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11th June, night: Retribution

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11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:08 am

Bastien's grip on the prisoner's arm was firm, yet he didn't really hurt him. It seemed more a matter of making sure that the Portuguese didn't go where he wasn't supposed to go. The man - he had given his name as Rogerio José Pereira - followed willingly enough.

It wasn't the first time the lieutenant was taking him out of the hut he was imprisoned in. Since he had captured him, the man had always shown up once or twice a day, asking him questions about missing people, where they might be and what might have happened to them; but unlike his other interrogators, he had also taken him to the river to wash up, and for a brief walk, rattling on about everything and nothing, even though his guards had done their duty and already taken him for one at the regulated time.

It had taken some time before the Portuguese had realized that the lieutenant had a very personal interest in those questions. He had covered it well, but once the suspicion was there, a few cautious experiments had confirmed it. Still, the man called Pereira thought, the lieutenant might have come anyway. He had to give the French bastard that. His prisoner, his responsibility ... and enough of a fool to cling to chivalrous ideals while slaughtering people. He hadn't trusted the Portuguese, still didn't much, but Pereira had managed to slowly make him at least believe some answers.

But today something had changed, and Pereira wasn't sure whether this was for the good or the bad. Usually the lieutenant had been - not exactly friendly, but with a slightly cynical compassion. But yesterday he had only briefly looked in at breakfast, more to make sure that everything was alright, and hadn't appeared at his usual time in the evening. And now he looked positively grim and hadn't asked a single question yet or said anything besides: "Come along. I want to show you something."

He guided the man to a tent, then stopped before pulling the canvas aside.

"I want you to see what some on your side do to prisoners."

With a small shove to his back, he propelled the Portuguese inside, where a low-burning lamp illuminated the outlines of a man laying on a cot, sleeping.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Allhands on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:30 am

Rogerio stumbled into the tent and steadied himself once he was a couple of steps away from the man lying motionless on a cot. At first he thought that the man was dead and that this was the way the French would mourn if their officers died.

He was to claim innocence and ignorance of it again, when something caught his eye. The figure looked familiar somehow. "...I have seen." He began, still speaking mostly in Portuguese, struggling with the language of his enemy, in part because of his hate towards them and in part of his lack of learning.

He was about to open his mouth again, saying that he could not judge the work of men, he did not even know were strictly Portuguese. He could claim it was the Spanish who had tagged after the French when they entered Portugal, or he would just keep his mouth shut, knowing how dangerous his situation would be if witnesses were discovered.

Something, perhaps a sick bit of curiosity made him move closer, to see if he was right. There was an eye missing. The other was slowly opening, only now perhaps aware that someone was inside of his tent. Too late to pull back. The one eye locked on his face.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:39 am

His sleep was by no means peaceful, but the voices outside came closer and what he had tried to discern as a dream, had seemed persistent and contradictory to what he saw behind the closed lids. He recognised Bastien's voice and wanted to wake, to greet the man before he would think he was still asleep and leave to come another time. He opened his eye, joyous at his friend's arrival even if his head was still throbbing with pain.

But then, just as he expected the face of Bastien, sensing that there was a body leaning closer. "Bas.."He began, then his expression changed. From happy into panicked, shocked, bemused. His eye widened and his breathing increased to the speed of rapid gasps for air. He shoved himself backward even at the cost of his injuries encountering solid ground. "Non!" He exclaimed harshly as a hand came upwards defensively. He was terrified. How could this man had come into his tent? Had he been dreaming? Was he really , actually still with the Portuguese? "NON!" He spoke, his voice trembling as he backed himself against the tent's wall, having picked himself from the floor without ever noticing. He did not see Bastien behind the man, just that face, jsut him!
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:38 am

Bastien hauled the Portuguese out of the way by his arm, not caring much what he might do to him, and pushed him in a corner of the tent, then, with hands raised, he cautiously approached Etienne, trying to touch him, to reassure him.

"Etienne! Etienne, what is it?"

Suddenly suspicion sparked, and he looked at the Portuguese with hard eyes.

"Do you know him, Etienne?"

His voice was very quiet, pleasant, but to admire it was like admiring the nice glow of the flame on a powder fuse.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:46 am

Saint-Hilaire was not aware that everything had gone blurry because there were tears on his face. He blinked several times, backing away from Bastien. He stared at the man in the corner, then backed himself into one corner of the tent, seeing no way that he could cross to the next fast enough to pass the other man.

His mind was yelling at him to snap out of it, that this other man was Prayon, his friend. That it was not another Portuguese and that he did not work with them to take him back. But he was terrified and so he be slumped into the corner raising his hands infront of him. He felt the pain when he sat himself down and the one of the tent's cover pressing against his back, but he ignored it, drawing his legs closer to his chest , trying to make himself as small as possible.

It took him a few moments before he slowly nodded. "Don't ..." he started. ".....Bas...bastien..?" It was a voice filled with emotion, with a mixture of shame and fright. His eye showed that he was uncertain which of the two was now real, Bastien or that man.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Allhands on Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:49 am

Rogerio was not stupid. He knew that his life was in danger. He also knew that if he tried to escape now, he had a slight chance of it. The officer was distracted, yes, but there would be many French soldiers outside, of whom most if not all would be awake.

His flight would be stopped quickly. "He must be mistaken." He tried in terrible French that was more a conglomerat of Portuguese trying to be accented in a different way. He turned to the door. If he could try and flee now, there was still a chance. And then he made a move for it.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:36 am

"You bastard!"

He couldn't know for sure yet, could he? So the cry of fury the French lieutenant uttered when he launched himself at the Portuguese was most likely fuelled by guilt; guilt that he had subjected his friend to this, frustration, because he couldn't hand him the key out of the hell of his mind just now, and maybe even a feeling of betrayal for having his grand moment of showing a Portuguese just how bad his side was taken from him.

It didn't matter; he pounced like a panther. Bastien had drawn no weapons. Did this mean he didn't want to kill or that he wanted to take his prisoner apart with his hands alone?
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Allhands on Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:55 am

Rogerio pushed himself forward with the intention of bursting through the tent and then make a run for it. He did not know how much Prayon knew, or how much he would care to find out or be lied about to. He only knew that the man was in a mindless rage from which he could not wake him.

"Lieutenant!" He yelled after being tackled to the ground and oomphing at the contact with the hard floors." Stop! Off! He's mad. don't you see he's mad?!" all in Portuguese of course, but he prayed the man would understand and believe him.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:03 am

Bastien cursed, some in French, some in German, and none of it very coherent anyway. He did not kill the man just yet, however. Instead he held him painfully to the ground, immobilizing him with his own weight. Over his shoulder, his eyes sought Etienne's. In a concerned, comforting voice, he asked:

"Etienne, are you alright? He won't come near you again. I won't let him."

Just as he had finished speaking, the tentflap was lifted, the head of a sturdy individual poked through, and Bastien looked up at him, eyes still blown wide with rage, his body coiling to pounce again, should this be another threat.

"Messieurs ... is everything alright?", Sergeant Fernet quietly inquired, unfazed, his eyes carefully checking over Etienne before fixing on the Portuguese.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:44 pm

The young French officer had enough time to try and bring his mind in some semblance of order and control. His initial thought was still flight, but as the immediate danger was gone, he settled in his corner, observing the struggle between the Portuguese man and his friend. He looked dazed, as if not exactly aware what was going on.

When the flap shifted, his head snapped in the direction of it, and he shifted ready to defend himself, when his eye settled on the face of Fernet. He stared at him for a few moments, not recognising him, but then the colour and cut of his uniform sunk in, then the face was studied again and he began to straighten.

His gaze shifted to Bastien again, and he nearly flinched again as he saw that face of the man underneath the officer. His answer was shaky: "..it is... thank you sergeant. Will.. "He cleared his throat with some effort. "Will you be so kind as to send someone to ring us drink.." He averted his gaze back to Bastien, keeping his gaze level, and away from the man beneath him, this time.

".. I am alright.. Lieutenant Prayon." He lied, forcing a smile, a show more for the sergeant, than his friend.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:24 am

The sergeant looked once more at both officers and the Portuguese, the replied stoically:

"Certainly, sir. I'll see to it myself."

He very correctly took his leave and turned to go.

Bastien blinked several times, then took a deep breath. He had to try twice, but when he called the sergeant back, his voice was steady and light again.

"Fernet, be a good guy and have four men escort this ... man back to prison. Double caution. I think I greatly want to find him there still should I decide to continue this little conversation."

Fernet's eyes opened a bit at this, but he withheld comment or even any obvious reaction. He gave an abreviated salute and leaved as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happend.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:38 am

Saint-Hilaire stood back, observing the man who had stopped struggling and was now looking rather relieved. He would live for a little while longer still. He did not want Saint-Hilaire to speak to this man, however. If he learned of things, he was a sure dead man.

His eyes halted on the one that was his enemy's. There was a look of warning in them, a threat. When Rogerio averted his gaze, he was patiently awaiting his escort.

"...Bastien. It is..nothing. You've just startled me when I woke up." The voice was so solemn, so quiet that it was hard to understand the man who spoke the words. "I am sorry I've ..scared you."
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:32 am

Bastien leaned with his hips negligently against the small table; his pose would have been a bit more convincing if his feet weren't placed to start off quickly if necessary and his eyes not quite so hard, but it wasn't too bad.

He studied the nails of one hand that had gone quite dirty by his tussle with the Portuguese, brushed it on his coat, then smiled.

"Oh, no need to apologize ... After all it led to a very enjoyable little bit of exercise. But as that is now over ... Let's wait until your unwanted guest has been escorted back to his own quarters, and then see whether I can find something to apologize for waking you up so rudely; I imagine I have seen some rather good wine circulating in camp. Minor blackmailing should produce a bottle or two. As for him ... he needn't concern you. I'll make quite sure that he never comes near you again."

He didn't look at the Portuguese. His words were a simple promise. Not even a threat, but a simple statement of fact. Whatever had possessed him before, was well under lid and cover again.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:07 pm

"I want you to.... I would like if you could stay here." Somehow, Saint-Hilaire, in his present state, believed that if Bastien would leave, even if he meant to only get the wine, the Portuguese prisoner would be able to come back and then he feared that he would not react the way he should and defend himself but freeze. He had frozen when first seeing him and curled up in the corner and he was feeling rather ashamed of it now.

Memories, he had hoped gone, were too fresh even if his injuries were slowly abandoning their plight to make his life uncomfortable. "It.. it does not matter that.." He hesitated again. "I should have been up any way..you were not rude." He smiled faintly. He saw the Portuguese prisoner watching him and he flinched subconsciously. Then his eyes were on Bastien again and while tense, he felt safe. "How did you find him? What about the others?"
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:55 am

"He tried to make life uncomfortable for us by leading us into a swamp, further aggravated me by hurting some of the men - or rather, his men did, mostly - and became a general burden to humankind and to Morel and Russeau in particular when we took him home instead of simply killing him. I guess they all think I have finally gone completely mad now ... At the moment I'm inclined to agree."

His voice was still light, relaying the story with his usual aplomb, but his eyes spoke a different language. He kept them away from Etienne, but whenever they fell on the Protuguese, their message was quite clear:

I may be mad, but I'm very glad we took you. Because a quick and silent knife would have been much too kind for you.
--
Outside, somebody cleared demonstratively his throat. It appeared the requested escort was here, but did not dare to enter without explicit invitation.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:20 am

"Why did you take him with you?" Saint-Hilaire had almost wished he had not. Though he would perhaps have been robbed of the chance for revenge, the memory was far too fresh for him at the moment, to bear seeing him so close.

The man gulped when he saw the look that Bastien was giving him. It was beyond clear to him that being taken away did not mean he was safe, it only meant that his suffering would be postponed to a later time.

Saint-Hilaire watched him now too, quiet, no longer trembling, though he still held a fair distance between himself and the Portuguese.

Then he slowly moved forward. His hands were balled into fists. The man was on the floor, he was not going to hurt him. As if in a daze, the sous-lieutenant walked towards their prisoner, not even hearing the sounds from outside.

Before he was even aware of what he had done, he was upon the man, his fists beating against what they could reach.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:38 am

Bastien had opened his mouth to answer, had even gotten to say 'you were still ...', but then his voice trailed off; he looked at Etienne's back uneasily, but only when Etienne started to lash out did whatever spell that held him motionless break. He leaped to his friend, wrapped his arms around him and pulled him away in a half circle. He didn't seem to mind Etienne's fists, not taking the slightest precautions against them; instead, he held the other man close and steady against him, trying to keep him from bumping into things and reopening his wounds. He also quite deliberately brought his own body between Etienne and his opponent, though whether this was to protect one or the other or simply break the line of sight between the two was anyone's guess.
---

Outside, once again a throat was cleared, then a voice spoke up hesitanly: "Uhm, Sirs, do you need help?"
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:09 pm

Saint-Hilaire had delivered a couple of punches before he was even aware that he was no longer laying it on the Portuguese man, but that he was held by his friend. "Let me go." He ordered feebly. He tried to pull away, but lacked the strength and perhaps ever the mental want to do so.

He could no longer see the Portuguese man. Perhaps it would have been better that he had been able to. He was shivering, while his forehead was rested against Bastien's chest.

It was the moment of distraction that Rogerio was waiting for. He moved as silently as the likes of him had done, when moving through the reeds, or following after French stragglers. He saw the weapon. He had noticed it earlier, when he was being taken to the tent, but he thought he would have no chance at getting his hands on it. Now however the lieutenant was distracted by consoling his fellow officer. Rogerio had not known that the emotions that he stirred in his enemy would ever have come to be so useful.

He pulled at the sword with a sharp yank. He only needed one hostage. The weaker of the two was a logical choice. So he could well get rid of the second one. This lead his next motion, a slash aimed at Prayon, intent to deal him a fatal blow. And if that did not work, there was still threatening he was rather skilled at.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:22 am

Perhaps it was pure instinct, perhaps sound or a stir in the air, but before the blade could fully connect, Bastien ducked away, and instead of killing him, the vicious stab connected with his side, glanced off a rib and left only a bone-deep, ragged wound.

Bastien instinctively pushed Etienne away from him onto the bed. He nearly doubled over in pain, but he still was firmly between the Portuguese and his friend, and his fighting instincts were kicking in and making him try to trap the man's hand under his elbow.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:20 am

Étienne gasped when the world suddenly whirled around him and he found himself landing soundly on the cot, grunting as his ribs hit the wooden frame.

Rogerio knew that his best bet now was to get to Saint-Hilaire. He could of course try to defeat Prayon and kill him. But it would take time, and then he could have shouted for help and then the whole of the camp would be upon him. He shoved against the lieutenant, making sure that whenever he attacked, he was getting closer to the injured officer. He slashed at Bastien's belly, then aimed next at his leg and thigh, making another step in the right direction.

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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:53 am

Bastien fought like a tiger, abandoning his own protection in favour of hurting his enemy. His aim seemed clear: To prevent the Portuguese from getting even one bit closer to Etienne. His uniform was slashed in several places, and was getting dark from blood, but either by luck or adrenaline he was still on his feet.

"Etienne! Pistol!", he gasped, trying at the same time to duck another slash and pull a long, business-like looking knife from his boot.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:28 pm

Rogerio saw Prayon reach for his knife and had to act fast. He took hold of one of the chairs, that were left off from when the two had enjoyed dinner. He half threw half shoved it at the French lieutenant, aiming for his wounded part and then made a dive for the scrambling sous-lieutenant who was trying to get to the pistol that he had seen just out of his range.

"Halt, or I kill him!" He said even before he was absolutely sure of his success. It was more a prewarning, hoping that it would make Bastien hesitate just long enough that he would get hold of the wounded man. Well, there were two wounded now.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:17 am

Bastien roared half in fury, half in pain, and launched himself at Etienne's attacker. There wasn't so much he could do, but perhaps the weight of his impact would be enough to throw the other off his aim.
---
Finally somebody outside decided that it was time to interfere with whatever was happening inside. The cloth was pulled away and four soldiers stumbled in, blinking and trying to decide what to do. After a second, they made to grab the Portuguese, too.
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Allhands on Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:01 am

The Portuguese man felt weight on his shoulder pulling him sideways. He grabbed and just managed to get hold of the sous-lieutenant. He pulled him towards himself as all three landed on the floor, the sous-lieutenant the one who hit the ground first. Rogerio scrambled forward and pressed the blade half way under Saint-Hilaire's chin hissing a loud.

"Off, or he is dead!"
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

Post  Bastien Prayon on Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:31 am

"Stand down!"

Bastien's voice was cold and forceful. He picked himself slowly up from the men who had cushioned his fall, then took a step back, his hands stretched out by his side to show that he was no longer armed. The left side of his uniform was dark and glistening, and where he had tackled the Portuguese the other man's coat now also showed a large dark stain. He had bitten back a curse on impact, but now he ignored the pain he must feel again. Instead he spoke calmly and utterly reasonably:

"Let him go, Rogiero! If you try to leave this tent with him, you will be dead."

He kept his eyes drilled into the man's eyes, never once allowing them to stray to Etienne.

---

The French soldiers had been ready to attack, but now they backed down, standing huddled together at the entrance. They had their muskets half raised, but on Bastien's command they slowly set them down again, their hate of the prisoner waring with their unwillingness to make this situation worse. The one at the back whispered something very quietly, then slowly started to slip out of the tent again.
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Bastien Prayon
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Re: 11th June, night: Retribution

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