October 3, 1789
"That Marat bastard is at it again."
Gaspard fell into his chair with an exasperated sigh, tossing a wad of papers onto the table before him. He flipped his hood back off his head and ran a hand through his shaggy hair. The ends were damp and curled from sweat despite the chilly October air.
Arienne shot him a sideways look and plucked the papers from the table, skimming the contents with a concerned brow.
He sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "L'Ami du peuple. It's some sort of cruel joke, calling it The Friend of the People."
She glanced up, "You don't support the revolution?"
"Of course I do!" He shook his head, "But not now, not what it's become. It started with the people, that's what it was about- what it should be about. Now… with Marat, it's nothing more than another Templar plot."
She threw the paper back onto the table with a grunt. Even with the idle chatter of her brethren around her and the crackle of the hearth, she could hear the city just outside the window. The heart of Paris, the heart of France was unsettled.
Just outside their small headquarters at 24 Rue Chanoinesse, the people were still stirring.
She watched out the frosted window as groups of men and women went by. Some of them seemed elated or drunk out of their minds, but others marched with an angry fixation in their shoulders. Things since July had quieted, even if just a little. She felt another storm coming though, and by the looks of the people around her, so did they.
Gaspard broke the silence of the table again, fidgeting with a corner of the paper. "Do you think it's true?"
She didn't bother turning to look at him, "Do I think what's true?"
"What the paper says…about the King and his party…trampling the new cockade."
Shrugging, "Probably, but I doubt it matters at this point. People read Marat's writing as if it is law. The damage has been done. France is in a state of unrest, and rightly so." She smirked, "After all, bad things happen when mamas and papas cannot feed their children."
"When did you turn into such a cynic?"
She laughed openly at this, "I'm not a cynic. I simply speak the truth." Pausing for a moment, she continued, "Do not mistake my attitude for lack of support for the cause. I'd like to think that if perhaps I wasn't an assassin, I'd like to be a revolutionary."
"But alas, if I weren't an assassin, I'd be just another ignorant lamb being herded to my death."
Gaspard scoffed playfully, "Is that what you call them? Ignorant lambs?"
"Perhaps it's not the nicest of terms, but is it not true?"
He cocked an eyebrow, "Explain."
She splayed her arms across the table, "Just think about it. All these people who want a better life for themselves and their children have no clue about what the leaders of their revolution are truly striving for. For the moment the goals of the Templars and the people are aligned; to rid France of the ruling class. The minute they realize the leaders themselves want to rule the nation, it'll already be too late. They are but sheep and the Templars the shepherd."
"You should be a poet."
"I truly missed my calling, didn't I? Such talent wasted on riding the world of evil."
A voice chimed in from the side, "I think waste is such a harsh word. . ."
They whipped around to find a woman standing at the end of the table, her hair tucked stylishly under the brim of a straw hat and her hands on her hips.
"Charlotte!" Arienne jumped up from her seat and pulled the woman into an embrace. "My dear friend, it's been so long! How are you?!"
Charlotte returned the hug with a laugh, "I am well! When did you get to Paris? I heard you've been in Chartes for a while tending to your sister and father. I hope all is well with them."
Before Arienne could answer, Gaspard stood and took Charlotte's hand, placing a light kiss on her knuckles. She flushed at his gesture.
"I'll see myself out, you two should catch up," Gaspard said. "It's lovely seeing you again, Mademoiselle Corday." He bowed and sauntered across the room to another table of men.
Arienne smirked at Charlotte's feverish attempts to conceal her flustered face.
Charlotte shot her a dirty look and sat down at the table. "You were saying?"
Arienne laughed and took her seat again. "I arrived in Paris just after the Bastille incident. I figured I was needed. But, my father and sister are well. Brigitte and I were concerned for Papa's health earlier this year, but he recovered."
"Well thank God for that."
Arienne simply nodded. The two girls fell into a comfortable silence until Charlotte picked up the copy of L'Ami du peuple. Charlotte snarled in disgust, an unusual reaction for the polite young woman, even if she was an assassin.
Arienne stared, "Are you alright?"
She ripped the paper and tossed it onto the floor. "I despise that man. He's nothing but a Templar puppet and warmonger." After a moment, she added darkly, "Something ought to be done about a man like that."
Despite herself, Arienne snorted. "In due time."
Charlotte crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back into her chair, "That time cannot come soon enough."