False Flags (WWII setting)

The war between Vampires and Lycans has ended, but an even deadlier threat has risen: Humanity. The world of immortals is a secret no longer, and terrified humans seek to exterminate the source of their fear. Vampires, Lycans, and other immortal species now hide themselves, struggle to survive, and fight back. Their future and their very existence are at stake.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gilda Engel and Isaac Fishblatt

Gilda and Isaac exchanged a look. Then Gilda ventured carefully, "What you will do is up to you - all three of you. You are not prisoners here. You're free to go if you wish to. But I would strongly, strongly urge you to stay here. I don't think I need to tell you how dangerous things out there are. This is by far the safest place for you. For... several reasons. There is protection here that you may not find elsewhere. Consider this your home as long are willing."

She knew that Herr and Frau Fishblatt were more than aware of all the peril in the world. They had been subjected to the worst of it firsthand already. As for Berta, Gilda wasn't quite sure. She knew from Gerhard that the young woman had been sheltered - but surely even a sheltered woman would have some inkling of what was going on.

Isaac regarded his parents with a hint of desperation in his eyes. "Please, Mama and Papa! Stay! I thought I'd lost you once. I can't bear to lose you again."

Hirsch nodded, and Sara replied, "Of course, Isaac. If that is what you think is best. We will stay." To Gilda, she added, "This is most generous of you, opening your house to us. Thank you!"
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Quaxo9
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Berta and Gerhard Einsbrecht

Certainly it was another house - another house away from Gerhard - but this one felt different. Perhaps it was because Herr and Frau Fishblatt were also newcomers. They were very much in the same boat, though Berta thought they were certainly at greater risk than she in the country's current climate. It was somewhat of a relief to know that they were staying - staying not only in this lovely little house, but staying in Germany. As exciting as world travel sounded, Berta felt like leaving would be too much like running away. Hiding for a time was something she found more acceptable.

"Very generous and kind. Thank-you GIlda." She reached over and touched her brother's arm to catch his attention. When he met her eyes, she smiled, "And thank-you Gerhard. You are a good brother."

He managed a small smile, almost a wince, but covered her hand with his own. A good brother would not have left her in that house to begin with. A good brother would have left the country with her months ago when the first whiffs of something terrible began seeping into their lives. And could he be a good brother now? With his...condition?

"It's quite alright, Gerhard. Gilda told me about how you are working against the Nazi - I am very proud of you." Berta had mistaken his chagrin for guilt over not being as forthcoming as he aught to have been with her. Really, they had the whole car ride over here - he had plenty of time to tell her that he was in the Resistance. What was he trying to protect her from that she wasn't already in danger with?

Gerhard blinked at her, then hemmed and removed his hand to take a sip of his tea. "Yes. Well. It is the right thing to do." His words sounded lame even in his own ears, though he didn't intend for them to be. Certainly, joining the Resistance was a big step and a dangerous one. He'd spent quite some time deliberating over that decision as well. However, this other situation - this werewolf...thing - was still weighing more heavily on his mind. At least he believed the Resistance existed and could see the benefit of joining it. The other hadn't been a choice at all and he still wasn't sure what it all meant.

"I have been given leave for this week, by the way. If I could spend some time here with Berta, I would appreciate that. However, if there are other...activities that require attention, I am of course ready and willing."

Gerhard gave no outward indication of preference. Even before the war he had been perhaps exceedingly professional.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gilda Engel

"You're welcome to stay, Gerhard," Gilda said. The little cottage might be a little cramped with this many, but they would make do. It was far better than the alternative, for all involved. "I don't think you'll be called upon in the next week. I need to make peace with my boss before I make introductions, and I'm sure he's still not too happy with me."

Marco would surely calm down if she was successful with Kraus. Not that she liked the idea of what being 'successful' would entail, but it was necessary. They still didn't know where he had hidden all of his samples, and if he was infecting people, that problem took on a new urgency.

But how was she supposed to tell her real boyfriend that she had to go seduce her fake boyfriend? How was she supposed to look Isaac's parents in the eye, when this was her life?

That was a problem for another day. She couldn't put it off for long, but she could for a little while.

"I'll stay a few days too. Then we can regroup and... figure out the next steps."
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gerhard and Berta Einsbrecht

He was surprised to find himself thinking that he was going to get an actual break. He had assumed that he would be tossed directly into whatever work the Resistance wanted him to do. Of course, now that he had the time, he wasn't sure what to do with it. It was nice to see Berta...but what was he going to do with her now? What was he going to tell her? Because she would ask.

Berta was thrilled to finally have some time with her brother. She was so excited to be on a new path and to learn more about Gerhard's too. Besides, if she was willing to admit it to herself, she was still a bit nervous. She hoped that Gerhard could help get her settled in and maybe, just for a moment, they could pretend to be a real family.

"Of course, I do not wish to be a burden on the household here. I can camp and we...I should go pick up some supplies, yes? Do you have a list of items? Food you would like?" Gerhard posed his question to the household as he set down his cup and saucer, clearly attempting to make his escape to the nearby township as immediately as possible.

Berta managed herself with grace. Gerhard may be avoiding her now, but he couldn't avoid her forever.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gilda Engel

Gilda nodded, and sat down to make a list of staples they would need to feed this many people. The list was divided between items she could purchase with her ration book - which she handed over to Gerhard - and goods from the black market. This was commonplace; it might not be strictly legal, but virtually everyone in Germany bought items on the black market in these difficult times, and the authorities had little choice but to look the other way.

"Make sure you save some food for yourself, dear," Sara said with a smile. "You'll need to eat when you get back to Berlin."

Gilda looked embarrassed - both by the talk about food and the thought of returning to the city.

"I don't eat very much," Gilda said awkwardly.

Isaac said nothing, but looked rather concerned.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gerhard and Berta Einsbrect

He took the lists and looked them over. Very basic, very practical. He would not have expected anything less from this woman he had come to know outside of her party pretensions. Gilda seemed a person with whom he could get along - he also ate little - either as he avoided the mess halls or sent money for Berta's care. Which brought to mind something he wanted to bring up.

"I will leave stamps for you, Gilda, don't worry. As a point of business, I plan on paying what I used to send to the Müllers to house and care for my sister to you and Herr and Frau Fishblatt, if you would be so gracious as to receive it. I only hope you find what I can pay satisfactory."

Berta opened her mouth, but promptly shut it again, realizing that she appreciated being a part of the discussion for once. While she didn't much care to be reminded that she was a cripple, she did realize that she lived according to others' good graces. A light blush touched her cheeks - they must think her so rude.

"Please do accept. It is only fair. You have been so kind to offer me a home, Gilda, and a daresay I may have to impose upon the Fishblatts from time to time. But not so much! I do hope that it is alright to ask for help every now and again. I have been known to flip my chair on garden paths. But I really shan't be much trouble." The last bit was offered with a hint of a mischievous grin, despite her scarlet cheeks.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gilda Engel and The Fishblatts

Hirsch and Sara shared a long, awkward look, and Gilda thought she understood their dilemma. They wanted to refuse honorably - to say they needed no compensation to help another person, especially when they too were guests being sheltered by someone else's good graces.

At the same time, though, there was no practical option for turning down the money. They had no other viable source of income. It wasn't as if two elderly Jews in hiding from the Nazis and supposedly dead could simply walk into the village and apply for jobs. Gilda's Fae magic could protect them as long as they stayed on her soil, but she did not have the power to shield them if they strayed from the cottage grounds or interacted with people outside her direct sphere of influence.

"We're happy to help you as much as you need, dear, of course!" Sara assured her. But then she added worriedly, "As for payment..."

Sara let her sentence trail off, unsure how to resolve this impasse.

Gilda stepped in to help. "May I suggest that for the time being, we think not of payment to each other for services rendered, but rather of pooling our resources as a household? Those resources include both money and labor, and we will need both to keep everyone safe, healthy, and cared for. Is that more agreeable than a transaction?"

The Fishblatts both looked relieved.

"Yes, that sounds reasonable," Hirsch agreed.

"We... lost our daughter," Sara said hesitantly to Berta. "Also our son and our son-in-law, but I speak to you of Rachela because you remind me of her, Berta. She was lively, spirited, and bold. We are happy to do for you as we would have done for her."
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Berta and Gerhard Einsbrect

Berta was quick to set down her tea and roll herself closer to Frau Fishblatt. She took the elder woman's hand gently, that boldness Sara mentioned prevalent in the action, and smiled even as her eyes misted. Even though there was pain in the words - for both of them.

"I am so sorry that you lost your family. You honour me...thank-you for your kind words. It's so nice...thank-you."

What she wanted to say was that it would be nice in some small way to feel like a daughter again. That she knew the pain of loss. But it felt like it'd be wrong to say so, in a way. Her parents didn't die like she thought the Fishblatt's family might have. It wasn't a fair comparison.

Gerhard nodded his assent to Gilda's proposal, unsure of whether or not he should be relieved that it was less of a payment situation than a home situation. Still, Berta needed a home. Deserved one. If maybe this place could be one for awhile...she would be better for it, no doubt.

"Well, that's taken care of. I shall go to town."

He put on his jacket before heading out, mostly out of habit. The drive to town would do him some good. The wind in his face might clear his head.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gilda Engel and Isaac Fishblatt

When Gerhard was on his way to town, and the Fishblatts and Berta were cozily ensconced in the living room, Gilda excused herself to speak with Isaac alone. It was a conversation she had been dreading - but it was a necessary one.

It appeared Isaac had been expecting it too, because the first thing he asked was, "Are you staying for awhile, or do you have to head back to Berlin?"

"I can stay a few days," Gilda replied. "Kraus thinks I'm visiting an imaginary sick auntie. But I'll eventually have to go back."

Isaac nodded, accepting this.

Carefully, she added, "And you know, when I go back... well, I suppose I must just be blunt. I'll have to sleep with Kraus again."

"I know," Isaac replied, looking troubled. Concerned she would misunderstand the reason for his apprehension, he hastily added, "I understood what you told me before. I know what needs to happen. I just worry about you. He's a bad man. I don't like it that you have to... be around him. Or the rest of it."

Gilda looked away, feeling mist rising in her eyes. "I'm sorry, Isaac. I'm so sorry. I wish it didn't have to be this way. But I'll make it up to you, I promise. I'll do whatever you want. I have to be with him, but when it's you I'm in bed with, I'll give you whatever you want. Whatever makes you happy."

Isaac shook his head. "That's not how it's supposed to work, Gilda. I don't have a lot of relationship experience, granted, but... that's not how it's supposed to work. It's not supposed to be about you making me happy. It's supposed to be... mutual. We're both supposed to be happy. I don't want anything you don't want. There's something else you should know, too. About... uh... bedroom matters. I'm waiting till I get married. I haven't. With anyone. I want my first time to be with my wife."

Gilda looked at him in bafflement, unsure what to say.

"Does that bother you?" Isaac asked worriedly. "It probably seems weird."

Gilda shook her head. "No. I think it's lovely. But I'm confused. Why are you bothering with me, then? If you don't want me to sleep with you, why are you here? Why aren't you looking for your future wife?"

"Why?" Isaac replied, also seeming to be rather in the weeds with this conversation. "Is marriage not something you would ever want?"

"Of course it is!" Gilda looked down, ashamed. "But I can't. I'm... well, you know what I am."

"Yes you can." Isaac's gaze, when he met her eyes, was intense but somehow gentle at the same time. "You can do anything you like. You can marry if you want to. This is new, and I understand that. I'm not trying to rush things. But I'm here because... if things go the way I would like them to, I can see you being my wife someday. I'm not just... waiting for someone else. It might be that I'm waiting for you."

Gilda felt faint, like she couldn't breathe. She couldn't think of anything to say, so she just kissed him, wrapping her arms around him and holding tight to him for a long time.

With all the darkness and horror that surrounded them - all she had to do to fight it, all the compromises she had to make - how was this ray of light being offered to her? How had a conversation about the necessity of going to bed with his tormentor ended in a discussion about how he could see himself marrying her someday? Gilda didn't know what to think.

For the first time in as long as she could remember, though, Gilda allowed herself to imagine the possibility that she could survive the war.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Berta Einsbrecht

With Gerhard gone, she realized that the living room's occupants were going to be the main proponents of this household for some time to come. She brushed her gaze over the Fishblatt's faces, again thinking how kind they both looked. Despite - or in spite - of the hardships they had faced. It was a new beginning for all of them, then. Their futures may still be uncertain, but she had to admit, she thought her prospects were looking up with the change. Of course, some might balk at being stuck in a house with no plan for going out into the world, but Berta was rather used to it. Of course, there were some things that would make it more pleasant.

"Do you think Gilda has many books here? I only have one and it would be so lovely to read more. Do you like poetry?"

The question was largely posed to Frau Fishblatt, as she wasn't sure whether the elder man would care to be involved in women's chatter - as Herr Müller called it. What things fell into that category seemed to vary to such a degree that Berta wasn't sure what was included in things men didn't like to talk about. Regardless of topic, her plan was to get to know them better.
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