Subject: Silence reigned, even the stereo going quiet.
Posted on: 2009-04-25 12:47:00 UTC

Osbert had been about to answer Celinus' question, but when the trumpet sounded he instead turned on his heel, facing the players. Old reflexes and habits kicking into action, he found himself standing at attention, his arm snapping rigidly into a salute as Leas called for two minutes' silence. In his peripherals, he could see Langston struggle to his feet, almost falling but managing to stand and fire off his own salute even as he swayed drunkenly. Nobody said a word, total stillness befalling the Store as a spirit of reflection and remembrance took hold over the celebrations from before. In almost eighty years, he had seen several occasions like this, but he was sure that for many of the people inside, it was their first. By God, did that make him feel old...

You watching us up there, boys?

Troy had wrapped an arm around Cassie's waist to support her when she said she needed to sit down, and had been about to try to lead her to one of the empty RCs he had seen along the hallway, but was interrupted by the call for a moment's silence. Keeping his hold on the young woman to keep her from falling over, he took on a sombre expression, lowering his eyes to the ground. So many people dead, not all of them his friends but all of them comrades-in-arms, it was just terrible. He shuddered, thinking about how many people he almost lost, and did lose, especially as at the same time he wondered how Berger was holding up. His partner had been hit a lot harder by the Invasion than he had.

Shine on, ya crazy diamonds.

To Roy Berger's mind, it was almost as if the fighting had still been going on even as he half-heartedly drank and celebrated with the others. The call for silence had its intended effect, apparently, especially as his eyes moved to the floor and paused at the two mechanical fingers on his right hand. Prosthetics, of course, he'd lost the genuine articles in that damned Escher Room. Gunshots, metal swinging through the air, the screams of the dead and the damned, in the back of his head it was all as fresh as when it happened. Fifty Agents trying to hold off what had seemed to be hundreds of Sues...why had he been the one that made it?

Damn it, don't fool's because you ran. Just left them to die while you high-tailed it. You Eru-damned coward! Damn it, Silas, Dixon, Carpenter, Harris, Reason, Silverman...they all deserved to make it out of that room more than you did. They were walking around with far worse than a couple missing fingers! You should've faced your fate with honour, dammit!

A hand placed itself on his shoulder, and he looked over just out of curiosity, having to redirect his glance downwards at the shorter man to his right. He didn't dare break the silence, but the look on his face communicated well enough.

To use a saying that had popped up long after he had supposedly "died" on the fields of Waterloo, Alois Bouchard had been given the short end of the stick. Being dragged off the field by what he had thought were either angels or looters in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo, delirious and nearly dead from three bullet wounds and having been stabbed with a bayonet, he'd been an Agent less than a month before the viruses hit. Still not fully recuperated from his wounds or the shock of Napoleon Bonaparte's fall and finding himself in totally alien surroundings, he'd had to fight for survival against gigantic, monstrous macroviruses that tore Agents apart by the hundreds. Even after that it hadn't been over, he'd had to face a literal army of Mary Sues.

He didn't know what it was, the hand of God, his own skill, or something else entirely, but somehow he'd made it through the ordeals and fighting far more hellish than what he'd seen in the Grande Armeé with not even a scratch. His partner hadn't been so lucky, she didn't even have a chance before the bugs ripped her apart.

In the silence of the Store, he could still hear Lee's screams and remember his own frenzied attempts to fight through the viruses to her. If it hadn't been for that strange blond-haired Norseman, he'd have likely met a similar fate to his first partner. Now, though, he stood here where there was no gunfire, no screams, no dying, just those who lived remembering those who had not. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he looked to his left at the Agent who stood by him. The man was a good bit taller than the 5'1 Alois, but even without looking at their face he could tell they were upset. In response, he found his hand reaching out, resting on the man's shoulder in what he hoped was a comforting gesture.

Am I the only one in this store with dry eyes?

Sandra Richardson placed down the mug once the request for silence was heard, the drinking contest she had so boisterously called for grinding to a halt as she looked to Leas, not even paying attention to the drunk man on the other side of the table whose gaze had now drifted to the front of her uniform. She'd been one of the ones lucky enough to escape HQ during the Macrovirus attack, and hadn't been very active in the Invasion's fighting, but she knew many people who had been. Most didn't make it, not even her best friends or partner. That unlucky bugger had caught a bullet with his head in the very last seconds of the fighting. It was a sobering thought, but it hadn't stopped her from coming to the party and trying to enjoy herself like she knew they'd have wanted her to. Her eyes started to water up, but she closed them and shook her head, trying to force any of those feelings down. She couldn't let her feelings or memories get in the way of the party. Eventually, everyone in the store would be dead, why get so worked up?

Oh, who the hell am I kidding?


Basilico Andretti had done a rather good job of blending into the crowd. In fact, he wasn't entirely sure if the majority even knew he was there. However, he was comfortable with this, as he was there just as much to keep an eye on potential troublemakers as to pay his respects to the dead. Of course, he still gave the bar a very wide berth, unlike many of the partygoers, especially since the one time he'd tried to go over one of the people there had given him a look so hateful he almost thought he'd drop dead on the spot. Still, as the moment of silence was called, he bowed his head in respect, even though he'd lost no friends in the fighting.

Lord, please watch our fallen comrades as we ourselves watched o'er them. Let them not be wanting, or troubled. For in Your kingdom, there is naught but peace, and respect for canon. Never shall they go unremembered or unloved, for the PPC still lives, and so does Your kingdom in Heaven. As the Word Worlds are in our care, so are their souls in Yours. In Nomine Patris, Et Fili, Et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.

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