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Oporto at Headquarters.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:06 am

The candle flickered as he breathed out tiredly. The letters were blurring now. But at least all this, useless perhaps, work was keeping his mind off other things. The longer he could keep up the 'dutiful, resigned to his fate ADC' facade, the quicker the suspicions would settle down. Besides, having in fact truly resigned to being an ADC not a fighting officer, George felt that he might as well make the most of it. He laid aside the bundle of invitations from some prominent citizens of the city that arrived too late to bother the General with today.

He swore softly, seeing that ink had run on one of the document copies he'd made and took a clean sheet of paper. Boring and mind-numbing was this work, and perhaps it was for the best.

Around, the building was practically silent, and he suspected everyone had already retired to bed.
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:19 am

The door opened. "Oh I'm sorry sir," Thornton said. "Didn't know anyone was awake in here. Didn't want any candles to burn the place down. Good night, sir."

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:23 am

'Ah, it's alright, Thornton. I thought everyone was asleep already.'
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:28 am

"I think most everyone is, sir." The captain looked tired, very tired, much the same as everyone else. "Would you like some coffee, sir? It stimulates the brain, coffee does. If you're going to be working, that is, sir."

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:30 am

'Coffee? Yes, that would be very welcome. Though I suppose, it would be better if I went to sleep. Can't sleep though, so might as well work.' Hunter prattled on absent-mindedly then seemed to snap back to the reality. 'Yes, coffee would be good, if it's not too much trouble.'
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:42 am

"Can't sleep, sir? Perhaps some hot milk would help. Or I can make a pot of chocolate, if you like." Thornton was rather proud of the chocolate that he had managed to procure in the afternoon.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:45 am

'No, no, it's fine, thank you. Just some coffee, then not only I'll be unable to, I'll stop wanting to sleep. It's funny, isn't it, how one might want to sleep but is not able to. I think I'm not used to spending so much time cooped up in a building, that what's affecting my sleep.' He sighed. 'Coffee is fine.'
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:59 am

Thornton smiled at that, thinking of the captain sleeping outside next to his horse like it was an enormous dog. "Coffee it is, sir," he answered, making his exit.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:25 am

'Thank you.' Called Hunter after Thornton and stood up to stretch his legs.
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:50 am

Thornton brought the coffee pot on a tray along with a cup that he had already poured, adding cream and a touch of young cognac that he had liberated from the cellars. "Here you are, sir. This should set you up nicely I think," he said, setting the cup down in front of Hunter.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:52 am

George glanced gratefully at the man, picked up the coffee cup and gulped the coffee down, nearly scalding his tongue. There was a peculiar, unfamiliar taste to it, and a horrible suspicion came into his mind. He felt the sweat breaking out on his skin.

'Thornton, what did you put into the coffee?'
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:56 am

Thornton grinned. "Just a bit of a French souvenir, sir. Cognac. There's more in the cellar, lots more, sir, and older too. Wouldn't want to waste it by putting in coffee though. Would you like a glass, sir?"

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:59 am

Hunter swore. He felt it now, could imagine the poison of the alcohol swirling through his veins. The sweat became cold and he knew what would happened then. It happened once before, and though he suspected all the symptoms came from his mind rather than body, the effects were undeniable. He staggered to the window, threw it open and collapsing over the windowsill vomited. His muscles quivered and he retched again.
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:02 am

Thornton stared in surprise. "Are you all right sir?" he cried, although the answer was obvious.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:04 am

George waited for the shivers to recede, and finally satisfied that he was not going to vomit again, straightened feeling a little wobbly.
'Don't you ever do it again.' He told Thornton coldly.
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:06 am

"No, sir," he replied, aghast. "I'm very sorry sir. Most of the officers - I apologize sir. Let me get you some water."

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:37 am

'Yes, just don't add anything to it.' George slid into a chair close by the open window, and rubbed his face, slumping forward. His skin was covered in beads of cold sweat and he felt shaky, but it would pass soon.
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:37 am

Thornton returned in a moment with a carafe of water and poured some of it into a glass. He set it in front of the captain wordlessly and then crossed the room to close the window. It was too dark to see outside, but that would have to be someone else's problem.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:39 am

'Wait. Don't close it.' George rinsed his mouth with water and got up to spit out of the window. 'Sorry.' He grimaced at his own behaviour.
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:42 am

"Quite all right, sir," Thornton answered. He paused and tentatively made his suggestion. "Perhaps you ought to sleep, after all."

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:45 am

'No, it'll be harder now. I feel...' He fell silent, thinking about something. 'Are you going to sleep now?'
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:49 am

"That was my intention - unless there is something else I can get for you. Would some tea settle your stomach?" He did not like to leave the captain alone in this strange state. He had never before seen a man so affected by a little cognac.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:54 am

He looked outside into the darkness, seemingly trying to decide on something, then as if something snapped in him, he turned to Thornton.
'Yes, if it's not too much trouble. I am sorry you wasted time with the coffee. But as long as there'll be no more secret ingredients, tea will be very welcome.'
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Post  sans nom Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:56 am

"Of course, sir." He had been brewing a pot of tea for himself, but he could always make another.

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Post  Guest Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:59 am

'Thank you, Thornton.' He smiled wryly. 'You keep that cognac for the General. I am sure he is in a better position to appreciate it.'
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