11 Aug 1914
This was the point where all lines were tied up, and it was impossible to switch routes, because it was jumbled mess. He jumped off, and then turn to her so that she could jump off to. That's the way gentlemen are. Then he looked at what was obviously a train station, And what astonished him was there were engines and cars, which they had not seen since they past through in to this shadow world. The woman looked at him and said:
“I do not understand why there are trains and cars here. We haven't seen them everyplace else.”
“It is indeed, if I may use the word, distinctly strange. Perhaps as we move from the countryside to the villages, something emanates and causes this to happen.”
Gare d'Orsay was a magnificent station, which has since been converted to a museum. It was new then, having only been in operation 14 years ago. It was long and cylindrical, and decidedly old world in its style, though it was steel in its construction. Topped by monumental clock faces, which pierced the gray walls and entered in to a ceiling which was in French style - nearly straight on to the edge then almost flattened. There were large arches, seven of them on the north side and seven on the side, those being to long sides. Once past the French style roof there was a very large cylindrical base which held the train tracks. Now piled outside were eating mass of trends and passenger cars that had spilled out of the workings of this conglomerated mass. Realize that the mass of the station was large enough to fit
Then suddenly she realized what it was.
“There piled up because all of the men were sent here to deploy to the south. Thus there are more than a few trains which in the real world are carrying the soldiers.”
He nodded, “That makes a good deal of sense. In fact I should of thought of that too.”
“Your not Parisian, have you been to Berlin?”
“Yes, but doesn't have the same reach as Paris, it doesn't pick up people and ship them to the front the way this does. In Germany commands are grouped rather locally, and I do not think that they are in France.”
“I do not know how they are grouped, but I think it is, as Germany is, grouped by where the troops lived.”
“Paris is sprawling and unified district of France, not a conglomeration of states which formed only a little over 40 years ago.”
This drew a long slow not from her.
“France, and Paris, are virtually the same thing, from the days where kings reigned in Paris. That is more than 1000 years.”
“So you can see that Germany is only real to the people who have lived only very short time. The others all think of their own has their country, not Germany per se.”
“It most the a strange feeling indeed.”
“Maybe they'll decide that short trends are not enough.”
“There are only short times inside?
“Yes. Though there has been talk of lengthening trains, but it has been decided yet if it is to be done. That's why the train station clogs up the lanes. Thus we see the result of their folly.”
“Is still magnificent folly.”
“You really think so?”
“Yes, I really think that there is truth in.”
“You may have been drafted a German, but in your heart there is something French.”
You may of course know, that spending time alone, not even long time, can promote love between two people. In these were to people all alone in this world, with traps and myers of course. Each was longing for a sense of acceptance, and the only source of that acceptance was the other person. Thus the similarity of ages worked on, as it has worked on so many other people. Thus in the hidden corners of the mind, they conspired, being unknown to the conscious self. What they did realize was that they found things in common.
“It is late in the day, why do not we go into the inside, lock our selves in a room, and get some sleep. Remember, their will be more like the other man, and wouldn't want to press our advantage.”
“Do you think it will be a long war?”
“Half of me says yes, it will be quick and painless, the other half of me doubts that, who knows what the French have in store. Germany has one push and then it is over.”
“Then it will be long in that case?”
“Who knows how long that is, it good go on for months or years, the way the American civil war went on for years.”
“ I know I should not be asking this, but how long was the American civil war?”
“Four years, four extremely bloody years. Germany fought six bottles against Denmark, Austria, and then finally France, and then it was done. The American civil war dragged on and on, and that is what I fear the most.”
“But you are dead.”
“Dead does not mean that we won't still be here by the end, though I hope that I can not you will fade...” He looked at her and suddenly new that he wanted nothing more than to be with her as long as was possible.
However long the was.
“That it's good inside, what was it called?”
“Gare d'Orsay, it is known for being the first electrified station in the world.”
“Gare d'Orsay. electrified, how interesting. That will be a monumental task with every German city, indeed every town, and hamlet, having it's own railway station. On it would be quite a task To electrify each one of them, because everyone worked one to have the latest and greatest railway station. For a girl from the countryside you seen to know a lot about Paris.”
“I was born and raised up in Paris. Then I was sent away when both of my parents died. Paris is the life blood of the country. If you saw the girls in the countryside, you would know I'm not like them, there is strong as an ox, and three times as smelly. I'm small boned as most people are coming from Paris.”
“I see.” This was the first time he had been annoyed with her, but it passed. Some time there with be a reckoning with this, because he was from the country side, and he did not think he was either as large as ox, nor three times as smelly. But he let it pass, as most men are one they are trying to be on their best behavior.
But with a sweep of her body, which was covered to knees, in today's latest fashion, she turned her self halfway away, and that was noticed. With a side that crept up insider, she knew that she had done something wrong, something wrong with what she said.
“I'm sorry I did something wrong.” and in saying that she knew that she would not say “I” third time. It was not acceptable for someone of her station, which was attenuated, but real none the less, she was a lady. And she should act like it, and courteously bowed just a little bit, and gushed: “ please forgive me if my matters were not so crude as to cause you embarrassment.”
“It's all right, many of the old people in my society take great significance in how much should be placed on where you are in the social order. But that is not appropriate for me.” He then repositioned himself, as someone taking or delivering orders might be. This was noticed by her and she took on a strict posture. She realized he was not a sister who could tell everything to, nor a field hand who could be ordered about. It was truly a gentleman, and she should act like a lady, which she had not been doing.
So they were staring at each other, both new that something was amiss, though they did not know what it was exactly. The old manner of their parents intruded in a way that was not acceptable, and the new was being born on both their lips.
They rejoined efforts to find a constant place to find rest. They went through the large building which was Gare d'Orsay, transiting through what looked like every form of office imaginable. From the top of command, to the bottom of sweeping and dusting. Finally they took a room which was neither to fancy nor to plain, and settled them selves in two chairs and then to sleep. They do not know if they would wait again, so they both fought to stay awake. But it was very use, they drifted in to sleep as much as they would have had they been alive. The rankling was distant memory, and each one thought of the other.
Than some hours later they both were awakened, they could see that it was nightfall, and all was quiet except there was a distant whir from high note of the building.
“What is that, what is that sound coming from.”
he knew what it was, it was an airship, extremely close and getting closer. He knew that there were others, such as an airship. They were not alone, and then shot through his mind what would be happening to many thousands of troops. Because this war, unlike any more before it, was not fought on fields of engagement, but massed to a long line with few breaks. It was more a war where entire country took up arms against another who also took up arms. It was then that it struck him that this was on a scale never before conceived.
“We have to go, there is an airship, dirigible, and it has set a course for this exact building.”
“Why here? Why now?”
“Because it is on a mission to destroy buildings.”
“Would they do that, truly?”
“They can and they would, obviously an airship was destroyed, and the dead crew continued their mission.”
In a single motion, she nodded and cost up, taking his hand as he offered. They led through the main station with several stopped up cars, and then to the outside. Remember their were no lights, not a single candle, to guide them through this. This means the man was in charge and she would follow him.
Through the twists and turns they found their way, since they were on the fourth floor, they were exiting down and backwards through the building. Outside they saw what was a zeppelin, and it seemed like it was crash into them. It's lugubrious shape was moving very slowly in night sky, and they struggled to get away from it. There were no lights, just amassed ship in being. And it was buzzing down on their position.
It was now time to break in to a run, but they would have to be careful in how they did this, because looming up out of the darkness there were shapes and forms, which in the day, and walking, were not any trouble. But at night, O the night night was different. Every turn there was something to stop them. Albert weaved and dodged, though he was not the one who knew the plan of the city.
Suddenly there was that which would least be expected: a bright white shaft of illumination. Pouring from out of the ground and pointed directly at the ship. Then even more amazing, shaft of light, from nearby the light were pointed directly at the ship. In response the ship raised up, having not dropped anything. What it meant for both of them is that they were not alone.
“What just happened?” It was a question from the woman which was toned as a question.
“Obviously, an airship arrived at this point with intent on bombing. But instead of seeing nothing, some of the guns were pointed by dead men. It is interesting how they fire their weapons. It must mean that all of living world, we are in a world, that is not the same, or not exactly the same.”
“Yes, it's obvious when you think about it. But on the face of it, my head is going to explode with all of this information on what it is like. It has been years since we have battled over Europe before.”
“Stranger then we might know, because death, was random, and doesn't leave people. I do not see anything to suggest that accidents are applying to this. Perhaps great disasters affect people the same way, war, a prolonged war, will set up disastrous implications, ones that we do not understand, and will not be understood by people in living breathing world.”
“We need to figure out how this world fits in with the living world. Then can decide what to do. We have a purpose, though we do not know what it is.”
“This might be the work of the devil, did you think about?”
She drew herself up to her full height, and enunciated what she was about to say with care.
“Than being must do our best.”
That confident and clear voice was once his own, and he realized that it would have to be his There In an andagain. That clarity of thought had once been his.
“We have to move now.” He crackled as he listened, it was clear that he had heard something which she had not, or placed meaning in what he heard.
Most women would have asked something, but she knew it was better to listen and go the way that Albert suggested. Because it was clear to her that he had heard something. Something ominous, though his face had not betrayed that, it was in his posture. He was once again, an officer and a gentleman.
The feeling grew inside, it was the feeling of love of a different nature than ever she had felt before, it was pure and perfect, pristine in its aspect. Of course she could not show this, that would be wrong. But she was melting before her eyes, and she knew that. This was the man for her.
Albert of course did not know this, there was an inscrutable look on her face, and they needed to get out of the way of the coming guardsmen. He knew that they were coming by the clatter and clank of scabbards, and thrumming of the guards themselves. It was barely noticeable, but he having trained in the Army knew exactly when it was. It was not a trap, they were only on his left side, so he turned right. It was obvious to her, with her fingertips lightly touching, no more than that, the way to go. He noted that she was taking direction very easily, and this gave him confidence to due more than he thought possible.
Once they had shifted to right, there was long, wide open terrace and then beyond that a large plaza that connected the streets to Gare d'Orsay, on the north side, which opened up to and avenue facing the side of the river. The French were inland from them, and it was important that they get under cover as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, from this angle, there was a wide diversion between the, and the nearest other building, and beyond that was over the river itself.
And off in to the distant heavens. Which ached quite brightly over his head.