Paris, XVth district, in February 1941:
Delphine is walking quickly through the streets of Paris. She enters in the subway, worried. Today, it's been two months that she has no news from her friends. She's almost all alone at the university. "University", the place has changed…and not in the good way. The rest of the banned books have been found now. The dean of her department was arrested and deported to Russia for hiding this books of Sartre, "degenerate art" books… Paris is sad. Times are hard. Delphine doesn’t go out except to try to pick up news Hannah, Adriel and Ellis. Ellis’ parents have a bookstore in the Marais district. Delphine and her friends have grown up in this place, surrounded by books and peace. Happy. Everyone knows the Feuer familly in the neighborhood. This family has been here for years and Delphine met their youngest daughter at school.
Passing the bookshop this afternoon, Delphine, a heavy heart, ran her hand over the damaged wall. "Juden" is written in large letters on the walls. "Do not buy from Jews ! " is written on the door. A tear runs down Delphine’s cheek. No news from her friend Ellis, she is sad, anxious and lost. The bookseller is now abandoned. It was burned, only the white walls who became grey remain. The day of their arrest keeps coming back when she is asleep and when she’s awake. Everytime. She sees the German Lieutenant snapped his leather gloves against his hand, smiling, seeing her friends and fellow students hands behind their back and without their coat to brave the cold Parisian winter.
Once in the subway, Delphine had enough. The German soldiers, all this vandalized shops, the parks, cafes, cinemas and all public places are now forbidden to Jews. The propaganda poster about leave France to work in a volontary way in Germany to participate in the war effort, this disgusts Delphine. She head down. She does not want to see that. The subway stops at George V station, Delphine looked up at the sound of the bell. Civilians and German soldiers ride in her wagon. A soldier dressed better and beefier than the others, sat in front of Delphine. He removed his cap and smiled at the young woman.
- Guten Tag Miss, he said, lighting a cigarette.
Delphine looked up and saw the red armband of the Swastika on the officer's arm. On the collar tabs, she recognizes both the two "S" and the three squares on the other collar. It’s an Untersturmführer of the Waffen-SS, a kind of second lieutenant or lieutenant in the French army. The officer is rather young and smile to Delphine. Delphine, very uncomfortable and feeling ill, hastily stands up from her seat and said softly «Hello» to the officer. Feeling nauseated, Delphine gets out of the wagon still stop at George V station, oppressed. Catching her breath, she puts her curls back behing her ear. They’re falling on her face.
Suddenly, a bang noise startled Delphine who dropped her books. A woman screamed. People turned without seeing where came the cry. Then a man yelled :
- "SCHNELL JUDENS! Schnell! ".
Delphine saw three men walking hands on their head, blood on their face. A soldier opened a door and the three men entered under the Nazis’ kicks. Two German soldiers followed, carrying the dead body which was the victim of the gunshot she had just heard. Delphine is paralyzed and enters in the train who has just arrive. During her crossing of Paris to get home and after dried her tears, she made a decision that would change his life forever: becoming resistant. She wants to leave ... and leave now.
London, February 1941 :
Cosima is late. And today, she has to supervise the training of a group new to S.O.E. Cosima is very often late but be the best chemist of the movement gives her some privileges. So..her superiors and the Lieutenant Colonel George Mayhew condone her repeated « late morning ». But Cosima is never late on a mission. On her motorcycle, the streets of London are speedind fast. She knows these streets by heart. She wears a canvas trousers and a pair of black Converse. Her motorcycle roars and stops before the high fence. She removes her helmet and glasses after parking her motorcycle in the hangar. The suburb of London is very sunny and the idea of staying locked up all day doesn't really please her. She run to the door and climbing the stairs three by three at the 4th floors that lead to her training room….despite her little legs. She still takes time to make a cup of tea in the dining room. She sees her brother Jorgen, sat at the table eating some eggs. Without looking, he lays his eyes on his watch and announces :
- 27 minutes today Little Sister, this is a true record.
- Oh….please, shut up.
Jorge smiled, handing her a cup of tea.
- Thanks, see you later Idiot.
Cosima kissing her brother on the forehead and stole the fork he was holding and put it to her mouth.
- Wow ... these eggs are terrible.
- Eh !
Cosima fate smiling. And walked up to the door of the room, her bag on her shoulder, chewing her eggs and taking a sip of tea. She opened the door and all the people in the room stand up.
- Oy oy ! Lesson number one, never be late. Lesson number 2 ? Never tell me that I'm late, bitches. You are currently ...
Cosima looks on her papers.
- 14 ... ..At the end of the first day, you will be less than ten and at the end of the training there will be only 2 or 3 of you...even one or no one. Give the best of yourself and maybe we’ll do something with you. Why are you standing ? Sit down ... keep this protocol for officers. I'm Sergeant Cosima Niehaus and I'll be your instructor. Be cool and I'll be cool. My motto ? Peace and chill. Because it's our struggle's goal, right ? And long live the King.
Someone knocks on the door and Jorgen enters.
- This is my brother Sergeant Jorgen Niehaus.
Someone raises a hand.
- Yes ?
- You’re the '2B' "?
Cosima smiles, Jorgen too.
- 2B ? , Jorgen asked amused.
- The Bloody Brotherhood ! The Dano-Germans Brother and Sister... you are the chemist Sergeant Cosima Niehaus and strategist soldier Sergeant Jorgen Niehaus that you've done the release of Amiens' prison and you destroyed one of the base of the German Navy in Brest, France. You are heroes !
- We're not heroes, we're resistant, responds Cosima.
- Long live the king, said Jorgen fist raised.
- It's an honor to meet you.
At the end of the day, the new recruits were not as good as Cosima expected. They were not more than five at the end of the day. All of them have been eliminated after failing the test where they had to fix a circuit before the end of the time allotted. Tidying leaves in his bag we knocked on the door of Cosima.
- Hey Lille Søster, fish & chips for dinner ?
- I am not motivated……and vegetarian. The day was actually a disaster and the next recruitment will be only in several weeks. They are only five left now and tomorrow they will be only two and again… after tomorrow…nobody, Lille Bror. What I will tell to Mayhew and Desfontaines?
- The truth ?
- Very funny.
- You can’t hire people who can’t follow you and follow us. There is too much at stake. If they are not able to move at our pace we will be lost…and dead…and Granny will kill us for that. We are the Bloody Brotherhood after all, he said, taking her in his arms, we have the right to choose who will work with us.
- I wonder who could have found that nickname ...
- I do not know. But it scares the Germans on the coast when they see this written on our plane.
- I have to talk to Mayhew….don’t wait for me. See you at home Idiot.
- Go, he said, kissing his sister on the temple. And be careful on the road.
Jorge closes the door behind him and Cosima finished cleaning her desk and puts documents in her bag, takes her helmet and walkes to the office of Lieutnant Colonel Mayhew.
- Sir ? Can I talk to you?
- Yes, sure. What is it?
- Today was a disaster. None of the recruits will finish the week. We must do something quickly. Find more experienced, quite engaging smaller groups. Quality before quantity. It's not you who will learn it.
- Find bomb makers is not an easy case Sergent.
- I know, I know sir. But we should look at universities, engineering schools ... we need chemists, we need soldiers...motivate people.
- It is not so simple either Sergent.
- When the new group will arrive ?
- The French Interior Resistance tries to recruit but the Germans are everywhere in Paris. In early March probably….I don’t really know.
- Keep me informed Sir. Can I ?
- Yes, good evening Sergeant. Have a nice night and don’t worry..we’ll find a solution.
Cosima executes the military salute and left the room.
- The Bloody Brotherhood ...I am happy for your existence, he said when the door was shut.
In the hallway, Cosima saw a poster of an illegal recruitment that we can see in some places in Paris and everywhere France, occupied or not, for the Resistance recruitment. She smiled nostalgic and sad remembering how she and her brother have come to London to fight for the English. Denmark and Copenhagen miss her but fight for the king out of the country was more important at that time. One day she would return home, she knew. She know. She has to win the war for that first. "And long live the King" she whispered, pulling her helmet and riding her motorcycle.
X Campers, Paris, February 1941 :
Aurora and René are walking holding arms. Harry reads the newspaper on a bench in front of the Hotel Regina, Rue Rivoli, near the Louvre Museum. The hotel became a Nazi center when France was occupied. Harry is watching, he does not read. And René and Aurora discuss in front of the the big door. Another lure. They monitor and record the comings and goings of the soldiers. Their contacts with the French Resistance informed them that the hotel Regina was the prison-transits and a high military strategy place of the Nazis, Gestapo and Wehrmacht. Some of the officers have their apartment and at the lower floors, their office. Niel and Tom are dress as milk merchants, all in white, hoping this will works against the Nazis. They deliver milk for hotel's kitchen and should find the hidden and secrets hotel's access onto other streets. Alfred, him, has to remember the face of the officiers who are descending car and enter the building. Their rank, their importance and where they are going once in the hotel.
Their mission fell last week, releasing few important resistants imprisoned there. It will be difficult but their motivation is flawless. The executions are scheduled in four days. They must act quickly, to be effective and do not get caught and recognize. Some Germans do not suspect that Canadians spies observe them.
This is the first mission to Alfred newly recruited thanks to his memory and intelligence. Commander Sinclair was very clear: Alfred can not be captured. Aurora has orders to kill him if it happens and if she can. It is not very comfortable in society but has already proved his talent during an improvised decryption at Camp X. It's one more pressure to Aurora.
Once back in the secret apartment, in the secret building, in the secret headquarters of the secret district, they decided to attack the next night. Tom and Neil have noted the roundtrips in the kitchen, meal time and the order when soldiers and officers have lunch and have diner They have hidden microphones. Alfred reading the newspaper near the entrance noted the name and rank of the officers who entered. "Hans Von Smarken" is on the list. If Delphine knew ...
- Aurora and Alfred, you impersonate the cleaning agents ensuring deliveries for sheets and linens. Tom, Niel, you will play the Gestapo agents who will escort me and saying that you just arrested me with false papers and Harry with an encryption radio. He will hide two revolvers and grenades that will serve us escape. Tom and Neil's stolen key will be very helpfull too. We'll also hide guns in the sheets and linens for Aurora and Alfred. Alfred, I want you to learn all roundtrips and soldiers's rotations, I need it with Harry.
- It's already done.
- Welcome Alfred, I'm glad you're here.
Alfred smiles shyly at René and Neil gave him a pat on the back that made him jump.
- Don't be shy, he laughs.
- Let's rest and tomorrow should be a success.
Aurora and René are lying but as usual the day before a mission, nobody sleeps. Harry hack with his radio and fixes some small details. Neil smokes a cigarette at the window, Tom quietly listening music and Alfred reads a German book for learning the language.
In one of the small rooms, Aurora moves into bed and sticks to René.
- You don't sleep, he asks.
- No. No, I don't.
- Come here, he replied, raising his arm so he could hug her.
- When the war will be over, I want to return to Germany. I want to show you the real country where I grew up. Where I grew up without Hitler and his Nazis.
René kisses her temple and she pressed a little more against him.
- Do you remember when we first met?
- Café de l'Azur, in the 9th district. You dropped your coffee on my dress. I feel it was centuries ago ... when we were still free.
- There was also on my shirt. And it was all white.
- And my dress ! You thought about it? She was ruined !
- I have never regretted this coffee I never drank, he said softly. You lost a dress but you won a René.
- Me neither, she said, kissing him softly, without moving her lips.
A silence settles in the bedroom. René brought his second arm to better embrace Aurora. A Moon net landed on them, the sky was clear. Aurora gently embraces Rene. Tomorrow, their lives will be at stake.