looks to Chevalier, brows arched.

Etoile looks Louis up and down (rather warily) before returning his nod, then fixes Chevalier with a brief stare before going to take a seat as instructed. She's not known for her patience, but she watches him expectantly.

Chevalier checks his pocket watch and sighs saying as much to himself as the others, "I had hoped for a few more." He then looks up at the other three as he snaps the watch closed and flashes that famous Chevalier smile and says, "I have asked you all here for one reason, we all have a great dislike for our new 'friends' (this last said bitterly). I will be quite frank about it, what I am about to do will put your lives in peril. Charles De Gaulle only a few nights ago made a radio broadcast, one I fear very few besides myself here in Arras heard." checks his watch again. "That broadcast is to be rebroadcast here in the next few minutes." He moves to a radio and turns it on as he speaks, "I ask that you please listen carefully, afterwards I will explain further why you were chosen to hear it."

Chevalier fiddles further with the radio as it hummms to life. He adjusts the volume so as to be heard but carry very far. He straightens and has a seat.

Christiane eyes sharpen when Chevalier speaks of de Gaulle. She is, of course, familiar with that name. She smiles, ever so slightly, at Chevalier as she sits. "Thank you very much for the hospitality, Charles," she says simply, crossing her legs at the ankles. Settling in.

a program of swing music is playing when a mans voice comes on the air, "We interrupt this program for the following important announcement."….

Etoile sits quite still, eyes on the radio, chewing on her bottom lip. The only time she looks away is when she casts a brief glance to Christiane again.

Louis has by now returned to his seat and stares out the window. The program interests him but the possibility of someone snooping outside seems to interest him more.

The standard prelims play (this is the BBC, blah, blah, blah) before Charles de Gaulle is introduced, the brigadier general that fled to exile in London rather than except French surrender. The radio is a little crackly but de Gaulle's voice is strong and clear. He's a military man after all, and used to bellowing at people:

"The leaders who, for many years past, have been at the head of the French armed forces have set up a government. Alleging the defeat of our armies, this government has entered into negotiations with the enemy with a view to bringing about a cessation of hostilities. It is quite true that we were, and still are, overwhelmed by enemy mechanized forces, both on the ground and in the air. It was the tanks, the planes, and the tactics of the Germans, far more than the fact that we were outnumbered, that forced our armies to retreat. It was the German tanks, planes, and tactics that provided the element of surprise, which brought our leaders to their present plight. But has the last word been said? Must we abandon all hope? Is our defeat final and irremediable? To those questions I answer? No!"

Etoile's lips purse. Her expression is unreadable, and she crosses her arms, still listening intently.

Christiane listens with her chin slightly arched, hands folded in her lap, her gaze still on Chevalier. She notes Louis' attention to the window but tries not to focus too much on that herself. "You always did have interesting taste in music, Charles," she observes wryly.

Chevalier crosses his legs as he listens, looking up at the ceiling, intent on every word. He smiles at Christiane.

De Gaulle's voice continues to crackle over the broadcast, "Speaking in full knowledge of the facts, I ask you to believe me when I say that the cause of France is not lost. The very factors that brought about our defeat may one day lead us to victory.
For, remember this, France does not stand alone. She is not isolated. Behind her is a vast Empire, and she can make common cause with the British Empire, which commands the seas and is continuing the struggle. Like England, she can draw unreservedly on the immense industrial resources of the United States."

Etoile casts another furtive glance between Christiane and Chevalier -
Christiane in particular, as it's already quite obvious what Chevalier's thoughts are on the subject.

Louis seems unmoved at the words thus far. He has little patience for a man who runs from a fight.

Christiane sighs a little at the words about England, and the bit about the United States it met with merely a huffy sniff. But she continues to listen…

De Gaulle's voice builds with fervor as he declares, "This war is not limited to our unfortunate country. The outcome of the struggle has not been decided by the Battle of France. This is a world war. Mistakes have been made, there have been delays and untold suffering, but the fact remains that there still exists in the world everything we need to crush our enemies some day. Today we are crushed by the sheer weight of mechanized force hurled against us, but we can still look to a future in which even greater mechanized force will bring us victory. The destiny of the world is at stake."

Alright, -now- Etoile finds herself uneasily looking to the window. She nervously signals at Chevalier to turn it down slightly as De Gaulle gets more enthusiastic.

Chevalier sits up straighter on the very edge of his seat as De Gaulle's voice builds, leans forward and adjusts the volume.

"I, general de Gaulle, now in London, call on all French officers and men who are at present on British soil, or may be in the future, with or without their arms ; I call on all engineers and skilled workmen from the armaments factories who are at present on British soil, or may be in the future, to get in touch with me. Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not and shall not die.
Tomorrow I shall broadcast again from London."
…and the broadcast fades back to regular programming…

Chevalier calmly rises and faces the others, looking to Louis he says, "Louis, please check the front again would you, try not to be seen."

«OOC» Chevalier has left the music playing.

Louis nods, stands and makes his way to the door. "Big words for someone in no position to act." Louis mutters to himself. Louis exits the front door and peers around. Louis leans against the wall of the house as he begins to smoke. He glances around watching for activity. A minute or two pass, he tossed his butt to the ground and slips back inside.

Christiane sighs at Louis words, her chin still arched. "At least it is something…" she calls after him. "The papers say the new government in the south, the Vichy, are going to hold a trial for him in his absence. As if he were traitor."

Louis returns and offers an affirmative nod to Chevalier.

Etoile breathes out. "Well. That was very inspiring, but how does it affect us? The way he made it sound, we should just dote on the Americans and the roastbeefs until they suppossedly win the war." Christiane's comment makes her snort quietly, amused by that. "How are they going to punish a person who isn't there?"

Louis returns to the window, this time standing in front of it with his arms crossed. His girth takes up much of the viewing space both out and in.

Chevalier claps then rubs his hands together letting De Gaulle's words sink in, "So now the question, why you? Why did I ask you here? Simple really, as Louis so elegantly put it, 'Big words for someone in no position to act.' or isn't he? He is in position to bring forth the might of England and America and I believe he will. So again, why you? Think about it; think about what you do for a living. <He points at Louis> A dock worker. <He points at Christiane> A cafe owner. <then to Etoile> A waitress. Think… can you not see it?

Christiane grins faintly at Etoile. "I am sure it will hurt his feelings deeply, my dear," she replies dryly. But she has to nod at that. "The British are gone. And the Americans never came in the first place. It is all well and good to speak of such things in London, but we are here. Alone." Her brows arch skeptically at Chevalier. Apparently, she cannot.

Louis peers over his shoulder at Chevalier with a confused look. He obviously does not see it.

Chevalier becomes animated, alive with passion, "Information is our weapon. Louis is in a position to gain information on shipping, cargo, ship movements." he holds out his hands palms up, "And you Chsitiane, do the Nazi's not like to frequent your cafe? And what are you to them, nothing! I have heard them myself, they are not afraid to speak freely when they have no regard for those around them. Also, you know people, people who would be willing to fight for France, no?"

Christiane purses her lips. "I am not a soldier, Charles. And neither are you. I will not endanger family." Nevertheless, her eyes linger on the radio. She takes a breath. "Nevertheless, it was good. This visit. We should it more often." She smiles faintly. "I have always liked listening to the radio."

Louis turns completely towards Chevalier now having his full attention. Words are fine and all but Chevalier is speaking of action, of doing something. This interests Louis a great deal as he begins to listen intently.

Chevalier throws up his hands, "You are right of course, we are not soldiers. What was I thinking? I am sorry, yes your family should be kept safe. Safe to slave in work gangs, safe to be home by curfew, safe to endure racism and rape and what ever else these <gestures grandly) victorious conquerors which to impose." He pleads, "Please, Christiane, I ask you, talk to Marcus, ask him to meet with me."

Etoile has remained quiet for a while. Her arms remain crossed, she looks rather defensive and nonplussed. However, she seems quite confident when she speaks, "I realize that I'm in a good position to do what I can to help my country. Many of the Nazis I've seen are guarded and dismissive, but I watch them, and I'm sure I could get closer to them if needed. However, while I'm young and not terribly experienced with… this sort of stuff, I will back off if anyone suggests doing something that seems foolhardy to me."

Chevalier points to Etoile while looking at Christiane, "See? She knows"

Christiane stands, gray eyes narrowed coolly at Chevalier. "It is time to go, I think," she says, standing. She seems to fully expect Etoile to follow, as she doesn't even look at her daughter. But she adds, as she goes. "I will speak to Markus. Thank you for your hospitality, Charles."

Chevalier suddenly calms and becomes the gentleman he is, "Yes, of course. Do take care, thank you for coming. I hope you visit again soon." as he gets the door for her, he smiles and adds “Thank you”.

Etoile seems to consider staying… Then thinks better of it, and follows after her mother. "I'll speak to you again," she tells Chevalier, simply, before leaving.
Chevalier smiles at Etolie and gives a slight nod, “I look forward to it”.

Louis watches Christiane and Etoile leave then looks towards Chevalier once again. "I like enverything you are saying my dear Chev!" A big grin appears on the mans face.

Chevalier after closing the door turns to Louis; he winces at the name Chev but carries on. "Good, come sit back down, we'll have a glass of wine, and I'll tell you what I have in mind."

Louis grabs a bottle of wine off the counter and swings around a seat. He uncorks and takes a big swig from the bottle. Obviously "a glass of wine" means something different to Louis. He appears eager to hear Chevalier's thoughts.

Chevalier smiles and gently takes the bottle from Louis and pours two glasses and hands one back to Louis. "Now then, here is what I wish to ask of you Louis, you can of course refuse and choose not to do anything."

Louis leans into Chevalier eager to hear Chevalier's plan. "No No.. keep going" he says rushed.

Chevalier takes a sip of the wine and continues, "Very well then, I want you to go to work at the docks as you always have and keep to whatever routines you have. Make no fights or step out of line, it is important that you keep out of trouble. The only thing I ask for you to do different is keep track of the kind of cargo that moves through the docks, be smart about it, don’t keep notes lying about. Also, keep an eye on the kinds of ships, their comings and goings. Sound easy enough?”

Louis takes the glass and gives a hesitant glance to Chevalier. Glasses have never had a strong presence in his life, the fine glass has an odd feel to it. So light and flimsy… Louis quickly chugs the glass. He thinks for a moment on Chevalier's words. He was asking him to go back to work! He hated that part of his life and came he to change that and now he was being asked to go back?! A moment or two pass as he reflects. If this was the sacrifice he had to make, if this is where he was most valuable, he would do it. He can only muster a nod of approval to Chevalier. "I'll do it… Louis thinks for a moment then speaks up, "But where? Back to Cherbourg? I have a cousin, in Calais, if that will suit you any better?"

Chevalier pauses, "Hmmm, yes Calais would be better. Can this Cousin get you work there?"

Louis nods, "He owes me…" and Louis leaves it at that.

Chevalier says, "Good, good. You will need to find a means of getting there. You will not have any travel papers. I will leave that up to you. In the meantime I will devise a way to communicate, perhaps find a reason you need to travel back and forth. Well at any rate you let me worry about that." takes a sip of the wine, "Make preparations to leave and write out for me how to get in touch with you at your cousins." He lifts the glass to take another sip but pauses before the wine ever touches his lips. He sets the glass down and whispers, “Yes, yes.” He looks at Louis and says, “I have a better idea. Just yesterday the Germans were looking for freighters, uh-uh men to ride the trains for loading and such. See if you can get work on the Calais train, yes? Then perhaps your cousin will help with the rest, no?” Chevalier smiles once again.

Louis stands and grabs Chevalier's hand shaking it aggressively. "Will do, you'll hear from me soon."

Chevalier takes his hand in return, "Louis, good luck, God speed." He then shows Louis to the door, "Oh, Louis, if asked, we've never met."

Chevalier closes the door and returns to his bottle of wine saying aloud, "Chevalier, what have you done?"

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