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Thread: Swords Made of Letters

  1. #31
    Ja mata, TosaInu Moderator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swords Made of Letters

    Estemeed reading ladies and gentlemen readers,

    Since I want the little book to be more than just a novel, I want to make it slightly interactive. Despite seeing the characters from the perspective of other characters and especially through their actions, it would be a good idea to give some background on them, to understand them better and to hopefully give a better understanding of the whole novel.

    The cast of characters will be continuously updated, as the novel advances.




    Swords Made of Letters


    Main Characters

    Alexandre Reythier -

    A senior officer of the Deuxieme Bureau (French Counterintelligence) and an experienced fighter, son of a decorated World War I veteran, Reythier is the key man for the Deuxieme Bureau as they investigate the increasingly frequent appearances of foreign spies from across all


    Horace Benningham

    A lowly member of the MI6, the British counterintelligence, whom he joined only 2 years ago when he turned 22, his desire to earn more money ended up with him being an important piece in solving a problematic issue of the MI6. He was privately employed by Sir Ian Beckett, a member of the British Parliament, who sent him to protect his mistress.


    Richard Elbe

    Early member of the SA, World War I veteran and close to 48 years old, Elbe is in charge of overseeing the spying efforts of Nazi Germany on the border with France and Belgium, initiating attacks.



    Secondary Characters

    Mathilda Adams Elbe - Beckett's mistress, she would prove to be of huge importance

    Klaus Romain - Reythier's superior on paper, Klaus supervises the Deuxieme Bureau along the western border


    Episodic Characters

    Sir Ian Beckett - a corrupt member of the British Parliament, interested only

    Lord Andrew Howe - a high ranking member of the MI6, the British Counterintelligence, second in command to the Chief of MI6 and the one responsible for cover action

    Thomas Elbe - Richard's brother, Mathilda's husband and a member of the Luftwaffe
    Last edited by edyzmedieval; 07-29-2018 at 00:30.
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  2. #32
    Ja mata, TosaInu Moderator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swords Made of Letters

    Chapter XVII - Heavy Scents

    ------

    7:45 PM
    15th of December, 1938
    Special Operations HQ
    London
    United Kingdom


    "Sit, Horace."

    It smelt of leathery perfume, a small trace of it wafting through the air as Sir Howe entered his personal office. Horace followed behind his superior, sliding past the door and towards the desk placed in the middle of the ornately furnished office. It was heavy, with opulent leather chairs and a mahogany desk right in the middle, surrounded on all four corners by bookcases. A still burning cigarette stood on the edge of a silver ashtray. Horace went to untie his neck knot when he caught Howe's gaze.

    "May I?"

    Howe smiled. "Of course. We're part of the Special Operations, we're not the stuffy army boys."

    Horace laughed. "Good to know."

    He threw his tie on the edge of the plush leather chair and crashed into the soft pillow. Horace saw Howe did the same, albeit more elegantly, on his leather chair. The S.O. chief extended an open palm to Horace.

    "I believe you have something to tell me Horace."

    "I do, Sir Howe."

    "Well then, go ahead. Start with the beginning, since I believe this won't be exactly easy. How did you get into Beckett's pay?"

    Horace straightened his posture. "My commanding officer actually suggested I do that. He knew I needed some more money so he proposed to be after four or five months in my duty that I can earn by working with Sir Beckett. I accepted right away, without knowing, but I shouldn't have."

    Howe waved his hand. "Not a problem, son. Continue."

    "Lord Beckett was cordial in the beginning, earning both my respect and I earned his. The pay was very good since it nearly doubled my yearly salary and the tasks were menial in the beginning. Pick up a letter from there, send it there, take care of my wife. These kinds of issues. Minor."

    "And at some point, he changed."

    Horace nodded. "About six months in, almost after a year since I joined the S.O., Beckett thought he trusted me enough to make sure I would now protect, follow and learn everything about his mistress."

    "Why so much protection?"

    Horace hesitated. "He... he fell in love with her, Sir."

    Howe raised his eyebrows, suppressing a laugh. "He fell in love?"

    "Yes, Sir. He would write poems, sing to her, send her flowers every day. And I had to do all of that."

    "Sixty five year old Beckett fell in love for a pretty English teenager? How old is she?"

    "Twenty Sir."

    Howe laughed. "Twenty and married too. She's a real catch."

    "She came from a lowly family but she caught Beckett's attention. And the SA's attention too."

    Howe narrowed his eyes. "Good point. How did she end up with the other side?"

    Horace rose up from his chair and headed to a window just an arm's length away, giving him a clear view over the Thames River. "I'm not sure, to be honest with you Sir Howe. When I started following her, Mathilda was only interested in Sir Beckett because he could improve her station. And somehow she slipped between the cracks because 4 months after I had started following her she got married. I remember Beckett that day, furious and raging constantly, smashing glasses and drinking three bottles of whisky that night."

    "He's a liability, that's what you're saying."

    Horace looked meekly at Howe. "Yes Sir, he is."

    Howe rose up from his chair and drew up to Horace, both men quite on the same level as they reached 6 feet each. "Do you think he's on the other side?"

    "He definitely slipped her some secrets because I heard her talk about some factories and energy services. Probably when drunk."

    Howe looked outside the window. "How often does he visit her?"

    "Three times, maybe even more a week."

    Howe turned to Horace. "What's his wife doing?"

    "I suspect she knows but she turns the eye towards that."

    "Poor woman." Howe was not really sorry, judging by the flat voice.

    "He bought Mathilda a flat. That flat down Court Road, where I was spying Sir, it's Beckett's house."

    "He bought a house for his mistress, who's married?"

    Horace shrugged. "Yes, Sir."

    "Does he know who her husband is?"

    "He does, but not the full extent. The man is called Thomas Elbe and he's a rather average officer in the Luftwaffe. Nothing too special. I saw his dossier."

    "Anything that stands out?"

    "He's a link to the Gestapo and the SA. He's a counterintelligence officer too."

    Howe turned to Horace, looking at him straight. "We have a counterintelligence officer running around?"

    "He's followed, Sir."

    "Little solace."

    Howe turned away from the window and returned to his desk, shuffling around his papers until he found a yellowy dossier with a red stamp on it. He rose the dossier and handed it over to a curious Horace.

    "Your bedtime reading. That's the dossier of a man called Richard Elbe, whom you might realise who it is. Adding to that, you have the file of a French counterintelligience officer named Alexandre Reythier who will be linking up with us in the very near future. Read it, and get back to me as soon as possible. We've got work Horace."

    Horace saluted. "Yes, Sir."

    Horace was about to exit the office when Howe signalled.

    "Oh, and consider your paid doubled. No more Beckett."

    ---
    Last edited by edyzmedieval; 07-30-2018 at 23:13.
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  3. #33
    Ja mata, TosaInu Moderator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swords Made of Letters

    Chapter XVIII - Battle Plans

    Presenting Richard Elbe's perspective, the chapter focuses on the building tension between the espionage of the two countries... and some twists as well.

    ----

    9:15 PM
    14th of December 1938
    Oberkommando HQ
    Aachen outskirts
    Germany


    Inside his office the only sound was the constant humming of the typewriters in the headquarters, the clicks and clacks reverberating all the way to the upper floor into his study.

    Elbe paused for a moment. A slow, meticulous and calligraphic movement stopped in mid-word, rendering the informative document only half complete and with a sudden ink blotch on the side. He heard footsteps on the metallic staircase that led to his study and soon enough, Wilhelm, dressed in the customary brown shirt and the tie knot a bit too tight around his neck, gave two rasping knocks on the open door. Without as much as a moment of hesitation he leaped forwards and thrust in front of Elbe's face a yellowy envelope. Rather irritated by the lack of elegance in Wilhelm's movement, Elbe rose his eyes slowly and ripped apart the envelope with a dissatisfied smirk. The hard paper was tough to open, and quite unpleasant to touch even, but it made for sturdy documents. Elbe's eyes glanced over the small note inside.

    "What happened now? asked Elbe.

    Wilhelm straightened his posture. "The farm has been attacked by someone. One of our men even reported gunshots and we've sent men to investigate."

    "The farm? What farm?"

    "The farm where we captured the informant three days ago. Just outside Aachen, heading towards the border."

    Elbe nodded slowly. "When did this happen?"

    "45 minutes ago."

    Elbe's eyes narrowed. 45 minutes ago, he thought, this was quite a brazen attempt. They went straight for the informant they had captured a couple of days ago who had been feeding information about the troops to the French intelligence services. The informant refused to talk but the trove of documents they found on him was more than enough to land him in the harshest prison in the land. Elbe rose slowly from his seat and nodded to Wilhelm.

    "Get the car ready, get a team of 8 men ready and let's go."

    They grabbed their coats and existed the headquarters in haste, linking up quickly with 8 other men and Elbe's personal bodyguards. Three BMW limousines rushed outside the small iron gate and revved into the night, rushing through the streets of Aachen to the other side of the town. It took them only a meagre twenty odd minutes to arrive at the farm, drenched in utter silence and with only a flicker of a flashlight circling around the entrance. Elbe and his men exited their cars and quickly huddled inside the farm for some warmth and light, followed by the three men who investigated the incident. In the corner of the hall of the farm stood the boy Reythier had attacked, smiling slightly to the medic who took care of his rather superficial arm wound.

    Elbe saluted the men and paced around the farm, looking around for clues of the fight.

    "So? What happened here?"

    Alexander, a tall and rather stocky Swabian cleared his throat. "We came here after one of the neighbours informed us of gunshots. According to what the boy told us, a foreign man, tall and with an overcoat and a top hat came inside the farm and started asking questions."

    Elbe drew up to the boy.

    "What questions?"

    The question was not adressed to Alexander or the boy in particular, but it became clear the boy would not be able to answer that too clearly.

    ALexaner cleared his throat again. "He was searching for the owner of the farm."

    "Herr Alofs?"

    "Correct."

    "Did he tell him what happened to Alofs?"

    "He did."

    "Good. That should put him off for the moment."

    "The man left immediately after, stealing the Opel Blitz truck that was just outside the farm."

    Elbe narrowed his eyes. "He's close then. That truck is far too slow. Let's leave, we have to find him."

    Leaving the injured boy behind, Elbe and his men paced back to their cars and returned to the road, heading southwards into the dense forest that covered the area towards the border. The bright headlamps of the three cars did not make much inroad in the thicket of darkness that was made all the worse by the dense forest. The cars trudged forwards, eating up the paved kilometers for a good half an hour at least until one of the men spotted a dark shadow on the side of the road. Elbe's car, the leader of the pack, reduced the speed to a slow trot until the three cars created a formation that directed the headlamps to the blocky shadow at the edge of a small hill. The shadow was the Opel truck, abandoned in soft mud at the base of the hill, hidden from plain view by the trees that made up the thick forest. Their flashlights focused on the cabin of the truck, the door of it wide open but to their dismay the truck was empty. Someone had abandoned it and left by foot.

    Elbe cursed.

    "Find the tracks. He shouldn't be far away."

    Just as they were about to leave, two shots rang out in the distance.

    ----
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