Letters from Chimera

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Letters from Chimera

Post by Lyonesse on Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:18 am

Paris was not a safe place for Julien Mercier to be, and he knew it. Every few blocks he tugged at his hat or the upturned collar of his greatcoat, pulling them to hide as much of his face as he thought he could get away with without making himself look suspicious. He’d been arrested by the police and the SS during the war and had no desire to experience their hospitality again. There were also older enemies and rivals of his lurking throughout the city. Paris was indeed a dangerous place for Julien, and he’d actively avoided it since the end of the war, but then he’d received an invitation he couldn’t ignore, despite its ridiculousness.

The letter in question was hidden behind the lining in Julien’s coat, and he could swear he felt its weight as if the paper were made of lead, growing heavier with every step as he approached the address given in the letter. The first time he’d read the letter when it had been delivered to him in Marseille two weeks ago he hadn’t believed it was real. A letter that claimed to be from the Chimera, a world famous spy and explorer, asking Julien to come to Paris and—of all the preposterous things—help save the world.

If the whole thing hadn’t been so utterly absurd he would have suspected it was a trap, but none of his enemies had that much imagination, and they certainly wouldn’t have appealed to him of all people to save the world. After dismissing the idea of a trap he had tried to pass it off as some sort of bizarre prank, but even that rang false when the details of the letter confronted him. It described the details of Julien’s rescue from the SS in detail. Julien’s own memories of the event were blurred at best given the state he’d been in, but what he did remember matched up with the letter’s claims that Chimera had played a part in his escape. Julien was too suspicious by nature to completely accept the claims at face value, but at the same time, if they were true…

Julien had never been one to leave his debts unpaid. And so he had returned to Paris and come to the address where Chimera had asked him to be on the twelfth of November.

He stopped across the street from a very ordinary looking house in a row of ordinary looking houses. It was in a good upper-middleclass neighborhood—very different from the one Julien had grown up in. He glared at the house, trying to find something suspicious about it, something that would mark it as the lair of someone with Chimera’s reputation.

The front door of the next house over opened and a prim looking woman stepped out holding the hand of a young child. She gave Julien a suspicious glance and made sure to lock the door behind her as she left. With his well-traveled clothing and his fedora pulled low over his brow he did not look like he belonged in this neighborhood, and standing around, staring at one of the houses was hardly going to make him seem less suspect. Steeling himself, he approached the door of the ordinary-looking house and rang the bell.

Several seconds passed and with each Julien’s desire to turn tail and leave grew, but he remained rooted on the spot until the door was pulled open by a plump, grandmotherly woman. “Guten Tagg, mein Herr,” she greeted him, stumbling over the German words. Like almost all of Paris she was trying though, trying to please the Germans. The collaborationist government might have fallen in Vichy before the Allied Forces retreated out of France, but that had only left things open for the Reich to assert itself even more into the French territories it was granted in the peace accords, and assert they had. The streets of Paris were positively teeming with Germans, soldiers and SS as well as a new influx of civilians on business or holiday.

Julien returned her greeting in French and the woman gave a relieved sigh. “You must be one of Monsieur Durant’s guests. Come in, come in!” she took Julien’s hand and pulled him inside fast enough to make him stumble as he crossed the threshold.

Inside the house looked just as normal as outside. The woman, who explained that she was the housekeeper for “Monsieur Durant,” which she slyly admitted she knew was not his real name, nor was the man actually French, but he paid her well to take care of the house and had for nearly ten years. She led Julien into a room that seemed to be part sitting room and part library. The center of the room was crowded with small couches and overstuffed chairs, but except for the windows and the door, the walls were lined with shelves of books from floor to ceiling. The room was also empty of people.

“Where is Monsieur Durant?” Julien asked. An inkling of paranoia was beginning to creep up his spine.

The housekeeper tutted. “He’s not back yet, you’re early. The others haven’t arrived either.”

That caught Julien off guard. Others? The letter hadn’t said anything else about other people. But of course there would be others, was he supposed to save the world by himself? Julien thought sardonically. The housekeeper bustled out of the room, promising to return with coffee and something to eat, taking Julien’s hat and greatcoat with her.

Alone and ill at ease, Julien wandered through the room, glancing at the books lining the shelves. They were an odd mix, modern fiction, to histories, sciences, mathematics, and anything in between. There seemed to be an extraordinary amount of atlases though. Julien pulled one off the shelf and opened it at random. It was a map of South America, but someone had marked a red circle around a small section of what appeared to be open ocean near the southern tip of the continent. Curious…

Julien’s musings were cut short though, but the ring of the doorbell echoing through the house.

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Re: Letters from Chimera

Post by quakernuts on Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:26 am

Anton wandered through the streets of Paris, doing his best to look like just another German, which was easy considering the number of similarities between their people. He kept his head down, and nodded to people as they made eye contact, but didn't dare speak a word. Any of these people could be the Gestapo, and he had no intention of ending up in one of their so called 'prisons'. He would die before he allowed himself to be caught by those roo gaat yelst ve. He subconsciously tugged on his backpack, hoping to hell that no one would really ask what was in it. He had already made the excuse that he was a student, and that these were his books. What was actually stored in there would get him more than prison here in the Fascist Reich, it would get him shot on the spot. So he pulled his ball cap lower over his face, and tugged his black jacket collar up just a slight bit. He had the look of a student, but he didn't have the necessary knowledge to pass for one if asked. It was sort of an impromptu thing, him being here, and the only reason he was, was because of a stupid letter.

Now normally he would have tossed this certain letter out the moment he saw it, considering he didn't get to read it until about a week after he went MIA. The only reason he didn't though was because this 'Chimera' went into extreme detail about his time during the war, and even that including his escape, which was impossible because the date on the letter was actually a day before that happened. Nothing made sense, but Anton was here to find out why that was. As he approached the street with the address on it, he had to say he was disappointed.

The way this letter came into his possession, and what was written on it, he expected a mansion overlooking a cliff with constant thunderstorms cascading off the rocky walls and a vampire on the inside sleeping in a coffin with his hunchback sidekick playing a mean organ. Instead, what he got was the most ordinary of houses that had the number listed in the letter. As Anton continued to look at it, trying to discern any possible ambush or traps, he couldn't help but feel paranoid. Jasper were sneaky, and they didn't like to lose, just like every other Russian. Seeing as by the third time he had circled the house there was nothing, he continued up to the door, and rang the doorbell.

When a prim and proper woman answered the door, the first thought that ran through Anton's mind was that he had the wrong house. When she stepped out and closed the door though, he lost the option to quickly apologize and move on. "Guten Tagg mein Herr." She managed to pronounce, although the French accent was strong. That right there was a clear indication she was not with the SS or Gestapo, as they would never accept someone who was not with the Reich into their group. However, he still had no idea what she meant. He paused for a second as an awkward moment passed between them. Anton finally got enough courage to say something.

"...Da?" Was all he managed to get out, feeling enough to say that in Russian. She seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, and ushered Anton to follow her.

"Do you understand English?" She asked in nearly flawless English.

"Understand, can't speak well." Anton managed to get out as she led him back into the house. She led him into a room, explaining along the way a couple of things. He didn't catch all of them as she took his ball cap and jacket, and it seemed like she disappeared before he was able to ask any questions. When he looked around, he was in a room filled with books, chairs, and a sole occupant. They stared at each other for a moment, neither one saying anything. The man didn't have the look of a German, even though it was obvious through his build he was at least in good enough shape to be a soldier. Anton decided to simply throw caution out the window. He remembered his Tokarev TT-33 hidden underneath his shirt and along his hip. It was there if he needed it, and he had enough practice that pulling it out even from underneath his shirt to fire would take a lot less time than the man would be anticipating.

"Lot of k neeg a, da?" Anton asked as he casually made his way to a seat, placing his backpack directly beside him. His speech often going back and forth between English and Russian if he wasn't speaking his native language. He took his seat opposite of the man, and gave a small smile towards the man. "Anton." He said, pointing to himself. "You?"

(*roo gaat yelst ve. = Swearing, cursing, etc.)
(*da = yes)
(*k neeg a = books)

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Re: Letters from Chimera

Post by Digital Muse on Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:02 pm

A small, neatly tailored Englishman sat in his private compartment on the train that would take him from the Cross-Channel ferry to Paris. The dark leather seats were soft and comfortable from age. His small case was stowed in the rack above his head and a gangly-legged Great Dane pup named Odysseus was fogging the glass as he panted and watched the countryside roll by. Lord Archibald Merton Ulysses Dalmonte took a pipe out of a pocket of his tweed suit coat and began the mind-clearing routine of scrapping it clean. While his hands are occupied with this almost meditative task, Lord Dalmonte ruminated on the odd letter he'd received 3 weeks earlier. A call to action, so to speak, the letter had invited the some time scholar and explorer to discuss a once in a lifetime expedition. While there had been little or no detail provided, Lord Dalmonte (Archie to his friends), wasn't entirely surprised. Competition among scholars, dealers in antiquities and even governments all vying for the latest discovery with it's accompanying wealth and fame was the norm rather than the exception.

His nimble, slender fingers pack fresh tobacco down into his pipe without the need for his mind to be engaged in the process. The slow wagging of Odysseus' tail accompanied the click-clack of the rail car wheels as they passed over the ties. Archie struck a match and puffed his pipe into life, adding a sweet tobacco scent to the compartment. After flicking the match out, he reached out to absently scratch Odysseus' velvet ear. "Excited, are you, my lad?"

A quickening of the Great Dane's tail wag answered him.

"I quite agree. Very astute of you." Archie said approvingly. "Good to be doing something and yet best to be a bit cautious, what?" Archie looked out onto the rain-soaked countryside with it's low dark clouds before reaching into his breast pocket to retrieve the letter he'd received to reread for the 100th time. "Something damned fishy about all this. This...Chimera fellow..." He murmurs to himself. "Couldn't get a straight answer about the blighter. Everyone's heard of him, but no one's had a first hand account of him. Perhaps he's just a ruse, eh?"

Odysseus just cocked his massive head at the small man. He'd become used to his owner's penchant for thinking aloud.

Disembarking at the Paris station had proved a test in patience when German-back French soldiers inspected every one of Archie's trunks, minutely examined his papers, and confiscated his best Brandy. It was only when they threatened to quarantine Odysseus and take his Mother's silver tea service that the dapper little Englishman became truly irritated. It was only after his willingness to call on his family who were well placed in the old-boy establishment of the Parliament and hunt clubs along with Odysseus' deep-throated growl that they were permitted to be on their way. An hour and two cabs rides later, one to deliver his luggage to his hotel and the second to take him to the address in the letter, brought Lord Dalmonte and Odysseus to a well-maintained house on an unassuming street.

Archie stood before the door for a moment, tapping the bottom of his silver topped walking stick on the cobblestone street in indecision. Odysseus sniffed the air about the door, evidently approving of something on the opposite side of the rich, polished wood. Finally making a decision, Archie lifted his cane and rapped smartly on the door. "Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, eh, Odysseus?" If he had any misgivings, they were quite buried by the prospect of a new adventure.

A scant few minutes later a middle-aged woman in a crisp, clean apron over her neat clothes answered the door. She smiled and greeted him, though her eyes grew large when she was roughly pushed aside by Odysseus. "Oh. I see you're another of Monsieur Durant's guests. I..." She looked back into the house where Odysseus had disappeared with some concern. "Please come in, I'll have some tea for you."

Archie, doffed his hat at the woman, slightly pink-cheeked by the poor manners Odysseus displayed. "Oh, I say, I am terribly sorry. He's a pup yet. No restraint, really." Entering the house, he handed the woman his overcoat, hat and walking stick, letting her lead him into a room that instantly felt warm and welcoming to him. Books lined most of the walls to the ceiling. He saw, to his dismay that Odysseus had leapt onto a large chaise and made himself quite at home. "Get down you great daft beast." Archie scolded affectionately. He was ignored. Sighing, Archie looked about, surprised to see two younger men already in residence. One, a rather grim young man and the other with a Slavic look about him. "Oh, do forgive me. I didn't see you." Archie immediately introduced himself with a smile, "Lord Archibald Dalmonte, at your service. It is a pleasure to meet you."
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Re: Letters from Chimera

Post by Guilty Carrion on Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:26 am

She had been in Paris for all of a day, and she had come to the conclusion that, whilst the scenery was lovely and the true locals were friendly and kind, it didn’t make up for the Germans. The Reich’s occupation of France was unpleasant enough, but the way the Nazi’s were watching her as she passed made her furiously uncomfortable. Some twisted mix of attraction and disgust, Evelyn had gathered from the few times she’d been bold enough to make eye contact. She inwardly smirked. Sorry I don’t meet your tastes, gentlemen. It kept them from harassing her, so Evelyn was content. For now. The sooner she was out of this Kraut-infested city, the better.

Rounding a corner, the young woman flashed a brief smile of joy at the road sign, before settling back into the composed air that she had forced herself to wear since she had come to Paris. It was difficult to admit, but she missed the blazing sun and bustling markets of Cairo. Still, if the letter was correct, and not some sick prank by some deranged Frenchmen, then when she returned to Cairo, she’d be basking in enough wealth and fame to live like the Queen of England for the rest of her natural life! Slowing to a stop, her light brown eyes stared up at the doorway, the short distance suddenly growing by leaps and bounds.

Gazing up the steps to the humble abode, Evelyn pondered the steps that had brought her to this unknown dwelling of an enigmatic man in a foreign country to which she’d never been. Looking back, it wasn’t, in all honesty, her brightest of moments. It practically screamed trap, with bright flashing lights and a 21 gun salute. How many Krauts could be lurking on the other side of that door, waiting to jump her and do Lord know what? It sent a chill down her spine, and she took a hesitant step back.

It was a risk. A big one at that. But had she not made her living on gambles these past years? Careful gambles, against traps, and the occasional rival treasure hunter, but never Germans. The payoff though…and she was already here, wasn’t she? Had she crossed the Caribbean just to run away mere steps from the beginning of her own story? No.

With a fire in her step, Eve swiftly climbed the steps, and promptly rang the door bell. ..But what if it IS Germans? It was a little late for that, as the door opened to reveal rather plump housekeeper. The woman reminded her of the pictures of her grandmother back in Canada, with that same tender aura that put her at ease. Definitely not Germans. Which meant the letter was at worst a stupid prank.

Clearing her throat in preparation, Eve spoke in with her best French. “Bonjour. Je suis mlle Evelyn Goins, je suis ici pour voir Mister Chimère..?” The woman smiled at her, and ushered her inside without delay.

“You’re the last to arrive, Miss Goins. The others are waiting in the study.” She took Evelyn’s long scarf without another word, and showed her to the room where the others were staying. Three men occupied the room, and she greeted them all with a light wave and soft smile. No need to really give anything away this early in the game, now was there?

“Hello, Gentlemen. Miss Evelyn Goins.” She took one of the chairs scattered throughout the room, sparing a glance to the large dog happily occupying one. Cute. She slowly, posture straight and elegant, crossing her legs with a smile to the men. “I hope you haven’t been waiting long.
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Re: Letters from Chimera

Post by HawktheThird on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:47 pm

In theory, these were her people.

The papers in her bag and her pocket attested to this, labeling her as an honorable German woman, a fellow Reich member, a comrade (as the Soviets said), in a noble struggle to regain their position as Earth’s dominant race. The Greater Reich had secured itself a vicegrip on a portion the world, and for the time being, no one was close to breaking this hold. Outside of the train station, she lit a cigarette, and graciously accepted gaseous nicotine into her lungs. The warmth of the smoke helped combat the slight chill, but she still found herself unthinkingly tugging at the edges over her overcoat, receding into the folds of her woolen scarf. The inside of her jacket had been lined with thick brown fur, a gift from her eldest brother, symbolizing what he had believed would be imminent victory over Russia. To him, it seemed fitting that his sister wear the bear, that the German people advertise their superiority at every available turn. After all, it was just a mindless animal. Dirt, compared to the value of an Aryan woman.

The officers around her would have agreed with her brother’s sentiment, had they not been busy gawking at a foreign type with sun kissed skin, out of place in France, particularly in its current, Reich-y state. She joined them in staring, but her leer had arisen from reasons far removed from a base desire for genital-genital contact with the woman, or xenophobic contempt. Leandra was struck with a certain, almost crippling bout of curiosity; she was cursed with an obsession with other ethnicities and their cultures, but doomed to being eternally submerged by arrogance and bias of the worst kind. The Fascist kind. There was no worse setting for an amateur anthropologist.

These were not her people.

When the dark woman had passed, Leandra began to walk, shouldering a black canvas backpack, a glossy black case nearly as long as her own body, and a briefcase of dark brown leather. Her boots clacked loudly on the stone of French walkways, signaling her approach to anyone within earshot. She was plain-faced, not ugly, but not particularly beautiful, and although hygiene and appearance were important to her, she didn’t desire to be. Her demeanor won her enough attention; she constantly navigated environments with a jaguar’s predatory grace, perpetually at ease, and intimidated by very little. Her hair was as black as France’s nighttime countryside skies, stained such a color from dyes she’d brewed herself. Anyone watching would notice her subtle habit of turning her head to the right after an interval of seconds. Most labeled it as an eccentricity or a nervous compulsion, when in reality she was attempting to expand her field of vision. Leandra became aware of a distinct and unnervingly close mechanical rumble, and as she turned to the right again, she realized that a driver of a wide black car was gesturing wildly at her.

Sighing, she click-clacked over to the automobile. The driver smiled, nodding his head at her jacket. He seemed pleased by her attire. “Hallo! Darf ich Ihnen transport Dame? Mein Name ist Godric Furtenz, und obwohl ich sicher, dass Sie sich bereits informiert bin, muss ich sagen, dass ihre jacke ist atemberaubend.” Although she had been immersed in the language since the moment of her conception, once Leandra learned other tongues she had never gotten used to German’s vicious percussiveness. It lacked the ease-of-use liquid flow of French, or English’s bouncing kinetic energy. In German, his simple offer of a ride and a compliment of her attire made the man sound as though he were about to begin drooling and frothing, convulsing against the rich leather seats of his vehicle, seized by the specter of epilepsy.

Leandra smiled and nodded yes, and as a result, the young man nearly hospitalized himself trying to get her bags in the car quickly. She walked around and slid into the passenger’s seat, then repeated the address on the letter. For whatever reason, the simple act of giving this woman a ride seemed to have made the man’s day. Based upon his enthusiasm, she had assumed he was younger than he was. Now, cruising down the street to a propaganda speech, she realized why he was boiling over in a cauldron youthful energy. His car smelled like metal, fuel, happiness, and newfound economic security. The inside possessed a hospital’s sterility, but she could tell it hadn’t been cleaned.

This was a brand new car.

That explained the stupid smile on his face, and the enthusiastic humming. He rapped against the steering wheel in time with the finale music, glancing over at Leandra every few seconds to visually confirm that she was enjoying the tune as much as she. When she didn’t hum along or nod her head in time with the tune he grew concerned. “Warum gehst du nicht wie die Musik? Ist es nicht ein großer Tag ein Deutscher zu sein? Alfons Weber ist ein großer Redner.”

Yes- she thought, flicking the nub of her cigarette out of the window and retrieving another one from her silver case- Alfons is a great speaker if you enjoy listening to logical fallacies. I don’t, but don’t let my displeasure stop you. She lit the new cigarette, inhaled, then turned to the side, to blow the grey cloud out of the window and away from his cherubic face. She patted his right thigh reassuringly, balancing the tobacco between two fingers. “I do like it, but I’ve heard similar things before. I’m more excited to hear what he’s prepared for tonight.” Her voice was soft and clear, but she sounded weary, as though vocalizing taxed her beyond belief

As she said this, he smiled, nodding agreement. The music died down and another voice entered the airspace, Godric stopped humming to listen. Leandra smoked quietly.
A few minutes later they had arrived at their destination, a modest looking home that made Herr Godric’s big black car look absurdly out of place. He parked, and she escaped, moving to the backseat to collect her belongings. Leandra muttered her thanks and began to cross the street, pausing in the street when she heard Godric call her name. The woman turned her good eye towards him.

“Ich versichere Ihnen, ist Chimera froh, dass du gekommen bist.”
He floored the accelerator and took off. It took her a few moments to comprehend the sentence: I assure you, Chimera is glad that you came.

The words stunned her, a brutal slap that knocked the smoldering cigarette from her lips, and into freefall. The feeling of astonishment was foreign and invasive, a meter long parasite in her gut. Leandra hated vulnerability.

Behind her, a door swung open, and she turned to find a plump woman standing there, regarding her with some evidence of fear in her eyes. The woman looked Leandra up and down, glanced at the jacket, then sputtered “G-Guten tag, meine Dame!” She beckoned for Leandra to come in, unquestioningly, but seemed filled with a terror that made Leandra cringe. Inwardly. Outwardly, she offered her customary cool smile, then glided past, unblinking. On long legs it took her a few strides to reach the room where the others had gathered. Only the most perceptive would have noticed the brief micro-furrow of her brow, confusion in its shortest-lived form. There was the woman she’d seen earlier, an angry-looking-yet-handsome military type, another man that struck her immediately as Red Army grade material, and an odd little elderly man who, she presumed, had arrived with the goofy looking canine.

She was quite fond of Great Danes.

“Hello.” Her accent bit into the air.

Leandra offered a courteous smile, gently easing her belongings to the ground and feeling immediately refreshed by the absence of National Socialists. She scanned the room for a place to sit, then became acutely aware of the red, black, and white infamous symbol emblazoned on the right shoulder of her fur-lined jacket.

Scheiße…It was time for the third cigarette.

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Re: Letters from Chimera

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