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 sat beside Isaac on the couch. It was such a simple thing, sharing a sofa with a boyfriend. But with him - leaning against him - she felt safer than she'd ever felt. He had his arm around her, occasionally rubbing her shoulder soothingly.

His intentions were comforting, not amorous... and that was something Gilda was completely unused to. She wasn't accustomed to being touched by someone who wasn't seeking some type of gratification for themselves.

Was it any wonder she had gotten attached to him? And to his parents? To the kindness of the whole family?

But she worried about being too clingy. All she wanted to do was cling, after the terror of the night before, but she didn't want to scare them away.

There was another matter, too. Potentially worse.

"Isaac, do you remember last night?" Gilda asked carefully.

"I do," he replied with equal caution.

"So... you remember what I said...?" Gilda was trembling now.

Whatever Isaac had expecting, though, seemed not to have come to pass, and he was completely calm again. "Yes, I remember."

She'd said she trusted him. Fine. That wasn't all, though. She'd said she loved him.

And he remembered.

Her heart sank.

"You don't have to leave me," Gilda said. "I know how crazy I sounded. You aren't supposed to love someone this soon. I know you won't want someone crazy. But I can do better. I can be better. Please. Just don't leave me and I'll try not to be broken anymore. Please, I'll fix this, I'll be normal, I promise, just don't go..."

"Gilda." Isaac's arm was still around her - but he pulled her closer, instead of pushing her away as she expected. "I need you to understand something, alright? I would never hurt you for loving me. I would never intentionally cause you pain - certainly not over something like this. Your heart is beautiful, and I would never punish you for that. Alright?"

Reassured, Gilda nodded, closed her eyes, and leaned against him.

He had more to say, though. "I wanted to tell you that first because I don't want you to think that what I'm about to say is you dodging a bullet. I don't want you to think this is luck. You are always safe with me. No matter what. And the other thing I need to tell you is this: I love you too."

Gilda was shocked. Stunned. But delighted. Somehow, in the middle of all the ugliness in the world - this was the best thing that had ever happened to her. She had Isaac's love. And she would do her best to prove worthy of it.
Last edited by Monkey Kitty on Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Hirsch Fishblatt

Hirsch came into the kitchen and saw Berta preparing tea and food. The young woman was really so much like their own daughter, he thought. Rachela would have done the same thing in a stressful situation - found a way to help, and to comfort. That thought was bittersweet. He missed his daughter terribly. And yet, her memory could still be a joy. Seeing glimpses of her in others meant a part of her lived on.

"Thank you," Hirsch said. "This is very thoughtful of you. Shall we bring this out to the others? I'll carry the tea things if you have the bread and butter. Teamwork, yes?"
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Quaxo9
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Berta Einsbrecht

"Oh, yes please - thank-you!" She wheeled herself back to allow Hirsch to get closer to the tea tray, balancing the plate of brown bread on her lap as planned. However, Berta didn't leave for the living room just yet.

"Herr Fishblatt? Do you know what happened last night? Is Gerhard safe? I heard him come in, but I did not get up in time to see him. I admit...I'm worried. I did not think that trouble would find us so soon."
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Hirsch Fishblatt

"I don't know exactly what happened," Hirsch told Berta honestly. "There are things... that have changed. Things that we will have to learn and understand in time. But we must trust that the ones we love will do what they must."

He smiled reassuringly at her. "I believe Gerhard is safe. He appeared to be fully in one piece - and even in decent spirits - when they brought Gilda here. He had an urgent task to do, but when he comes back, I'm sure he will tell you."

With a slight frown he added, "I am a bit worried for Gilda. Her injuries are... bad. But she insists she'll be alright. I'm glad Isaac was able to protect her from any further harm."

Though he didn't know Gilda well yet, he liked her. The young woman was kind and tender-hearted, and certainly seemed taken with Isaac. That was what Hirsch and Sara had always wanted for their son. Hirsch only hoped that the dangers that faced them all now wouldn't get in the way.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Berta Einstbrecht

She was puzzled by his choice of words. What things had changed? Was he talking about how sometimes even those on the right side of the war must make hard choices, even kill? Regardless of her questioning, she knew in her heart that she did trust her brother. Even when he was silent. She knew that he wanted what was best for her and would do anything to make sure she was safe. Berta could rest in that, even if everything else was up in the air.

"Oh dear, I did not see how bad Gilda's injuries were. I...I doubt some tea will make her pain go away." she paused, looking down at the little plate in her lap. She took a steadying breath, lifted her face to Herr Fishblatt and smiled, "But I do believe that it will make things better. For what does tea signify but that someone cares for you?"

With that, she wheeled herself into the sitting room and placed the plate of brown bread on the tea table before moving back to allow Hirsch to access the cart and set down his load. She looked at the couple on the settee and clasped her hands together, smiling all the more. Despite their bruised and dishevelled appearance, the pair looked so happy.

"I am so glad that you are home safe. Please let me know if I can get you anything."
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Hirsch Fishblatt

"It does," Hirsch agreed. "And sometimes that caring is the best medicine."

Hirsch, too, smiled to see Isaac and Gilda enjoying each other's company. It was clear that Isaac loved this girl. Yes, the relationship was new, and where it went would remain to be seen - but Hirsch knew his son. Isaac did not choose things lightly. When he made a commitment, he was serious about it. Hirsch was pleased, and he could tell Sara was too. Gilda seemed good-hearted and kind, worthy of Isaac's love. The sort of young lady they had hoped he would find. Hirsch hoped they would have much happiness together, if it was meant to be.

He knew Berta would be a little anxious until her brother returned. It was only to be expected. He tried to keep the conversation light and easy until they heard Gerhard's step on the flagstones and the key in the lock.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gerhard and Berta Einsbrecht

It had been a long walk back to the beach. He'd taken a broken-handled shovel from the roadside and put it to the task of removing the bloodied sand and tossing it into the water as far as he could. A dog would likely still be able to trace it, but he hoped that with his driving the doctor's car out into the countryside to the full view of several early-rising townsfolk that the search would not linger here long. Still. It wouldn't do to leave evidence of such a brutal slaying here. The shovel was pitched into the water at the end and he sat, sweating, on the beach. Staring out over the water.

There was no going back. Though he hadn't planned on straying from his decision once made, he had never quite seen this in his future. Covering up the murder of a prominent doctor. Becoming a fiend from a fairytale. How was he going to protect Berta from all this? He had taken her with him to protect her, and now what? She was in greater danger now than she ever could have been in that little hamlet they used to call home.

Of course, that wasn't quite true. It had been plain to see that Berta hadn't a friend left in the place. But now - well, at least he could count on the Fishblatts to care about her - and Gilda too. Now he just had to distance himself enough from her that she didn't feel abandoned by her brother while keeping her safe from...well, from him.

His stomach was what made him finally seek the comforts of the little cottage. It had been gnawing at him for some time, but he'd stubbornly refused to allow it sway. Now, though, it was time to find some breakfast. The look of relief and excitement on Berta's face as he stepped through the door pressed his heart into submission and he smiled in spite of his mood. She didn't seem to notice the salt on his pants, the roughness of his appearance, the bits of blood spatter on his shirt sleeves. At once, she came toward him and held out her hands to take one of his and pressed it to her face.

"I was getting so worried, Gerhard. Please don't leave again so soon. At least not until you've had some breakfast. I will get you something."

Berta wheeled away to the kitchen before he could stop her, leaving him standing halfway in the parlour with his hand still outstretched. His paleness gave way to a light blush at the awkwardness of his stance. Gerhard nodded to the elder Fishblatts, then spoke in Gilda and Isaac's direction in a low voice.

"All taken care of. But we should talk. Later."

With that, he nodded to the little company again, and made for the kitchen and the promised breakfast.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gilda Engel and Isaac Fishblatt

Sara was taken aback by Gerhard's disheveled appearance, but it only showed on her face for an instant. She caught herself and said, "Let me get you some clean clothes. I saw some in the wardrobe that I think will fit..."

She bustled off to tend to laundry matters. Although it wasn't strictly a two-person job, Hirsch got up to help - not because his wife would actually need assistance with such a mundane task, but because he sensed Berta and Gerhard needed time to talk. As, perhaps, did Isaac and Gilda.

When his parents had left the room, Isaac turned to Gilda and asked, "How are you feeling? I mean, about..."

Gilda knew what he meant. "Relieved," she admitted truthfully. "You?"

Isaac let out a breath. "Relieved, too. Somehow it eases my mind to know that man is in the grave."

Gilda nodded her agreement. Kraus would never - could never - harm Isaac again. And she would never have to feel his hands on her body again, either. But he wouldn't be the last...

"I wish I didn't have to..." she murmured aloud.

Isaac seemed to grasp, even without context, what she was talking about. "You don't have to. You can tell them no."

Gilda's breath hitched in her throat, half-crying but not quite. "I can't. I mean... I could. They wouldn't force me. And I have no desire to do any of this again. Especially now that you and I... now that you..."

Isaac took her hand. "Gilda, you know I understand. I'm not saying this for my own sake. I'm saying it because you seem so unhappy."

This was undeniable. "My happiness isn't important," Gilda said softly. "Not now. You have to understand, Isaac. I can't leave them to die..."

"I know you can't," Isaac assured her, wrapping his arms around her now. "And I would never ask you to. That's not what I'm saying. You don't have to leave the Resistance. You're smart, and talented, and brave. You have so much more to offer than that. Just tell them you want to help in some other way. You have so much to contribute. There's so much you could do. Things that wouldn't leave your heart in pieces, but would help people just as much."

Gilda was surprised. People always noticed her looks. She wasn't used to people noticing her brain - or her heart. "You really think so?"

"I know so. Look, Gilda - I love you, no matter what. I'll support you, no matter what. I believe in you. Can you believe in yourself?"

Gilda thought about this for a moment, and the answer surprised her. "Yes," she said in a quiet but firm voice.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gerhard and Berta Einsbrecht

There was an awkward silence hanging in the room - Gerhard was aware of that much. Berta was busying herself plucking a pickled egg from a jar, but her repeated attempts to pierce one seemed to suddenly cause her undue distress. The jar hit the table with a decisive clunk, eggs inside bobbing innocuously in reply.

"Gerhard. Enough. What happened last night?"

Silence. Gerhard reached over and picked up the jar of eggs, fished the fork out of the brine and expertly stabbed an egg. He bit into it, chewed thoughtfully. Stabbed a second egg.

"You didn't really have vacation, did you? There is more going on...are you even really working with the Resistance? What is going on? I don't even know you anymore. My brother..."

Tears stained her cheeks and she made to leave the room. Gerhard paused, then moved to intercept, gently kneeling in her path. She stopped and leaned over her knees, cupping his face in her hands. He flinched, then took her hand in his, carefully turning it over and covering it with his other hand.

"I hardly know myself, Berta. I...have done so many terrible things. Terrible things in the service of this country. I...a few days ago, I ended up finding out that there was a doctor...torturing people. Good people. I found Gilda rescuing a man - and, because of what I saw, I decided to help them escape. Gilda ... invited me to join the Resistance. And ah...I decided to prove my loyalty by freeing Isaac's parents. Isaac - he was the man Gilda was rescuing that night. Now, that doctor...he...gave me a shot. One of his experiments. And sent me on holiday. Really did. And knowing what I know about this doctor, I knew that I needed to take steps to make sure you were safe. He is...was a terrible, horrible man. He is dead. Last night. And his experiment on me...was a success. I uh, I am der wolf. It is crazy. It is not possible. But it is. It is. I'm sorry, I don't know how else..."

At this Gerhard lowered his head into his hands and sobbed.

Berta stared at her brother's head for a long moment before backing away from him far enough that she could push her chair past him and back to her room. Gerhard couldn't - wouldn't - stop her. He sat for a moment longer, then exited the kitchen via the garden door. Despite having spent all night and all morning outside, he still found that he needed the fresh air.
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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

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Gilda Engel

A few days passed uneventfully in the cozy little cottage. Gilda reveled in the company of the kind souls who were now living under her roof; for the first time in her life, she truly felt like she had a family. The drear and dread of Berlin seemed far away - and she tried to put her inevitable return out of her mind.

Isaac and his parents grew stronger by the day. They finally had adequate nourishment. They could take walks along the edge of the water, safe on the protected grounds of the cottage.

Eventually, though, the day Gilda had known was inevitable arrived. She heard the crunch of car tires on gravel and boots hitting the flagstone walk. For just a moment, a faint, wry, resolute smile crossed Gilda's lips. She had prepared for this. She knew what to do.

In an instant, Gilda's face crumpled into an expression of sadness, and she ran out the front door to greet the two SS officers.

"Thank God you're here!" she said, throwing her arms around each of them in turn. "I need to report a missing person!"

The two officers looked at each other, caught off-balance by this unexpected welcome. "...Missing person?" one repeated.

Gilda nodded. "My boyfriend. Herr Doctor Kraus! I haven't seen him for days and days! Oh, won't you please go look for him? I fear something has happened to him!"

"What makes you say that?" the other officer asked curiously.

"Well, he wouldn't just leave me and not say anything! All the other girls are saying he left with another woman! But he would never do that! He was completely faithful! He would never betray me and go with another girl! The only explanation is that something bad must have happened! How could it possibly be otherwise? He loves me and only me. He would never betray me. Never. So he must be in trouble!"

She looked at them pleadingly with naïve, tearful, dewy eyes.

The two officers exchanged another glance. They of course knew Kraus was married - that his very liaison with Gilda was clear evidence that he was indeed perfectly capable of infidelity. The fact that this poor, trusting girl didn't seem to have any idea gave them a feeling of their superior position, knowing something she didn't know.

Tears rolled down Gilda's cheeks. She made her eyes both vulnerable and seductive - and there was Siren power in her gaze.

"Please, find him and bring him home safely? Won't you?"

"We will, Fraulein. We promise."

Ridiculous Hitler salutes were exchanged, the officers doffed their hats to Gilda, and they went off to search for Kraus in other directions - presumably in the arms of another woman, as Gilda's reverse psychology had insisted he was not.

Once their car was out of sight, Gilda's tears vanished, and a smile replaced them. She walked into the house, kissed Isaac on the cheek, and told them in a businesslike tone, "Done and dusted!"
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