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 A Cold Encounter

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PostSubject: A Cold Encounter   08.01.16 21:11

Merde! Cette satanée neige…”

Alexandre trudged through the snow, tugging his heavy coat tighter around his hulking frame. He could feel his nose hairs freezing together, and he rubbed at his nose to hopefully unstick them. It was a futile attempt as they re-froze together, and he simply grumbled to himself as he continued on.

The letter buried deep in his pocket felt like it was burning a hole through the thick material, and Alexandre clenched the crinkled paper in his large fist. He still couldn’t believe how careless he was, and that he only found the note a little over a year ago. Beau had been dead for seven years, but he was only now looking for his wife. He shook his head and let go of the letter, looking up at the inky black sky dotted with stars.

Life had been quiet, but difficult. Alexandre didn’t really care about the expression “Time heals all wounds” because he was still grieving. The shame and self-hatred from knowing you are responsible for the death of the person closest to you never completely goes away, no matter how much time goes by. Alexandre still had his rough days, but he kept a very strict schedule and made sure he was always busy with something. Meeting Vivienne actually helped him quite a bit.

He thought about the woman in question quite a bit ever since they first met a year ago. He believed they had become quite close in that time, as they both could relate to each other in their shared grief over losing someone precious to the war. Vivienne had lost her beloved husband, but she was still distraught over it and never spoke of him. Most days they would go out together or stay inside and have dinner or coffee, and other times it was enough to sit in silence. Alexandre couldn’t help cracking a smile at the thought of his dear friend, a graceful woman nearly two feet shorter than he was. They made quite the odd pair, but he didn’t care.

Tonight, however, Alexandre couldn’t find Vivienne or get a hold of her. He was a little puzzled to say the least, surprised that she wasn’t available at this time of night. He shrugged however, knowing that he wasn’t her keeper. Instead, he decided to brave the harsh cold and snow and visit an old friend.

He had arrived at the cemetery already, and was slowly but surely making his way through the rows of headstones, ranging from the simple to the elaborate, until he reached the special section reserved for veterans. He let out a sigh, his breath coming out in a warm cloud, and he trudged forward. When he was closer, he finally noticed a lone figure standing in front of Beau’s grave. He knew the man was well-liked, but it had been a long time since Alexandre had seen anyone visit his best friend. He didn’t know anyone who would venture out in this weather, either.

Upon closer inspection, the figure was that of a woman, noticeably short and very well-dressed. He squinted, and recognized the coat, and his jaw dropped open slightly. Quickening his pace, his heavy boots crunched through the snow until he was standing just behind the woman at Beau’s grave. Even in the dark, he could tell exactly who she was.

“Vivienne?”




I don't care about what happens to you // But maybe I need you

I will destroy you, if it is the last thing I do // You've worked too hard to have your happiness destroyed
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   09.01.16 15:24

“Je ne t'oublierais pas, mon amour...”

Vivienne sat by her bedroom window, her elbow resting on the sill and her hand cradling the side of her cheek. She stared longingly outside as a fresh batch of snowflakes gently landed and formed a soft blanket of white on her balcony. She let out a deep sigh and watched her breath fog over the glass, briefly obscuring her vision. With her right index finger she drew a single letter on her makeshift canvas: B. She was thinking of her beloved again.

7 years ago today her husband passed away. She received this news on a night much like this one, while she worked on a last minute inventory check. She remembered it being very brief and relatively informal, though she would never blame the messenger. It was a desperate time and death was blind when it came to picking who came along with him. Even still, she never fully recovered once she heard this news. Nor did concealing her feelings help, despite being his wife.

Her relationship with him was not complicated. He loved her, and she loved him back. However, due to their family's position in society, secrecy was the only solution. It would not do for her father to leave his inheritance to a common marine and his “easily infatuated” daughter. For many years, they were successful in keeping things quiet, even among their closest of friends. It was a lonely way to carry out a marriage, but being lonely did not impart being alone when keeping this secret. When she was told of the news, however, everything she fought for, everything she withstood all those years simply vanished as if nothing ever happened. The feeling of loss and despair was very real to her and nothing in the world could fix that.

To make matters worse, almost as if fate decided to make a jab at a fresh wound, three years after his death, Vivienne began to imagine things that reminded her more and more of him. In the shower she'd sing to herself a quiet melody, but from the corner of her ear she'd hear another voice humming along as if making it a duet. After passing by her local flower shop, she'd get a whiff of his old cologne, the one she had bought him on his birthday during a secret rendezvous which ended shortly after being summoned by their duties once again. On the loneliest of nights, when she'd be tucked in and re-reading his journal for the umpteenth time, she'd hear his voice right next to hers, as if reading alongside her.

She thought she was slowly being pushed more and more into the brink of insanity until sometime last year. This man named Alexandre and her made quite the unlikely pair which blossomed into become a close friendship. They both sustained a significant lose in their lives from the war and from that she understood that grief took many forms which somehow validated the supposed voice in her head.

Occasionally she'd still feel her husband's presence or hear his voice, but Alexandre kept her anchored. From that, their friendship only grew. She thought of her dear friend earlier today, but she decided against meeting anyone. She let the phone reach voicemail and stayed at home, even avoiding her usual stops. She knew that he'd understand that this was a day of mourning.

Deep in her thoughts, she was startled by the grandfather clock downstairs. DING DONG it went, 9 times. Just like last year, and the year before, and every year since her beloved passed. Vivienne made it a point to visit his grave, being unable to attend his funeral so many years ago for the sake of letting the secret get buried with him. She stepped into her black Victorian dress, slipped on her winter heels and evening gloves, situated a black veil over her face, and shouldered her gown length overcoat. She gently unfurled her lace umbrella before braving the winter's cold.

En route to the cemetery, she encountered a small boy who caught sight of her. “Bon soir!” she said, accompanied with a warm smile but the poor thing seemed to have been frightened and began to tug at his mother's coat who was too distracted with their neighbour's cat's behaviour. Vivienne carried on, making soft but sure steps that elicited a crunching noise from the fresh snow.

She entered through the old rusted gates and made her way near the center of the cemetery where veterans were laid for their final resting place. After rows and rows of stones jutting from the ground, she reached her husband's tombstone and brushed off the snow on top. There was an inscription that was engraved on the stone which read “In Loving Memory of Beau de Trôm/ Here Lies a Beloved /son / brother / friend / soldier”.  Every year, a chilling grip would take hold of Vivienne's heart because she knew that every time she read that, one word would always be missing from that list: “husband”.

She took out the rosary they recovered from his corpse and said a short prayer. She slowly closed her eyes and let out a small tear that scaled the side of her face. She hated herself because she knew better than that to show any kind of emotion towards her beloved. Even in death, she'd honor that secret.

“Vivienne?” an all too familiar voice rang from behind her.

Her heart dropped. She turned around and found herself looking up at this hulking figure who was about two feet taller than she was.


Last edited by Vizarra on 16.01.16 4:42; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   10.01.16 16:39

Alexandre blinked in surprise, standing there lamely as he stared down at his friend. 

"Vivienne, what..." He stopped and shook his head slowly, clearing it of the dozen questions flitting through his mind. He cleared his throat and glanced around, before his gaze once more focused on Vivienne.

"Why are you here?" Alexandre asked slowly. "It's the middle of the night and it's freezing out here."

In truth, Alexandre felt that his suspicions had finally been proved true. 

He had known Vivienne for an entire year, and while their friendship blossomed into something truly special, Alexandre always felt that something was a little off. While she had never really spoken about her dead husband, he had been slowly piecing together the tiny fragments of information that he had learned over the past year. He could never have known for certain, as she never even kept any pictures of the two of them in her house, but he always had that feeling.

Now, seeing Vivienne standing in front of Beau's grave, with black clothes and glassy eyes that he doubted were caused by the cold, Alexandre knew for certain that she was the one he had been searching for.




I don't care about what happens to you // But maybe I need you

I will destroy you, if it is the last thing I do // You've worked too hard to have your happiness destroyed
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   14.01.16 3:27

Still looking at this massive figure, she remained taken aback and even reared a little towards Beau's gravestone as a defense, hoping to recover herself before losing her poise entirely. Snowflakes seemed to have fallen slower, gentler. The restless wind softened itself to mere zephyrs. And the trees looked like they began to wilt closer and closer towards her, as if anticipating her next response. In that moment, time stood still. It was all clear to her now. Her dear friend wasn't here by coincidence.

"Alexandre," she said while enduring a teary smile, "I'm... I'm paying respects to my husband."

It appeared that he tried to contain his astonishment, but the eyes never lie.

She turned to face the solemn looking stone. She felt like she had been cheated, like she was the center of a lifelong ruse that everyone but her was a part of. After all her life trying to keep her marital status a secret, she felt that all her efforts had been diminished in the matter of seconds. She felt anguish and distress. She didn't feel guilty simply because guilt is inflicted by someone else. She would never see Alex as someone who intentionally outed her on her deepest and darkest secret, but she did feel shame. Shame because, contrary to guilt, it is a self-imposed, self-deprecating emotion that consumes you from the inside out.

The savage winter gale raked the single tear off across her face. She should have felt a stinging pain, but instead it was like her essence was plucked from her very life. It felt like all this was a surreal dream and she would wake at any given moment but deep down she knew this wasn't the case.

She placed a purple rose on top of the headstone, kissed her right index and middle finger, and tapped it. With a shoulder raising sigh, she turned around once again to face her friend and managed a modest tug on the sides of her cheeks.

"You must be harbouring a lot of questions, mon cher," she said. "Shall we  go back to my home?"

She took carefully placed steps and glided passed her hulking friend, hoping that he took the cue to follow her without asking again. He seemed to have been left stunned as if trying to digest all this at once. She carried on walking, hoping she'd hear his heavy footsteps shortly afterwards.

Je suis désolée, mon amour.
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   14.01.16 21:17

Alexandre felt his heart sink at Vivienne's heartfelt confession.

"So it is true," he murmured. His shoulders sagged and Alexandre felt a great weight lift off them, while simultaneously ugly feelings of guilt made a home inside his mind.

Of course, the usual thoughts made their rounds. He should have known. How could he have been so blind? What would Beau think? How did Vivienne feel about all of this? That was, perhaps, the thing that bothered Alexandre the most.

He heard Vivienne speak and walk past him, and he nodded his head slowly though she couldn't see it. He did have a lot of questions, and his thoughts wandered back to his time in the military.

He looked down at the gravestone in front of him, the same one Vivienne had stood in front of moments ago. He sighed heavily and bowed his head, taking a few moments of silence for his fallen friend. He looked up eventually, and simply gazed at the final resting place of Beau de Trôm.

"What have I gotten myself into this time, old friend?"

Alexandre shook his head and turned to follow Vivienne. It suddenly became a lot colder.




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I will destroy you, if it is the last thing I do // You've worked too hard to have your happiness destroyed
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   15.01.16 18:54

They walked most of the way in silence. Nothing but the occasional whistling of the wind weaving through the trees and lamp posts, and the crunching of snow beneath their feet.

Every step Vivienne took felt like she was being tugged further and further away from her home. And with Alex by her side, she was kept from breaking her facade. "A woman's greatest asset is knowing when and when not to display her emotions", her mother used to say.

Admittedly, Elizabethe was a negligent mother, but Vivienne learned from her at an early age that no one accepted just "one" of you. And so, Vivienne invented multiple "her's".

While Beau never encouraged her to be anything but her true self, Vivienne felt that it was her moral duty to accommodate to Alex first; this was genuine. She knew that he understood the grief and loss of Beau's death equally as well as she did because the night he died, she didn't just lose her beloved, Alex lost his best friend.

They entered through the walk way, took off their winter wear and stepped into her modestly decorated home, Alex closely following each step. They made their way to the kitchen, pantries filled with international delights and placed a kettle of water on the stove to boil. She selected a pair of mugs, the ones they always used, and made their way to the dining room and sat down.

She observed that Alexandre was trying hard to keep a straight face and silently commended his efforts. But every day was a masquerade to her and she knew the mask of pain all too well.

"So," she said, finally breaking the silence. "Where shall we start?"


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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   15.01.16 23:15

Alexandre shuffled beside Vivienne, purposely keeping his usually long strides shorter for his his little friend. It was almost comical to see them together: a man 6'6" in a heavy black overcoat walking beside a woman, also dressed warmly, looking very put-together and standing at a short 5'2". They did seem to be the most unlikely of friends, but they immediately created a bond formed of their shared grief over losing a loved one. 

When they made it inside, he let out a quiet sigh of contentment to be back in the warmth and slowly took off his jacket and unwound the woolly scarf from his neck. Strangely, Vivienne's house always seemed like home to him, and he loved to visit her. Alexandre even had his own special mug for tea.

When he sat down, he stared at his mug and rotated it in his hands. He tried to keep a neutral expression, but it was an emotional night. He had a few questions, but the beginning was a good place to start.

"We've known each other for a year, Vivienne. In that year I've been looking for Beau's wife, according to this letter," Alexandre began, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the crumpled paper. He smoothed it out as best he could and slid it towards her. 

"I'm not sure if you knew, but your husband and I... We were the best of friends. Incredibly close. Did you know about me? I can't believe I didn't know about you."




I don't care about what happens to you // But maybe I need you

I will destroy you, if it is the last thing I do // You've worked too hard to have your happiness destroyed
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   16.01.16 2:55

Vivienne cautiously examined the letter set before her, handling it as delicately as she could like she were reading off of a snowflake. She quickly scanned it but nothing she read actually registered.

She was familiar with the handwriting that dated back in the days of exchanging love letters; the harsh turns of his N's and V's, contrasted by the gentle curves of his g's and y's. Indeed, this was his. This was her Beau's. She could almost feel his essence emanating from it.She managed a demure smile from the corner of her lips and allowed her eyes to well up, just for a moment. She cleared her throat and placed her left hand over her right, now fully showcasing her engagement ring and wedding band.

"Beau always had a knack for showing off his war stories," Vivienne said. "Even during our shortest of rendezvous, he always slipped in time to brag about a thing or two like his prowess with a gun or his cunning in hand to hand combat."

He was a bit of a show off, she thought. A peacock through and through. But oh did she love him anyway.

"Although, right next to him on these military escapades, he'd mention a partner who was distinct from his other comrades that would always pick up his slack if he ever slipped. 'Thick as thieves', he used to say. He spoke about him like he dotted the sky with the stars he'd one day pluck for me."

She laughed at the notion.

"Had I not known any better, I'd suggest that Beau and this man exchanged more than just gun polishing tips behind closed doors."

Alexandre's rotating came to an immediate halt, instilling silence once more. Vivienne smirked and cocked her left eyebrow.

"Alas," she continued. "The man in question was unnamed but he and his war buddies amiably referred to this individual as 'Ox-Man'."

She studied her friend, this hulk of a man, who resumed rotating his worn out mug that looked like a child's tea cup in his dish-sized palms. The more she thought about it, the more obvious it became to her. She counted 7 ticks made by the grandfather clock down the hall, permitting the time for all this to register.

"I don't suppose," she hazarded. "Beau spoke about me, did he?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   16.01.16 21:05

Alexandre watched Vivienne intently as she read the letter. He thought back to when he had first discovered it, and the overwhelming sense of loss that bubbled to the surface when he himself had read its contents. He couldn't imagine what his friend was feeling now, though he could see it in her face how the letter was affecting her.

He nodded along with her as she described Beau, almost cracked a smile even at how she managed to capture his character so exactly. His eyes widened at the mention of this "partner", and he steeled his expression as best he could. Although, he'd by lying if hearing this second-hand description didn't affect him at all.

His hands stilled. Alexandre kept his eyes glued to the tiny mug in his hands. Vivienne's comment could be construed in different ways, but he decided to remain silent on the subject. They had time to discuss whatever needed to be discussed. She didn't seem to be fishing for an answer, either.

Eventually Vivienne asked a question of her own, and Alexandre sighed.

"He did, yes, though there were rarely any details," he answered in a low voice. "Naturally I felt...a little shut-out because of it, but I trusted Beau. When he did bring you up, Vivienne, his eyes were bright and it was evident how much he cared for you." 

Alexandre gave an encouraging smile and put his mug down, reaching over and laying one large hand over her smaller ones. 

"And with that, I believe the water has boiled," he remarked with a teasing wink.




I don't care about what happens to you // But maybe I need you

I will destroy you, if it is the last thing I do // You've worked too hard to have your happiness destroyed
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   18.01.16 14:52

In the midst of their conversation, the sounds of what was originally thought to be a plane in the distance suddenly stopped before the sound of escaping air could be heard above them. If they were to look they would see what looked like an Honour Guard suit descending from the sky and into the graveyard several meters away. The suit itself was painted in its brilliant silver and blue design, signifying it as one of the Honour Guard. It stood a solid 12ft in height with a very conservative design with the exception of its back and legs which had what looked to be a full rocket propulsion system. The Honour Guard took a knee slowly down in front of a gravestone and with a careful hand twisted off the unwieldy helmet he wore.

Under the helmet was an old man who couldn't have been younger than 60 years of age. His face was sullen and cracked, having clearly seen better days. With dexterity that wouldn't seem possible in a suit as bulky as it is he carefully pulled a necklace off from around his neck. It was a beautifully decorated cross made of white gold and silver inlays. With a toss the cross dropped into the dirt, and the Honour Guard started to pray.




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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   18.01.16 16:53

Vivienne returned from the kitchen with a kettle filled with boiled water, and 3 chamomile tea bags; their favourite. She placed 1 in her mug and 2 in Alex's. Gently, she poured water near to the brim, steam dancing in the air as it rose. She situated the kettle in the center of the table and settled in herself.

Suddenly, Vivienne heard the sound of a loud repetitive whirring above her home. Possibly a plane? Whatever machine or contraption was hovering above their heads, it made the sound of exhaled pressurized air. She looked at her mug and saw rings emanating from the center that pulsed outward.

"That's odd," Vivienne said. "Of all my years here, I've never heard a plane pass by. It sounded a tad close to the ground as well, wouldn't you say?


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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   18.01.16 18:30

Alexandre looked eagerly at Vivienne as she came back into the room with their tea; an extra bag for him, as always. He ignored the steam emitting from the mug and took a small sip, enjoying the way the hot liquid left a burning tingle in his throat.

He still had the mug to his lips, however, when he heard the loud noise coming from outside. It sounded like a plane, but that wasn't quite it...

With a frown, he slowly put his mug on the table and stood up to look out the window, ignoring Vivienne and her question. He lifted one of the blinds and peered through the window. The graveyard wasn't too far from Vivienne's home, but it was still difficult to make out exactly what was outside.

"Vivienne, that was no plane that landed," he said gruffly. "I have my suspicions, yet..." He frowned once more, and turned away from the window and headed to the front door. Alexandre slipped his coat on and his wool scarf, and prepared to investigate.

"Stay here, mon amie," he said, staring Vivienne down. "We don't know what is out there."




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I will destroy you, if it is the last thing I do // You've worked too hard to have your happiness destroyed
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   18.01.16 18:40

With the completion of his prayer the Honour Guard stood; a shaky sigh escaping his lips. In this very graveyard so many of his friends and family lie dead, and all he could do was pray. No amount of bloodshed can bring back the dead, nor would it stop the killing. As he stood there contemplating what to do next his eyes landed on a particularly painful memory. The gravestone of a soldier he had once known. While they were never close, he knew the sacrifice he had given. With a quick mental command and a glance to his inner helmet he knew his wife still lived. Poor woman... He could only imagine her pain...

In the midst of his glance however he saw the fresh footsteps in the snow and the path they took. Every bone in his body told him to turn around, to put on his helmet and go back to work, and leave all this behind. But that's not what he did. With his helmet tucked beneath his arm he followed the trail in hopes of meeting the wife of a hero.




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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   18.01.16 23:08

Vivienne brought her mug close to her lips and gently exhaled, cooling her beverage. Before Alex thoroughly enjoyed their tea, he stood up and peaked outside between the slit of two window blinds to investigate the ominous noise. After a brief observation, he walked across to the opposite side of the kitchen and told her to wait here.

As endearing and protective this gentleman can be, he's can be a blockhead at times. She ignored what he said and stood up to follow suit, walking towards the doorway as well.

"Mon nounours," she said firmly. "I've lived through my fair share of receiving second-hand messages. I will not have you do the same."

Moving passed him, she slipped on her coat and veil once again. She stepped into her heels and unfurled her lace umbrella.

"Try to keep up, darling."
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   18.01.16 23:33

Alexandre could only raise his eyebrows at his petite friend, but nonetheless he allowed her to come along.

"Of course, ma chaton," he rumbled, holding the door open for her. "Lead the way."

After walking out of the house, he tightened his jacket around himself, unhappy with the cold air that tried to seep through his clothes and into his skin. It was uncomfortable, moving from a warm and cozy place to the frigid outside, but what was he to do. This called for an investigation.

"We should be careful," Alexandre warned, staying close to Vivienne and walking slowly. "We don't know what's out there." His eyes shifted from left to right, and he stuffed his hands into his pockets.





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I will destroy you, if it is the last thing I do // You've worked too hard to have your happiness destroyed
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   18.01.16 23:58

Vivienne took heel and briskly walked on the off-path that led to the cemetery, with Alex trudging behind her. She scanned the skies and only found that the snowfall has become a little bit more forgiving. No trace of an engine trail or a shift in the clouds. Perhaps it wasn't a plane.

The bars of the gate met with her gloved grip and she opened it once more, making a creak that could have been loud enough to stir the spirits on the other side. They entered together.

She was as cautious as she was alert, but nothing gave her a clear indication to proceed with fear. She and Alex scanned the tombs, all ranging from elaborate to simple stones and before she knew it, they were in the vicinity of Beau's.

She saw a tall figure walking away from Beau's resting place. This thing was more than twice as tall as she was, decorated with gaudy silver and blue armor but she was not afraid. She moved a little closer in the figure's direction.

"It's a tad late to reconnect with the those who've passed, wouldn't you agree?" she said, beckoning the figure's attention.
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   19.01.16 14:05

The Honour Guard stopped as a small smile met his lips. He gave a light bow as he looked at Vivienne first,"It's never too late my dear. You must be Vivienne, I've heard about you from your husband."

With a careful step he turned his body to face Alexandre, his smile opening into a chuckle,"Didn't think I'd see you after the war." The stress did not do him any favors, but Alexandre could recognize him. The man who now stood before them as an Honour Guard was none other than Thomas Branson. He belonged to a separate squad but went through basic with you two. After the war started you guys lost contact with him, and here he stands now.

"I regret to meet you under such conditions however."




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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   19.01.16 14:53

Alexandre stepped cautiously but kept a stony expression. While Beau was very well-liked when he was alive, it wasn't often he saw others visiting his grave.

He hung back and allowed his companion to greet the stranger. He couldn't control Vivienne's actions, nor did he want to, and he trusted her completely. He did, however, keep a sturdy stance and prepared to spring into action at a moment's notice.

Alexandre faltered when the man spoke. He blinked a few times before stepping forward once, extending his large hand.

"Thomas, it's been a long time," he said, keeping his voice even and expression neutral. Although, his features softened when he thought back to Basic all those years ago. It had been years since then, but it was a time for excitement. 

"How has life treated you thus far?"




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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   19.01.16 18:37

Vivienne idly stood adjacent to these two colossal figures as they got reacquainted, twisting her umbrella on her right shoulder.

Thomas Branson, she thought. And he knew Beau?

She looked at the man's profile, not making out much of the details but he did seem familiar. While they never formally met, he made a few distinct impression that was within earshot once while she met with Beau once or twice. She couldn't imagine how he knew that she was Beau's wife. But then again, the Honour Guard had their ways.

She continued to observe the two men who, no longer than a minute ago appeared to be statues situated firmly to stare each other down, were now shaking hands and softening expressions.

She, too, awaited for his answer, wanting to know how Thomas' life has treated him since the war.

Why has he decided, of all nights, to visit Beau now, she pondered.


Last edited by Vizarra on 19.01.16 18:51; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Vivienne is, in fact, a woman, and identifies as such. Also because I'm dumb.)
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   19.01.16 21:50

"Life itself has been hard ever since I was accepted into the Guard. It's... Been a rough few days at least. Especially tonight." Thomas looked back towards the graveyard briefly before looking into his empty, armored hand. A heavy sigh escaped his lips as he shook his head,"I didn't think that Beau was dead as well. How many heroes must fall I wonder..."




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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   19.01.16 22:21

Alexandre frowned slightly and slowly lowered his arm back to his side. He nodded gravely and looked Thomas up and down. He was internally marvelling at the suit, impressed to see it in such great detail up close.

He thought about how Thomas looked, and thought that whatever life he had led thus far had not been too kind to him. He wasn't aging well. Alexandre could only hope to continue aging the way he was.

"We've been through rough times," Alexandre said, his voice a little rough. "All of us." He glanced at Vivienne when he said this before turning his gaze back to Thomas.

"As terrible as it is to say, many more will fall as long as there continues to be conflict. All we can do is contribute to the best of our abilities."




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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   20.01.16 1:04

Vivienne made a solemn nod. It would be unfair to believe that she'd had it worse than others since the war. While Beau's passing left her nearly inconsolable, at least she was looked after by her younger brother. Despite their relation, she grudgingly accepted his financial support which, admittedly, contributed to her alcoholism and other expensive habits. Gin was a more tolerable taste in her mouth than what the war left her with; or rather, what it took from her.

She withheld a shudder at the thought a darker time and maintained a soft expression.

"Time is a fickle thing, isn't it," she offered.

Even in the dark, she can feel the inner tension within the poor soul. What troubles have the Honour Guard brought this man, she wondered.

"Why has tonight been particularly rough, my dear," she ventured.
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   21.01.16 13:27

Thomas sighed,"Breaking a promise. The late wife of one of my squad mates gave me a cross to deliver to him, asked me to promise to keep him safe..."

He looked East, a light wind passing by them all,"I killed him."




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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   22.01.16 0:30

Vivienne restricted herself from gasping but couldn't refrain from slightly revealing the look of astonishment on her face. She quickly reverted back to maintain a calm facade. She steadied her breathing and laced her fingers within themselves to prevent her hands from shaking.

Her feelings of disgust and, admittedly, fear of Thomas began to take root in her mind. The Honour Guard were cold and ruthless; they weren't soldiers in a war, they were executioners of the masses. Any belief she had of there being no discrepancies have been proved wrong tonight.

She could only feel part of the pain that the late wife would have with the loss of her husband. She could hardly begin to imagine what it would be like if she found out that Beau had been killed by one of his own. She glanced at Alexandre's steely face and felt temporary peace knowing that her husband, in his last moments, was supported by such a loyal friend. She trusted him.

She knew it was best not to keep close ties with an Honour Guard, and better still not antagonize someone with that kind of power. This 12 foot figure that towered above her no longer looked like a soldier paying his respects to his fallen friends, but a butcher seeking forgiveness through empty apologies to who he once saw as live cattle. It finally clicked that perhaps he was here for another mission; the slaying of the innocent. She thought back to the boy tugging on his mother's coat earlier tonight and felt concern.

"We all must do things we aren't proud of at some point or another," Vivienne said, trying to put her feelings aside to channel her emotions from her dark years.

No longer wanting to remain in the presence of this man, she moved to Alex's side and took hold of his arm with this inside of her elbow, gently squeezing it so to silently tell him to exercise caution and prep for an exit.

"Unfortunately, I must cut things short," she said, keeping a steady tone. "As I've said, time is a fickle thing and we are running out of it."

"It was a pleasure to have met you, Monsieur Branson. But, indeed, it is quite late in the evening, and Alexandre and I have an early engagement tomorrow morning. We shall keep in touch, oui?"

She obviously didn't want to keep contact. All she wanted was to leave and let the night of her husband's death anniversary end.


Last edited by Vizarra on 25.01.16 3:26; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : misuse of wordings)
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PostSubject: Re: A Cold Encounter   24.01.16 17:54

Alexandre felt cold on the inside upon hearing Thomas’ confession, but he maintained his steely expression. He knew that we are forced to make choices in life; difficult choices, choices that we never wanted to make, and that we must deal with the consequences of those choices, no matter how painful they were. Alexandre knew that cost all too well.

He said nothing on the subject however, and simply nodded along with the brief explanation given. He had an idea how Vivienne felt, but the time for comfort would be later. When he felt the petite woman latch onto his arm, he tensed for a moment before relaxing. If his dear friend needed a rock, a rock he would be.

When she spoke, Alexandre nodded along with her and gently patted the hand clutching his arm.

“Yes, Thomas, Vivienne is right. We really must be going, unfortunately,” he added. He kept a neutral tone and expression, betraying nothing.

“In spite of the circumstances, it really was nice to see you again, Thomas. I wish you well for the future.” With that, Alexandre glanced at Vivienne and turned to walk away.




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