pro_patria_mortuus: (make them bleed while we can)
The barricade is breached; the insurgency is fallen, the defense in its last moments. Enjolras has retreated with the others left alive -- few enough they are, stalwart souls, none known to him by name -- to the second floor of the Corinth. The staircase has been hacked to bits. The hole in the floor where it leads is surrounded by corpses, bleeding, sprawled, moaning, dead. The soldiers of the army and the National Guard and the Municipal Guard have the numbers. Many of them have died, many are maimed, but this ending has not been in doubt since it became clear that no reinforcements would come. A barricade cannot hold forever against a pitched assault by superior numbers and artillery. Paris didn't rise, the National Guard didn't turn in significant numbers, the people lie shivering in their bed of oppression. The only gift left to give the future is a brave death.

Courfeyrac is dead. Combeferre is dead. Joly, Bossuet, and Feuilly fell -- they are not here, they must be dead, or will be soon. Marius too. Jean Prouvaire and Bahorel died yesterday, already mourned. All his friends have fallen already. The future will dawn without them, because of them, and they are gone. Enjolras will soon follow.

Grantaire is slumped at the small table in the corner. Dead, no doubt, of a stray bullet, Enjolras thinks with a moment of sorrow. No one could sleep through this. It's a pity; this was never his fight or his dream. He should never have stayed -- but they could hardly spare men to carry him away, and what's done is done; the Republic has lost many of her children today. Around Grantaire are strewn bodies, hacked and bloody.

No more bullets, no more cartridges, no more bottles, no more swords left. Enjolras holds the stump of his carbine's barrel. It served well enough as a canne de combat, but it's shortened now: he broke the stock over the heads of soldiers trying to mount through the stairwell's hole. He shattered their heads, but most of his rifle's length has shattered too. If Enjolras is wounded he feels nothing of it. No one else is alive in this room, and the soldiers are mounting over their comrades' shoulders. They wear bloody masks of savagery; their bayonets are smeared with blood and gore; their rifles are pointed at him.

Enjolras's fingers clench tighter on his wreck of a carbine. Head high, proud in defeat, he waits.
pro_patria_mortuus: (guide and chief)

The society called the Amis de l'ABC is a democracy, as it must and can only be. They cannot strive to create a better world without striving also to make their fraternity a microcosm of that dream. Still, roles must be taken, knowledge divided; equal voice given, but responsibilities assumed on the basis of aptitude; this is a fellowship of equals; they work together, as best suits the needs of the moment. And knowledge must be kept and distributed with equal care, in all organizations working towards the downfall of a government.

Enjolras's role, in the planning of their part in the building insurrection, is that of chief and general. Discontent simmers in Paris and beyond, whispers move, supplies are stockpiled and dozens of small societies like theirs signal their readiness to each other, and to the minds at the movement's heart. Therefore, Enjolras has been directing his friends -- his trusted lieutenants -- to various groups around the city to take stock. Courfeyrac to the Polytechnicians, Feuilly to la Glacière, Joly to the Medical school, himself to the Cougourde d'Aix, and so forth. A place for each.

"Then everything's settled," says Courfeyrac, but Enjolras shakes his head.



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August 2017

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